• These Representatives Need to be Thanked for Voting YES on HF517

    March 10, 2017

    Breaking Ranks on HF517

    The March 7th House vote on HF517, the Omnibus Gun-Owner Bill, saw the bill passed 58-39. Two Republicans, Reps. Heaton & Bergan, voted against the bill, and two Democrats, Reps. Ourth and Bearinger, voted for HF517.

    The left leaning Iowa politics blog Bleeding Heartland recently posted the following statements from Representative Scott Ourth about why he broke from the rest of the Democrats and voted in favor of HF517 (we’ve placed the critical statement in bold). These statements are extremely telling and we commend these Representatives on listening to their constituents

    The bill, in its original form, was absolutely horrible, and I was a definite “no” vote. What worried me was that the bill was going to pass in a form that would have been very dangerous, especially to children, college campuses, etc.
    Knowing that Rep. Windschitl was eager to show at least some bipartisanship on the bill, I sat down with him in an attempt to pull back on some of the extreme measures and add safety measures back in. In the end, I was able to get parental supervision redefined to mean close physical proximity conducive to hands-on instruction.
    Also, we got background checks at private gun sales put back in, along with a ban on firearms on college campuses and permits to obtain and to carry.
    In the end, I supported the bill for two reasons: I was invested in making the bill infinitely better (something way worse would have passed were it not for my collaborative efforts).
    Also, once the bill was modified I voted yes because it was representative of the wishes of the vast majority of the folks in my district. I got hundreds emails and phone calls urging me to vote “yes” and hardly any asking me to resist. So, in the end, I voted my district after crafting a bill that was far and away safer and more reasonable than what would have passed with out my offer of bipartisanship.

    NOTE: Rep. Ourth’s comment referring to background checks at private gun sales is in reference to Iowa’s Permit to Acquire system. An initial version of HF517 did away with the Permit to Acquire system all together. The House ultimately decided to keep the Permit to Acquire but lengthen it from one to five years. This Permit to Acquire extension is the only change to private gun sales in HF517.

    Bleeding Heartland also posted a statement from Representative (D) Bruce Bearinger about why he chose to vote yes on the bill:

    I worked with representative Ourth on the amendment to insure that parents had to be in proximity to the child to provide safety training to their child. In addition, they removed parts of the bill relating to college campuses, open carry, and permitting. I had some concerns with the final bill, but overall, it was consistent with the correspondence I had with many of my constituents. I rely on our democratic caucus analysis of legislation and have always found it to be valuable, but ultimately I rely on my own values and the extensive work I do to stay in tune with the desires and beliefs of my constituents in my rural district.

    Time for Thanks

    Below is the list of who voted in favor of HF517 when it passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives on March 7th. These 58 Representatives deserve your thanks for voting to protect and enhance the Second Amendment rights of all Iowans.

    It’s important that you take a moment to thank these legislators. Our side does an outstanding job of letting them know what we want (“pass this bill” -OR- “vote YES on HF517”), but it’s just as important that they are applauded for listening to us. We’ve posted the email addresses of everyone who voted YES on the bill at the bottom of this page. Please take a minute or two and send them a quick note of thanks.

    HF517 is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s been assigned to a subcommittee consisting of Senators Dan Dawson, Janet Peterson and Brad Zaun. As always the Iowa Firearms Coalition will be keeping you up-to-date whenever there’s activity related to pro-gun owner legislation.

    Defenders of HF517

    During the course of the House debate over HF517 several Representatives gave speeches in support of the bill. It’s important to note that this is not required, all a Representative has to do is vote yes or no, but the following Representatives went out of their way to try to convince their colleagues to vote Yes on HF517. They deserve to be recognized for their willingness to take a stand for pro-gun owner legislation.

    • Rep. Shannon Lundgren of Dubuque County – shannon.lundgren@legis.iowa.gov
    • Rep. Jake Highfill of Polk County – jake.highfill@legis.iowa.gov
    • Rep. Skyler Wheeler of Sioux County – skyler.wheeler@legis.iowa.gov
    • Rep. Steven Holt of Crawford County – steven.holt@legis.iowa.gov
    • Rep. Terry Baxter of Hancock County – terry.baxter@legis.iowa.gov
    • Rep. Matt Windschitl of Harrison County – matt.windschitl@legis.iowa.gov
      • Rep. Windschitl deserves extra thanks for not only floor managing HF517, he stood for the entire 4+ hour House debate, addressing bogus claims and correcting misleading statements being made by anti-gun owner Representatives.

    Also of note, Senators Brad Zaun and Dan Dawson were in and out all afternoon observing the House debate on HF517. Senator Dawson is floor managing the bill over in the Senate. He stayed and watched the entire four-hour debate in the House in preparation for discussion and debate in the Senate. This is very encouraging!

    Who Voted Yes on HF517

    Send a thank you note to these Iowa Representatives!

    EMAIL ADDRESSES OF HF517 YES VOTES:
    rob.bacon@legis.iowa.gov, chip.baltimore@legis.iowa.gov, clel.baudler@legis.iowa.gov, terry.baxter@legis.iowa.gov, bruce.bearinger@legis.iowa.gov, brian.best@legis.iowa.gov, jane.bloomingdale@legis.iowa.gov, jim.carlin@legis.iowa.gov, gary.carlson@legis.iowa.gov, peter.cownie@legis.iowa.gov, dave.deyoe@legis.iowa.gov, cecil.dolecheck@legis.iowa.gov, dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov, joel.fry@legis.iowa.gov, tedd.gassman@legis.iowa.gov, pat.grassley@legis.iowa.gov, stan.gustafson@legis.iowa.gov, chris.hagenow@legis.iowa.gov, kristi.hager@legis.iowa.gov, maryann.hanusa@legis.iowa.gov, greg.heartsill@legis.iowa.gov, lee.hein@legis.iowa.gov, jake.highfill@legis.iowa.gov, ashley.hinson@legis.iowa.gov, steven.holt@legis.iowa.gov, chuck.holz@legis.iowa.gov, dan.huseman@legis.iowa.gov, megan.jones@legis.iowa.gov, bobby.kaufmann@legis.iowa.gov, david.kerr@legis.iowa.gov, jarad.klein@legis.iowa.gov, kevin.koester@legis.iowa.gov, john.landon@legis.iowa.gov, shannon.lundgren@legis.iowa.gov, dave.maxwell@legis.iowa.gov, andy.mckean@legis.iowa.gov, gary.mohr@legis.iowa.gov, norlin.mommsen@legis.iowa.gov, tom.moore@legis.iowa.gov, zach.nunn@legis.iowa.gov, scott.ourth@legis.iowa.gov, ross.paustian@legis.iowa.gov, dawn.pettengill@legis.iowa.gov, ken.rizer@legis.iowa.gov, walt.rogers@legis.iowa.gov, sandy.salmon@legis.iowa.gov, mike.sexton@legis.iowa.gov, larry.sheets@legis.iowa.gov, david.sieck@legis.iowa.gov, rob.taylor@legis.iowa.gov, linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov, guy.vander.linden@legis.iowa.gov, ralph.watts@legis.iowa.gov, skyler.wheeler@legis.iowa.gov, john.wills@legis.iowa.gov, matt.windschitl@legis.iowa.gov, gary.worthan@legis.iowa.gov, louie.zumbach@legis.iowa.gov


  • Mistaken Matt McCoy on Iowa Gun Law

    January 18, 2017

    Iowa Senator Matt McCoy was recently recorded making numerous false claims about gun law in Iowa. The Polk County Democrat has previously declared “no one should have a gun that can fire more than twelve times in a minute,” which would pretty much limit us to muzzle-loaders.

    Over the span of about seven minutes at a January 15th, 2017 legislative forum Senator McCoy spreads numerous “untruths” about Iowa gun laws. We’ve highlighted and corrected several of his statements below.

    The fact that Senator McCoy, a veteran lawmaker and member of the Iowa Senate Democrats’ leadership team could be so mistaken about Iowa law is beyond belief for most Iowa Firearms Coalition followers. Considering the fact that he is willfully spreading this misinformation is extremely alarming and downright irresponsible because if gun owners in Iowa were to base their actions off his words they could easily end up committing a criminal act.

    Senator McCoy, gun laws can be confusing, we recognize that, but before you “educate” your constituents on gun law in Iowa please, PLEASE make sure you have your facts straight. We’re more than happy to help answer any questions you may have, all you have to do is ask.

    Mistaken Matt McCoy on Stand Your Ground:

    Question: “What can be done about the no limits on guns being proposed?”

    Referring to pending “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) legislation he incorrectly states intent/effect of the bill as:

    If “I’m arguing with somebody and I can turn around and walk away and leave safely, that under [SYG] if I stay and fight and take out my sidearm and shoot that person, who may or may not also be armed with an equal amount of weapons, … I’m entitled to shoot it out.”

    Of course, Stand Your Ground legislation will retain the current and age-old requirement that the use of force against an assailant (not an argumentative stranger) or to prevent a serious crime must be reasonable. Stand Your Ground law merely removes the duty to retreat in the face of aggression in most circumstances. This remedies the current situation wherein a person may in fact use clearly justifiable and reasonable force to repel an attack, yet be indicted and tried for the crime of failing to retreat because the prosecutor alleges that the person could have safely done so. Of course, that prosecutor was not present at the time of the incident and was assuredly not able to properly evaluate the defendant’s necessarily instantaneous decision under the surprise, shock and fear of the moment. That’s Monday morning quarterbacking of the worst kind. By the way, Stand Your Ground applies to the justifiable use of force, up to and including deadly force, of any type. It is in no way restricted to the use of firearms and could apply as well to the use of fists, a knife, a club or a rock.

    Mistaken Matt McCoy on Youth Shooting in Iowa:

    “They have another bill, that, um… would allow children under the age of 12 [14, actually, Senator] to be able to fire semi-automatic or AK-47s [they can do THAT now, Senator, with parental permission] or, you know, Glocks, which can hold up to 50 rounds… and, uh, I just think that pistols and children… I just… Does anybody see that as a good idea?”

    The Senator then cites some un-sourced statistics claiming that 45% of Iowa homes contain a loaded gun, that “a third” of those homes have children under the age of twelve, that 75% of those children know where the gun is kept and that 37% of those children claim to have handled the gun “at one time or another”. To hear the Senator tell this tale, it sounds somewhat concerning – and, of course, IFC advocates strongly for safe handling, storage and training regarding guns in the home. However, Senator McCoy leaves out three important points: 1.) If his math is correct, of all the children under the age of twelve in every 100 Iowa homes, only four of them have handled a gun at any time without parental supervision.; 2.) While every death or injury of a child is tragic, a recent study (Jan. 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014) showed that fewer than three children were killed and three injured annually in Iowa by accidental gunshot. It is NOT clear that these incidents all involved a child accessing a firearm; 3.) Iowa law already makes it a crime punishable by up to one year in jail for allowing a child unauthorized access to a firearm.

    IFC strongly supports the right and responsibility of Iowa parents to address the need and suitability for firearms safety and proficiency training in the home. End of story.

    Senator McCoy continues with this gem:

    “The odds are, like, 1000% that if you have a loaded gun in your house the gun will be used against you or somebody in your household, either accidentally or deliberately and if you have children, that’s like setting a gasoline can next to a water heater.”

    This is a completely unsupportable – and mathematically impossible – contention. By the Senators own statistics, about 15% of Iowa’s homes have “loaded guns” and children under the age of twelve. With “1000%” odds, where are all the explosions?

    Mistaken Matt McCoy’s full statement on gun law in Iowa:

    After all this, Senator McCoy reminds the audience that “Iowa has a lot of people that enjoy hunting” and that he “plans” to increase the availability of “public lands for public hunting”. Well, that will make it all better!

    The Senator attempted to sum up his position by saying that “people with “these extreme positions on guns are out of touch with average Iowans” and that “we can have hunting and reasonable laws protecting children” without “turning Iowa into the Wild West”.

    Things went a little off the track at that point though, when a woman in the audience shouted out: “But Brownells are in Grinnell and they want the gun laws to be as silly as they can be!

    Senator McCoy responded: “Well, I’m glad you mentioned that, Ma’am. Since the ban was lifted on AK-47s, we’ve made about nine million of them in America. … So, so, one of the things that I’ve found is these high magazine weapons have been in a lot of the attacks, um…, are the weapon of choice for cowards that go into a room full of unarmed people and indiscriminately start shooting and, um…, and so I think limiting the amount of magazines to ten is reasonable and I think that if a buck goes over a hill and can’t, uh, be hit with ten, uh, shots then you’re not worth your salt as a hunter. So if it’s really about, uh, um, sporting, then, then let’s limit the magazines to ten.”

    Of course, Senator McCoy has previously stated that “no one should have a gun that can fire more than twelve times in a minute”, which would pretty much limit us to muzzle-loaders.

    So there are the highlights, but if you really want to appreciate how Senator McCoy feels about responsible Iowa firearms owners like the members of IFC, please listen to the recording, which is a little over seven minutes long.

     


  • IFC 2017 Legislative Kick-off

    January 9, 2017

     

    Fellow Iowans,

    Greetings on this new year!  I am extremely excited to write to you today, on this, the first day of the 87th Iowa General Assembly!

    I know we here at the Iowa Firearms Coalition have been relatively quiet in the wake of the recent historic election, in which IFC played a significant role with respect to flipping the Iowa Senate majority for the first time in two decades.  As you already know, after years in which the Senate Democrat leadership constantly rebuffed, rebuked and refused to respect your rights, Senate Democrats are now in the minority.

    I hope that as this legislative session convenes and the Democrats look around for all the missing faces, that they also look to their new minority leader, Senator Rob Hogg, and realize that he and the few radicals in their caucus like him are why their numbers are so few now-why Steve Sodders and Mike Gronstal, among many others, are now sitting at home.  On November 8 Iowans sent a message to Des Moines, and in a loud voice you said: Enough is enough!  No more games!  We demand our rights!

    Well done, all of you!  Our relative silence since, however has been because we’ve been playing our cards close to the chest and doing what we’ve always faithfully done: Quietly working hard with legislators to protect your rights.

    Before I continue, though, I need to pause for a moment and let you know three things up front:

    • This is going to be a long e-mail, because I’m going to lay everything out for you.I don’t normally like long e-mails since I know a lot of people won’t read them, but please indulge me and grant me your patience.I have a LOT of important and historic things to tell you about this session that I’m certain you’ll want to know about.
    • I’m going to ask you to join IFC. A lot…Because it’s important.If you’re already a member please consider donating, or perhaps becoming a life member, and accept my sincerest thanks from the bottom of my heart.By your support, you have made it possible for IFC to be so successful.If you’re not a member, though, we need to change that because together we have so much more to do!
    • I’m not only going tell you what our agenda is this year, but I’m also going to review where IFC has been in the past so you can be proud of being a member of this organization.Then I’m going to tell you where we hope to go in the future, so you can see why it’s so valuable to be an IFC member and so you can share the excitement with me.I’ve been the leader of IFC going on three years now, and at no point have I been as energized as I am right now-and I want you to feel as awakened and passionate as I do!

    So hang in there and bear with me on this one…Let’s do this!

    WHAT IFC IS DOING IN 2017?

    On the night of the election, when the results were coming in and it became clear we were successful and had a new Senate majority to work with at long last, board member Richard Rogers and I began making phone calls well into the early hours.  Simply put, we got to work immediately, and we’ve had our heads down, noses to the grindstone, working for you this whole time.  That’s more than I can say about the other so-called “gun rights group” in this state, which has spent the last many weeks shamefully selling Iowans another packet of lies to increase their bank balance.

    That said, I am proud to announce that with the eager teamwork of the House and Senate Republican leadership and caucuses, as well as with our partners at the NRA, the Iowa Firearms Coalition will again propose our amendment to the Iowa Constitution that will insert strong protections of our right to keep and bear arms in our highest and most important legal code.

    You see, Iowa is one of only six states in the entire union to lack a constitutional protection at the state level of what we broadly call “Second Amendment rights”.  Why is that important you ask, especially since we have the actual Second Amendment?  It’s important because as you know, due to our federal republican system of government, states are allowed to pass most of their own laws-including ones regarding your gun rights. It’s only been since 2010 that the United States Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment even applies to the states – and so far, the courts have barely begun to determine the actual limits of state power in this area.

    To put it bluntly, without our own state level constitutional protection, we are all just one bad bill in the legislature, or one bad court ruling in the Iowa Supreme Court, away from having our natural right to self-defense and firearms ownership either infringed our outright abrogated.

    Putting that into perspective, that means that all the victories we’ve fought so hard for in the past, and all the accomplishments we’re going to make in the future, could all come to naught with a single stroke of a pen or bang of a gavel.

    Therefore, IFC must shore up the very foundation of our rights by proposing, lobbying for, and achieving adoption of an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that enshrines and protects your right to keep and bear arms, in order to prevent any anti-freedom miscreants from violating or denying your rights in the future.

    Amending the Iowa Constitution is an extremely hard and long lift, though-and it’s why I need you to join IFC!  In order for a state constitutional amendment to pass and be ratified, it must make it through the following three major hurdles:

    • It must pass one General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature.That means passage in both the House and the Senate, like any other bill.General Assemblies are two years long, and this is the first year of the 87th Iowa General Assembly.
    • Assuming it passes the first General Assembly, a constitutional amendment must pass once more in the following General Assembly, meaning our bill must pass again in either the 2019 or 2020 legislative session – after the legislative elections in 2018.
    • Then, assuming it makes it through two General Assemblies, it must go onto the statewide ballot during a general election, which will be in the fall of 2020, and be passed by a popular vote of the people.

    If our right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment can make it through those three major hurdles, we will make state history and national news, as amending the Iowa Constitution is an uncommon feat-one which will benefit not only you, but untold generations of freedom-loving Iowans to come.  IFC’s members could hardly ask for a better legacy than that!

    Given the fact that this is an enormous undertaking, one that will take us no less than four years and constant pressure and effort, can you understand then just why I desperately need you to join our team?  Richard Rogers and I may lobby the legislature on your behalf, but you are the ultimate source of our ever-growing positive influence.  Without you, we are nothing.  Won’t you join us, upgrade to a life membership, or donate today?

    In the immortal words of late-night TV’s Billy Mays: “But wait…There’s more!”

    IFC isn’t stopping at the constitutional amendment!  The House is in order so to speak, but Senate Republicans, being new to their leadership role, are still working on the fine details of their agenda.  Therefore, I can’t be specific quite yet about our entire plan.  However, I am at liberty to generally say that ALL-yes, I said ALL!-of the following items are on the table and have a real and legitimate chance of becoming a bill and receiving a floor vote in the next few months:

    • The Youth Safe Shooting and Parental Rights Act – I hope all of you are aware of this piece of legislation by now.  We were almost successful in getting this bill passed with the Suppressor and ATV Carry bills last year, however, ultimately we just couldn’t overcome the shenanigans played by former Judiciary Chairman, Senator Steve Sodders.  In short, though, Iowa law currently doesn’t allow minors under the age of 14 to handle or shoot a handgun, even with direct supervision by a parent, guardian or instructor.  This law, essentially unknown until a few years ago, has made hundreds of thousands of otherwise good, law-abiding Iowans into unwitting felons – and for no good reason!  So to right this obvious wrong, IFC is going to eliminate the age restriction altogether, making the law consistent with those pertaining to rifles and shotguns.  Logic and a proper respect for parental rights and responsibilities demands it.I know I said I couldn’t speak with any finality about which specific bills would absolutely, positively be on the agenda since the Senate hasn’t finalized their plans yet, but between you and me and all the rest of the IFC family, I think it’s a pretty darn safe bet we’ll see this one not only on the agenda but passed by the legislature and signed by the governor in very short order!
    • Stand Your Ground – This bill needs no introduction or explanation.  We have worked on this issue for most of the last decade.  Every year we submit it, and every year it has gone nowhere due to the previous radical, anti-freedom Senate Democrat leadership.  Heck, it’s such a popular bill that the other so-called “gun rights group” here in Iowa literally copy-and-pasted our bill, word for word, and have tried running it as their own with the support of the one and only ally they have in the entire legislature.  The difference is they run it to raise money while accomplishing nothing; IFC runs it to protect and recognize your rights-and this year, it’s game on!  We’re going to work harder for this one than we ever have before, and keep your fingers crossed because we hope to take it to the end zone once and for all!
    • Castle Doctrine – Like “Stand Your Ground” this bill also needs no introduction.  I will say though that we have met with resistance on this bill for years as well, and will again this year, based on the notion the provision already exists in the Iowa Code.  While that may be technically true, the current provision is weak and does not provide what is perhaps the most important part of a traditional “Castle Doctrine” provision: protection from civil lawsuits.  With IFC’s bill, we will ensure that if you are in a self-defense shooting and you are not charged with a crime or convicted in a court of law, you will be rightfully protected from further bankrupting and emotionally draining civil suits, so that you and your family can move on and recover from the traumatic disruption to your lives.
    • Constitutional Carry – Yet another bill that needs no introduction, and like all the rest, yet another bill we have run for the last many years, only to be blocked over and over again by the former radical Senate Democrat leadership.  If and when we are successful with this bill, law-abiding Iowans’ natural and fundamental right to self-defense will at last truly be respected, allowing all Iowa citizens with a legal right to possess firearms to carry them without a government tax and permission slip.  And yes, even if we get this bill passed, we will maintain the current permitting system because constitutional carry would only apply within Iowa’s borders; for the time being Iowans still need a permit to carry in the other states that recognize our permit.
    • Preemption Reform – The Code of Iowa clearly states that towns, cities, counties or any other political subdivision of the state may not regulate firearms more restrictively than does state law. In other words, firearms laws are preempted to the state. That means that the Iowa Code rules supreme regarding things such as carry permits.  However, some cities and counties have attempted to enact their own anti-gun policies, such as creating ridiculous and ineffective “gun free” victim disarmament zones. Yet our do-nothing anti-gun Attorney General Tom Miller pretends to see nothing and ignores these blatant civil rights violations.  This bill will fix that by making it clear, in certain terms that no tricky lawyer like Miller can weasel around, that state law does and will reign supreme in gun rights matters, and that no small town council will violate the rights protected for Iowans everywhere else.  There might even be a penalty clause for violators worked in there too. We’ll see!
    • Teacher Carry / Regents University Carry / State Facilities Carry – In what will perhaps end up as a portion of the Preemption Reform bill since they’re related issues, we intend to propose legislation to better allow school teachers to carry, eligible faculty, staff, students and visitors at Iowa’s Regents universities to carry, and of course, allow Iowans to carry in public places such as the Iowa Fairgrounds.  This will no doubt be controversial, but it’s the right thing to do.  So-called “gun free zones” are clearly a failed feel-good experiment that accomplishes nothing but to deny good and decent people the legal right to defend themselves with the most effective means possible.  This is wrong, it is immoral, and we’ve got the courage to fix it.
    • Parking Lot Prohibition Reform – Many employers prohibit employees from storing firearms in their vehicle while that vehicle is parked on the business’s property.  We here at IFC strongly believe in and support the fundamental right to property, and we recognize the perception that this is a property rights issue from the business owner’s perspective.  However, the United States Supreme Court has ruled many times that a person’s vehicle is an extension of their home and that the individual’s own property and privacy rights are retained in their vehicle.  This is why the police need a warrant or permission to perform a search of your vehicle without legitimate cause, even though the vehicle is in public.  Given this fact, IFC intends to assert and protect the individual’s right to keep a firearm in their vehicle regardless of where it is parked.  From a practical perspective, this will best observe the rights of those who wish to carry or go hunting once they get off work, for example.
    • Permit Privacy and Information Protection Act – Simply put, because your permit to carry or permit to purchase is a government document, anyone, such as a reporter or a criminal, can walk into your county sheriff’s office and request the list of everyone in your county who has a firearms permit.  This list has your complete name, your address, your date of birth, your phone number, even your email address if you provided it when you filled out your permit application…Basically, it’s a complete catalog of biographical information that allows the media to harass gun owners or a burglar to create a shopping list.  Our bill will completely change this, making your information private and eliminating the ability of anyone off the street to walk in and get it.
    • Permit to Carry Renewal Process Fix – Know how the renewal process for your carry permit is a bit goofy?  That’s the result of an ill-thought out eleventh-hour amendment on the floor of the Senate during the Shall Issue vote, way back in 2010.  The bill language was perfect before, but as usual, some senators just couldn’t leave well enough alone and a do-gooder messed it up.  This bill will at long last establish a sensible renewal process.
    • Bowhunter Carry – In short, bowhunters aren’t currently allowed to carry if they are bowhunting.  This bill will change that, thus observing your right to self-defense at all times, even while you are hunting with your bow.

    And last but definitely not least…

    • Short Barreled Rifle Legalization – This one needs no explanation.  And maybe, just maybe, you might be seeing other NFA items in this one as well.

    There you have it.  That’s IFC’s agenda for 2017-and this year, it is a real, honest-to-God reality, not just optimistic or fundraiser type talk.  You have my word; everything I’ve listed here is legitimately on the table and has been talked about in real terms, as actual bills, amongst the House and Senate leadership, the NRA, and IFC.  At this point, while I can make no hard and fast guarantees, I have nonetheless had countless phone calls and meetings about each and every one of them.

    Now I ask you: Can you see why I need you to join IFC, become a life member, or donate?  Folks, what we’ve got planned will be hard and will take time and lots of effort, and that all requires both financial and manpower support.  Won’t you please join the team?  We seriously can’t do it without you, and that’s not just a platitude!  Are you with me?

    With the current agenda and “JOIN IFC!” pitch over (okay, I lied, I’m gonna keep asking until every one of you joins!), now let’s go back in time for a moment…

    WHERE IFC HAS BEEN

    I’ll be the first to admit to you that IFC does a pretty poor job of owning our accomplishments.  That’s unfortunate because we’ve got so many reasons to be proud!  So let’s go down the list real quick and see where we’ve been, and hopefully, make you proud to be an IFC member like I am-and mind you these are the things that actually made it out as actual bills; we pushed for many other things during these same periods too!

    2016 – 86th General Assembly

    • HF2279 – Hearing Protection Act – SIGNED INTO LAW
    • HF2283 – ATV Carry Act – SIGNED INTO LAW
    • HF2314 – Privacy Protection Act – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HF2281 – Youth Safety & Parental Rights Act – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HF2280 – Emergency Protection Act – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HF70 – 10 round magazine limit -DEFEATED

    2015 – 86th General Assembly

    • SF427 – Omnibus Firearms Bill – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HF70 – 10 round magazine limit – DEFEATED
    • HF76 – Banning the transfer of all semi-auto firearms – DEFEATED
    • HF77 – Universal Background Checks – DEFEATED

    2014 – 85th General Assembly

    • HF2381 – Suppressor Legalization – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HF81 – Privacy Protection Act – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction

    2013 – 85th General Assembly

    • HF535 – Privacy Protection Act – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction

    2012 – 84th General Assembly

    • HRJ2001 – Repeal Administrative Lead Ammo Ban – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HJR2009 – Constitutional RKBA Amendment – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • HF2215 – Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine – Passed House, Killed by Senate Inaction
    • Executive Order Overturning Lead Ammo Ban – SIGNED INTO LAW

    2011 – 84th General Assembly

    • Defeated Several Shall Issue Rollback Bills
    • SF464 – Mourning Dove Hunting Season – SIGNED INTO LAW
    • SF456 – NICS Improvement Amendment Act – SIGNED INTO LAW

    2010 – 83rd General Assembly: Our First Year

    • SF2397 – Shall Issue – SIGNED INTO LAW
    • SF2200 – Repeal of Loaded Magazine Ban – SIGNED INTO LAW

    Show me another organization in Iowa that has accomplished all that, especially given the very challenging and toxic legislative environment we had to work within.  That IFC got anything done is a testament to our quality and to your continued support.  There’s a LOT to be proud of there!

    Again I ask if you’re not already a member, why not?  If you let your membership lapse, why haven’t you renewed?  Won’t you join us?  IFC is the only gun rights org in Iowa actually getting anything done.  We don’t only talk the talk; we walk the walk too, so it only makes sense to support us so we can keep up the good work!  We’re the only good investment in the state, and you actually get results for your buck with IFC.  Our history proves it.

    WHERE IFC IS GOING

    So now that we’ve talked about what IFC is doing right now, and where IFC has been, let’s talk for a minute about what I envision our future to hold.  Someday we’re going to get most or all of what we’ve striven for legislatively all these years.  Heck, this year could even be the big year.  Once we achieve total legislative success and we find ourselves the dog that caught the car, what then?  What does IFC’s purpose become?

    The next natural step for IFC would be to reduce our present major focus on legislation, and pivot instead toward an emphasis on supporting and cultivating Iowa’s shooting culture and sports, and establishing a permanent election apparatus to ensure pro-freedom, pro-gun candidates and incumbents get elected, and anti-freedom, anti-gun candidates do not.

    So with that in mind, assuming IFC can be successful in most of its legislative goals over the next few years, here are some of the things I foresee IFC being in a position to begin doing:

    • Continue working on the lesser legislative issues that will always need tending to, being ready to defeat any anti-gun legislative challenges that arise, and establish a permanent, long-term election and campaign funding apparatus – An extension of our PAC, this side of IFC would assume many of the lobbying duties IFC has traditionally performed so well, but remain in operation all year.  In addition, it would engage in year-round political fundraising, identify and cultivate pro-freedom candidates to run for office, and of course, support their campaigns, as well as those campaigns of pro-freedom incumbents.  The persistent goal would be to keep the Iowa Legislature sympathetic to Second Amendment virtues so IFC could focus on supporting Iowa’s shooters in more tangible ways, such as those listed below.
    • Funding and assisting youth and collegiate shooting – Young people are our future, and every one of us has encountered the slogan, “take a kid shooting!” at some point.  As Ronald Reagan so astutely observed, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”  If we don’t introduce our youth to shooting, at some point the anti-gunners will win with their persistent efforts to reform our culture and make shooting “weird”.

      IFC, being a statewide organization of influence, is in a position to facilitate funding high school and collegiate shooting programs, and even perhaps offer scholarships.From talking with several coaches across Iowa, I know that most shooting teams struggle for funds and are desperate for equipment, ammunition, and even just basic support to get to matches.Stepping up and providing this kind of financial and material support is a huge opportunity for IFC to truly and genuinely make a difference–and not just today, but for generations.
    • Support statewide ranges – Let’s face it: Most of Iowa’s ranges need help, what relatively few of them we have.  Most of our state’s ranges are small, rural county affairs, with little financial support or income to provide for even basic repairs or improvements.  For example, I’ve been in contact with a manager of one range in eastern Iowa whose 25-yard pistol range persistently floods. That is an especially big problem right now because it flooded before the freezing temps came, turning that range into an ice rink, thereby closing it down even over the winter.  He’s priced the work to improve the drainage, but it will kill their tiny annual budget.We can do better.  With IFC’s statewide presence, members who work in the construction trades, and our industry connections in general, we are uniquely positioned to assist Iowa’s ranges to maintain themselves, and to improve and even expand available programs.  As another example, a complete set of steel targets that would accommodate a variety of competitions costs only around $3,000. However, that is most or all of many ranges’ annual budgets.  If we covered those targets in exchange for range members becoming IFC members, we could have an immediate positive impact on the shooting sports in that area.  There are many opportunities here.
    • Bringing regional and national matches to Iowa, making Iowa a shooting destination – As you all know, Iowa is pretty poor when it comes to lots of formal, organized competitions.  Like everything else in our sport, coverage is spotty; a few places have great competitions and matches, but the vast majority do not.  This needs to change!  Everyone in every corner of the state needs to have matches nearby, and a circuit of matches in their area that they can attend.  If we can succeed in helping ranges, it’s a natural next step to help ranges succeed by assisting in the organizing and funding of competitions to benefit the entire shooting community at large.
    • Training for trainers – We all also know that the quality of firearms instructors varies dramatically from instructor to instructor.  To be perfectly honest, some instructors are great at what they do, and others not so much.  In order to help improve everyone’s abilities as instructors, IFC can form a voluntary “professional organization” of sorts for instructors, to collectively develop a set of best practices and begin holding seminars to improve and expand knowledge and teaching skill.  Think of it as continuing-ed for teachers, because better shooting instructors mean better students, and better students mean a healthier, safer, and more vibrant Second Amendment community.
    • Annual state and regional Second Amendment rallies – Many of you will recall that until recently, IFC held Second Amendment rallies annually.  We had to stop doing them, however, because the event grew beyond our capabilities to host it; we literally outgrew the largest shooting range in the entire state, which put us in a quandary.  What do we do?  Two main solutions have been derived: Sell only as many tickets as the venue’s capacity, and/or, hold multiple, smaller regional rallies.  I’m not against doing both, but organizing a rally is a major undertaking in both labor and expense.
    • Veterans’ affairs – Many of our members are veterans, and many of us in IFC leadership positions are veterans ourselves, so it’s a community we feel very close to.  At the very least, it’s a community with which we share common values, values about freedom, love of country, and respect for our Constitution and Second Amendment.  So needless to say, it hurts us to hear of a veteran who has committed suicide, or who is having a hard time with PTSD, or anything like that.  Once more, I believe a statewide organization like IFC, with so many veterans being part of our family, is well positioned to effectively raise money for veterans’ charities, help provide service animals, hold veterans’ hunts, and do things of this nature which are all a natural fit for IFC’s mission to protect and improve the shooting community in Iowa.  Other than helping our youth, what better way to accomplish that than serving those who have served this nation?
    • Encourage gun businesses to open or come to Iowa – Fortunately for IFC, we have made a lot of outstanding industry connections and partnerships over the years, both locally here in Iowa, and nationally.  This places IFC in yet another unique position to perhaps someday recruit or help facilitate new firearms related businesses to either open or move to Iowa.

    There are several other things we’ve got in mind as well, but as you can see from just this list we’ve got big hopes and dreams. I hope I have conveyed to you that the Iowa Firearms Coalition is an organization that cares and is serious about not only Second Amendment issues but helping our shooting community and great state in general.  There are so many truly wonderful things we can do together, but in order to even have a chance, to repeat myself one last time, I need you to join IFC if you haven’t already…And if you’re already a member, please consider a donation, or perhaps upgrading to a life membership.  And get your family and friends to join too!  We legitimately can’t do any of this without you!

    Well, folks, it was a super long haul, but there you have it.  Now you know where we’re at, where we’ve been, and where IFC hopes to go.  I genuinely hope you’re proud to be affiliated with us, and that you’re now as excited about our future as I am.  We’re going to have a great year, and if I can get the support of everyone reading this, IFC will legitimately be unstoppable for years to come.

    As always, our e-mail inbox is always open.  Just drop us a line at info@iowafc.org, and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

    Thank you all so much for your support!  I look forward to telling you about our many victories in the coming months!

    Protecting your Second Amendment Rights in Iowa,
    Barry B. Snell
    Executive Director
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

  • May Update: Machine Guns, Gronstalling, Zombies & Trap Shooting

    May 28, 2016

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend

    May Update

    Iowans-

    We hope you’re spending the weekend surrounded by family, friends and maybe even a cookout or two. But as you celebrate we urge you take a few moments and reflect on the reason for this holiday and those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice to secure and maintain the freedoms we all enjoy.

    As a small way of saying thanks to those who’ve given their lives for our freedom the Iowa Firearms Coalition is offering a special membership deal. For every new member that joins the IFC between now and 11:59pm next Sunday (6/5) we’ll donate $5 to a reputable charity that serves America’s veterans.

    Visit membership.iowafc.org to sign up. No special codes needed. A week from tomorrow we’ll tally up the new members and cut a check to a veteran’s group.

    IFC-PAC

    Our other major news is that IFC’s Political Action Committee is officially up and running. Check out www.IFCPAC.com to see our plan to flip the Senate, end the Gronstalling in Des Moines, and pass more pro-Second Amendment legislation in Iowa.

    In order to be successful we’ll need plenty of help from our followers. Whether it’s making a financial donation, volunteering or campaigning, we need your help. The Iowa Firearms Coalition will continue to lead the way, fighting for bills like Stand Your Ground, Constitutional Carry, Supervised Youth Shooting, but until we flip the Senate the odds of passing any of those pieces of legislation are extremely low.

    Machine Gun Shoot


    Don’t forget, June 10th, 11th, & 12th, we’re hosting a machine gun shoot in Mount Auburn, Iowa. Our partners will have more than 100 full auto firearms available to sample. We’ll also have a number of great speakers and pro-Second Amendment legislators on hand discussing gun laws in Iowa.

    State Trap
    We’re proud to announce the Iowa Firearms Coalition is sponsoring this year’s Iowa Scholastic Shooting Program. The shooting sports are Iowa’s fastest growing youth sport and we’re 100% committed to supporting the next generation of freedom loving Iowans.

    If you’re going to be at the state trap meet in Cedar Falls the weekend of June 11th stop by and visit our table. Good luck to all of this year’s shooters!

    Zombie Shoot

    Finally, we’re proud to be sponsoring another year of Zombie Shoots with the Goddard Regulators at the Colfax range. The next Zombie Outbreak event is next Saturday and Sunday (6/4 – 6/5).

    This event is a well run, fun and friendly event that’s been taking place for 10 years. Registration starts at 11am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday.


    More updates to come. Thanks for your continued support of the Iowa Firearms Coalition!


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • Legislative update week 16 – Sine Die

    May 1, 2016
    Legislative update week 16
    Sine Die

    Iowans-

    Friday night the state legislature adjourned “sine die” for 2016. This means lawmakers have closed out this year’s legislative session and have no plans to meet again until 2017. The Senate chose not to allow a vote on the Privacy Protection Act, and killed that bill like they have so many other pro-gun owner bills in the last 6 years. As we’ve pointed out before, this bill, HF2314, would benefit more than a quarter million Iowans. It is also endorsed by Iowa law enforcement, and it passed the House by an astounding 97 to 1 vote. Yet despite all this, the Democrats in control of the Senate said the bill “needed fixing” and refused to allow a vote on this bill. This course of action is something we Iowans are unfortunately way too familiar with.

    Despite this, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and our allies were able to secure two noteworthy victories this year. We legalized suppressors and legalized ATV carry. This is more progress on the pro-Second Amendment front than has been made in the last 6 years. We’re proud to be able to reclaim a bit of liberty and we’re proud to have led the charge for these pro-freedom bills. But our work is FAR from over.

    If you’re satisfied with the way Senate Democrats have deliberately mishandled pro-Second Amendment bills, continue doing nothing. But if you’re like us, frustrated with the fact that we have to fight tooth and nail for every for pro-gun owner bill, then we need you to stay active. We’re facing a major election season, and we’re poised to flip the Senate and shake up the Iowa legislature. Now that the session is over, we’re not slowing down. We’ll soon be rolling out specific plans, easy things we all can do, that’ll help us flip the Senate and greatly improve the odds for pro-gun owner legislation in the Iowa legislature. But know this, we’ll only be successful if we can build a ground swell of active supporters. That means doing more than just casting a ballot in early November.

    If we fail you can expect to see the same anti-gunners running the Iowa Senate in 2017 and 2018. If you want to see change, you need to do your part to bring it about. We’re working hard on our end, but our success is directly tied to your involvement. Our active followers are a tremendous resource during the legislative session, now we hope to continue to harness your energy for the upcoming campaign season.

    We sincerely thank you for supporting the Iowa Firearms Coalition. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without your support. There’s a reason why IFC is the most respected Second Amendment organization in Iowa, and that reason is the thousands of you who keep close tabs on Iowa’s elected officials. Now we just need you to keep up the momentum and help us make some much needed changes in the legislature.

    Thank you so much. More updates to come!


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • ATV Carry Act Signed Into Law

    April 6, 2016

    ATV Carry Act Signed Into Law
    Iowa's ATV Carry Act - 2016

    Iowans-

    This morning Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 2283, the ATV Carry Act, into law! This means after July 1st it will be legal for Permit to Carry holders to carry their pistols and revolvers while riding ATVs, snowmobiles, and other unlicensed vehicles. As some of you may remember this bill was watered down by Senate Democrats, but the passage of HF2283 is still a significant improvement over the way things were at the start of this session (when you couldn’t carry at all when riding).

    You can read the full text of the bill HERE.

    Privacy Protection Act

    While we have your attention, please take 60 seconds to email your senator about HF2314, the Privacy Protection Act. If you have a Permit to Carry or Permit to Acquire this bill has a direct impact on you. The Privacy Protection Act puts an end to the media & others having free rein to collect and publish the private information of permit holders in Iowa.

    The bill has passed every hurdle except a vote in the full Senate. We’ve set up a new Advocacy Campaign that makes it easy to email your senator urging them to pass HF2314 as written. This campaign has been getting a lot of traffic and it’s making an impact. The Privacy Protection Act has a very real chance of getting passed through a full Senate vote this session, but that’s only if we continue to push this issue to the forefront. We’re not through yet, we need you to keep fighting!

    Email your senator right now, then forward this to anyone else you know who has a Permit to Carry and get them to do the same.

    More to be done

    After we passed the Hearing Protection Act we promised you we weren’t through fighting. Today we delivered another victory for Second Amendment advocates in Iowa. We’re plenty excited, but the Iowa Firearms Coalition is not done fighting. Not by a long shot. We’ve still got lots of work to get done, so we’re making you the same promise we made after we legalized suppressors: IFC has no plans of backing down now, and we will not slow down. We’re not going to take any breaks. We’re proud to be fighting to protect and enhance the rights of all 3+ million Iowans, and we know that deserve everything we’ve got. We’d love for you to join us.

    More updates to come. Thank you for standing with the Iowa Firearms Coalition!


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • Votes on Hearing Protection & ATV Carry Acts scheduled for Tuesday

    March 21, 2016

    Votes on Hearing Protection & ATV Carry Acts scheduled for Tuesday

    Iowans-

    It appears Tuesday will be another big day for Second Amendment advocates in Iowa. The House is tentatively scheduled to vote on the Hearing Protection Act and the Senate is tentatively scheduled to vote on the ATV Carry Act. We say tentatively, because as we saw last week, the legislative calendar is not set in stone.

    We fully expect the House to pass the Hearing Protection Act putting us one step away from legalizing suppressors in Iowa. ATV Carry Act and the Senate, well that’s not quite as clear-cut. Remember, this bill passed the House 78 to 20 and is unopposed by any official group of ATV riders, snowmobilers, or off-road vehicle clubs. Yet despite these irrefutable facts many Senate Democrats have got it in their heads that they should rewrite this bill and gut its original intent. They’re playing politics and attempting to add a poison amendment. There could be some real fireworks on the Senate floor when HF2283 is up for debate.

    For those of you who are able to watch, here’s the link to live stream the Senate debate and vote on the ATV Carry Act – HF2283.

    You can also follow this link to live stream the House debate and vote on the Hearing Protection Act’s (HF2279) amendment.

    As always, there will be more updates to come. Don’t forget we’ll be updating our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day tomorrow with news from the capitol.

    Thank you for your continued support of the Iowa Firearms Coalition!


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • Legislative update week 10

    March 20, 2016

    Legislative update week 10
    Suppressor success & unfinished business

    Iowans-

    We’ve just wrapped up a monumental week in the capitol. House File 2279, the Hearing Protection Act passed the Senate by a 46 to 4 vote. The bill had an amendment attached to it that fixed a small grammatical error in the original draft. This means the House of Representatives will have to vote on the amendment before the bill goes to the governor’s desk. House leadership has already signaled that they have prioritized this vote and will be taking it up in short order. We fully expect the House to adopt the amendment. Once that happens we expect the governor to sign the Hearing Protection Act into law. Major thanks to all of the IFC members who’ve worked so hard make this happen.

    We’re extremely proud to have pushed the Hearing Protection Act through the Senate, but we can’t lose sight of the other two bills that are still eligible for votes in the Senate: the ATV Carry Act and the Privacy Protection Act. There’s no denying that legalizing suppressors will great for gun owners in Iowa, but these two other bills will serve hundreds of thousands of gun owners statewide. Unfortunately Democrats in the Iowa Senate have heavily amended both the ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act. The Iowa Firearms Coalition strongly opposes these amendments and encourages you to contact your senator and urge them to vote no on any amendment to either bill.

    Please take 30 seconds to email your senator about the ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act.

    Finally, in honor of this week’s victory in the senate we’re discounting our life memberships from $500 down to $300. Use the code “Suppressors2016” to take $200 off your life membership purchase. NOTE: if you’re a current IFC member email us at “membership@iowafc.org” to apply your coupon code. This offer will expire on May 1st.

    More updates to come. Thanks so much for your hard work and continued support of the Iowa Firearms Coalition.


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • Legislative update week 9

    March 13, 2016

    Iowans-

    Week 9 in the Iowa legislature, the second funnel week of 2016, was full of ups and downs.

    Good news first:
    There are three pro-gun owner bills eligible for votes in the full Senate. This is a monumental achievement considering the lay of the land in the legislature. The Hearing Protection Act, ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act all passed out of committee and are now eligible for votes in the Senate. This has exceeded many people’s expectations, but we’re not through yet.

    Few people know it, but the ATV Carry Act was essentially dead on arrival in the Senate’s Natural Resources committee. Democrats there were deadset against it and planned to kill it on the calendar. But thanks to a lot of hard work and some savvy maneuvering IFC’s volunteer lobbyists managed to get the ATV Carry Act not only a subcommittee vote, but a committee vote as well. The ATV Carry Act passed both of these votes and is now eligible for a full vote in the Senate.

    The bad news:
    The Youth Shooting & Parental Rights Act and the Emergency Protection Act were both killed by Senate Democrats inaction. Both bills had wide bipartisan support, and would have benefitted families and gun owners in Iowa, but the Senate chose to play politics once again and kill these bills without even voting on them.

    Now, you should also know that the ATV Carry Act passed its committee vote 12 to 1, but an amendment that severely guts the original intent of the bill was tacked on. The same goes for the Permit Privacy Act. This bill passed its committee vote 8 to 4 with an amendment that fundamentally changes the concept of the bill. This amendment was so egregious that the only ones to vote for it were the Democrats on the judiciary committee. Keep in mind this bill passed the House 97 to 1, and Iowa’s law enforcement groups all endorsed this bill as written. There’s no reason for Senate Democrats to thumb their noses at Iowa’s police officers and their colleagues in the House.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition strongly opposes both of these amendments. We’ve got an explanation of the amendments and why we oppose them on IowaFC.org.

    We’ve also activated a brand new Advocacy Campaign telling the Senate to stop monkeying around this year’s gun bills. Please use this tool to email your Senator, once you’re done please send this to a few friends and encourage them to do the same.

    There is good news though:
    The amendments put on the ATV Carry Act and the Privacy Protection Act are not set in stone. They must be approved by the entire Senate before they can truly alter the bills. We expect a real slugfest if/when these bills are brought to the floor of the Senate. Our volunteer lobbyists are working extremely hard to lockup votes for our side, but we need your help. Get in contact with your senator early and often. Magnify your efforts by getting a few friends to contact their Senators. Send them the link to our Advocacy Campaign and fill them in on why these amendments are no good.

    Finally, even if the Senate ramrods these amendments through they have to be approved by the House of Representatives, which is a tall order considering the strong bipartisan support these bills enjoy in the House.

    So, to be clear, the optimal outcome is for these amendments to fail on the Senate floor. But if that doesn’t happen, we’re not out of the game. Not by a long shot.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition is leading the way and fighting these amendments tooth and nail, but we need you to do your part.

    More updates to come. Keep pushing Iowans, your efforts are making a difference!


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

  • IA Senate Democrats Change Bipartisan Gun Bills

    March 12, 2016

    Breaking down the recent Senate amendments

    The Senate Judiciary and Natural Resources committees recently approved the ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act. These two bills, and the Hearing Protection Act, are now eligible for a vote before the full Senate. But there’s a very large asterisk next to the ATV Carry Act and the Privacy Protection Act. Both bills were passed out of committee with an amendment, and in both cases the amendments greatly undermine the original intent of the bills. Rather than drum up a bunch of incendiary rhetoric we’ll simply lay out the amendments, a few facts about the bills and why the Iowa Firearms Coalition opposes these measures. Then you can decide for yourself whether or not the Senate Democrats were right to start monkeying with these bills. We hope that this will help you as you contact your legislators about these bills, and help you convince your friends and family to do the same.

    CLICK HERE to send an email to your Senator telling them to VOTE NO on these amendments!

    ATV Carry Act

    This bill was designed to allow Iowans to carry their firearms on ATVs, snowmobiles, and other off-highway vehicles in the same way they are allowed to carry their firearms in cars, tractors, or motorcycles. Under current Iowa law you’re committing a crime if you carry a firearm on ATV, snowmobile, etc., in any way other than unloaded and in a case. Even if you have a valid Permit to Carry.

    House File 2283, the ATV Carry Act, passed the Iowa House of Representatives 78 to 20 on February 23rd. When the Senate Natural Resources Committee got a hold of it they promptly amended this bill. Their originally proposed amendment does the following:

    -Makes the bill only apply to pistols and revolvers (long guns must still be kept unloaded and cased)
    -Requires the use of a “retention holster” (but does not define what a retention holster is)
    -Removes a provision that allows landowners to carry on an ATV or snowmobile without a Permit to Carry, so long as they remain on property they own or possess
    -Inserts a prohibition on shooting from an ATV or snowmobile under any circumstances (the original House version prohibited shooting from the vehicles while “hunting or attempting to hunt”)

    In our testimony to the Senate Natural Resources subcommittee, IFC voiced strong opposition to these unnecessary changes to the House approved language of the bill. We were able to convince the subcommittee members to reinsert the provision allowing persons to carry unrestricted on their own property. This is a vital correction, as it is anticipated that rural landowners will be the primary beneficiaries of this legislative reform.

    When HF2283 came before the full Natural Resources Committee, Senator Ken Rozenboom (R-Oskaloosa), offered an amendment that effected the changes listed above, but with the corrective language regarding private property. In addition, Sen. Rozenboom included a provision that would allow Iowans to carry loaded and uncased long guns when operating their vehicles on land they own or possess. In making the case for this provision, the Senator used the example of a cattleman who might come upon a coyote attacking a calf and needing immediate access to his firearm. (IFC has not yet seen the language of this amendment, but we believe this explanation to be accurate.) The amendment was approved without objection by the full committee, which then approved the bill with only Sen. Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) voting in opposition.
    Though the amendment was improved in committee, it raises immediate questions: What constitutes a “retention holster?” Aren’t all holsters considered retention devices? They’re designed hold our weapon in a safe way, right? Who get’s to define what is and is not a “retention holster?” These are all valid questions that the Senate Democrats have left unanswered, and that’s a very big problem. Then there’s the fact that this amendment only applies to handguns.

    CLICK HERE to send an email to your Senator telling them to VOTE NO on these amendments!

    Privacy Protection Act

    This bill does a number of things, but most notably it makes it so that permit holders in Iowa can keep their private information (name, date of birth, address, etc.) private. Right now anyone can request the private information of all 250,000+ permit holders in Iowa. This is a problem when the media in Iowa collect all this information and publish or broadcast this information for no other reason than because they can. This bill, House File 2314, would curtail that, but it also cleans up and solidifies a handful of questionable provisions in Iowa’s Permit to Carry law that was passed in 2010.

    The amendment to this bill, passed by the Democrats on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee does the following:

    -Requires a proficiency test for all future Permit to Carry applicants (range test would be mandatory)
    -Eliminates the option of online training for a Permit to Carry
    -Institutes a “loser pays” system for permit denials & suspensions (if you’re denied a permit, appeal the ruling, and a judge rules in your favor your sheriff will have to pay your legal fees)

    There are several things to consider on this amendment. First off, the loser pays system is a provision that IFC supports. But outside of that the rest of this amendment leads to a lot of questions Senators would prefer you didn’t ask. Questions like: what other rights do we as Iowans enjoy that require a proficiency test? Do you need to pass a test to go to your place of worship? No. Do you need to pass a test before you can speak publicly? No. Do you need to prove your ability before you can go vote? Nope. Now, we might joke on occasion about ‘low information voters’ from time to time, but the fact is there’s no specific level proficiency you must prove before you can vote. Can you imagine the fit the Senate would throw if a bill was put forward requiring a proficiency test for voters? It would be epic. So considering all this ask yourself, why should your right to keep and bear arms be any different? Take it one step further and ask yourself when has a private citizen in Iowa ever been required by state law to pass a proficiency test to exercise their Second Amendment right? The answer is never.

    Fundamental issues with the proficiency tests aside, this amendment would severely limit Iowans’ ability to obtain quality instruction. This is because there is currently a very distinct shortage of public shooting areas in the State of Iowa, which means if this amendment were passed the only instructors that would be allowed to teach Permit to Carry classes would be those who have access to a range. In addition, this amendment blocks a citizen’s ability to take a classroom Permit to Carry class with one instructor and take a proficiency test at a range with a separate instructor. In short, this amendment would severely cut into Iowans’ gun safety training options. Make no mistake, the Iowa Firearms Coalition encourages in the strongest possible terms that all Iowans to seek out high quality firearms training. But private citizens should be free to seek out training as they see fit, not be forced into an arbitrary set of demands established by a handful of non-carrying, non-gun owning legislators.

    Don’t lose sight of the voting record on this bill either. On February 23rd, this bill sailed through the Iowa House of Representatives 97 to 1. Republicans, Democrats, urban legislators, rural legislators, everyone but one stick in the mud in the House voted for this bill. On top of that, the lone representative who voted no on this bill didn’t even feel strongly enough about it to get up and speak in opposition. Not a single word of opposition about this bill was spoken! So what’s changed between then and now? One thing, the bill now resides in the Senate chambers, and for some reason those in power in the Senate Judiciary Committee feel the need to meddle.

    As if that meddling was not bad enough, we’d like to remind you of one final fact. Iowa’s law enforcement groups have all registered in favor of this bill as written. The Iowa Police Chiefs Association, Iowa Peace Officers Association, Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, all of these organizations representing law enforcement all throughout our state have endorsed the bill as written. The men and women who are sworn to keep us safe believe in this bill, and yet for some reason the Senate Democrats seem to think know how to protect Iowans better that Iowa’s law enforcement officers…

    Draw your own conclusions about these amendments, but make sure you know the facts. And when you hear someone telling you these amendments “strengthen these bills” make sure they know the facts as well.

    CLICK HERE to send an email to your Senator telling them to VOTE NO on these amendments!


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.