• KWWL & Police Break Iowa Law with “Gun Test” Story

    February 13, 2016

    Gun Test - KWWL


    The Gun Test

    KWWL, Iowa’s News Channel 7, and the Waterloo Police Department recently broke Iowa law when they knowingly allowed eight pre-school and kindergarten students access to a pistol for a story. The illegal activity was part of heavily promoted and highly edited sweeps story KWWL titled “The Gun Test” which aired the night of February 11th.

    Gun Test KWWL

    KWWL’s “hidden” gun from the Gun Test.

    The Gun Test story featured KWWL anchor Amanda Goodman and Lieutenant Aaron McClelland of the Waterloo Police Department. The two placed an unloaded pistol in a KWWL conference room next to a pile of toys. Before letting the kids in the room Lt. McClelland repeatedly told the kid’s moms the gun unloaded but that “it looks and feels, because it is, an actual weapon.” Then eight unsupervised children were ushered into the conference room to play. All the while Goodman, McClelland and the children’s parents watched from another room.

    Everything was recorded and edited heavily into a seven minute sweeps story designed to drum up ratings for KWWL. In the story the gun is placed between the arm of a couch and a cushion, right next to a pile of toys. The kids find the gun in a matter of seconds and begin to play with it. Passing it around. Pointing it at one another. The scene is designed to be dramatic, and it is. But it is also illegal under Iowa law.


    Iowa Code 724.22 subsection 5 clearly states:

    "A parent or guardian or spouse who is twenty-one years of age
     or older, of a person fourteen years of age but less than twenty-one
     may allow the person to possess a pistol or revolver or the
     ammunition therefor for any lawful purpose while under the direct
     supervision of the parent or guardian..."
    Here's a screen capture of KWWL's story The Gun Test.

    Here’s a screen capture of KWWL’s story The Gun Test.

    Goodman makes it perfectly clear early in the story that this group of children are pre-school and kindergarten aged, far from the 14-year-old minimum age required by Iowa law. This means Goodman, Lt. McClelland, and every single one of the mom’s featured in this story are committing a crime. Each is committing a serious misdemeanor punishable by up one year imprisonment and an $625 fine. If they’re caught again, they risk felony charges.

    The law that was broken in this story directly impacts lives of thousands of Iowa families who want nothing more than to be free to teach their kids to respect firearms without fear of committing a criminal act. These are families like the Gibsons of Johnston, Iowa. Some of you may remember the Gibson’s story. In April 2014 Nathan Gibson took his two young daughters to an Iowa shooting range. They were practicing with a Walther P22 pistol when a rangemaster informed them they were breaking the law and needed to leave. The Gibsons were in absolute disbelief, as far as they knew they were doing everything right. After doing some digging they discovered a little known Iowa law (724.22) that barred anyone under the age of 14 from possessing a pistol or revolver, even under direct adult supervision. Ever since, the Gibson family has been fighting to change Iowa law.

    “The reason kids are dying the parents don’t teach their kids gun safety, so a kid picks up a handgun, they don’t know what it is or what to do with it,” Meredith Gibson recently told an Iowa House Judiciary Subcommittee.

    Setup to fail

    Another view of KWWL Gun Test. Can you really call a gun "hidden" if you can plainly see it from across the room? And can you really be surprised that kids find it if you "hide" it inches away from a pile of toys?

    Another view of the KWWL Gun Test. Can you really call a gun “hidden” if you can plainly see it from across the room? And can you really be surprised that kids quickly find it if you “hide” the gun inches away from a pile of toys?

    KWWL’s Gun Test Story was billed as an “experiment.” Goodman’s intentions with this experiment may have been noble, but this test was deliberately flawed from the start and designed to maximize fear. This experiment was laid out so that these kids would quickly find the gun and let their natural curiosity take over so the news station could trump up the fear factor. Showing unsupervised kids with a gun and close up cutaways of distraught, teary eyed moms.

    Make no mistake, there was an agenda at play here. These kids were setup to fail.

    “It took just seconds. A room full of toys – a hidden gun – and curious children… it took just seconds.” Says Goodman. It took just seconds because the gun was never hidden in the first place. It was sitting there, in plain sight, only halfway stuffed into a couch cushion, so poorly hidden that it can be seen from across the room in the opening shot of the story.

    Not only was the gun not hidden, it was placed right next to a pile of toys. The only pile of toys in the entire room. The rest of the conference room was completely void of any toys. Except for the couch, which conveniently had a gun nearly touching a pile of stuffed animals, frisbees and balls. There’s no question why “it took just seconds.”

    Educated kids = safer kids

    Of the eight children in the KWWL Gun Test only six actually laid their hands on the gun. The group was a mix of kids from a variety of families. Some of the families are gun owners, some are not. However it must be noted that the two children who didn’t pick up the gun come from gun owning families whose parents had educated them about gun safety. This is encouraging, but there’s still work to be done. The Iowa Firearms Coalition is long time advocate of firearms safety. As demonstrated by KWWL’s Gun Test talking about guns and educating kids is a simple gun safety measure that clearly pays huge dividends. Unfortunately as KWWL now knows, Iowa law handicaps parents ability to remove their children’s natural curiosity.

    The Eddie Eagle program is designed to specifically teach kids what to do if they find a gun.

    The Eddie Eagle program is designed to specifically teach kids what to do if they find a gun. STOP. Don’t Touch. Run Away. Tell a Grown-up.

    The National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program addresses scenarios such as the one laid out in KWWL’s Gun Test head on. For those of you not familiar the Eddie Eagle program is specifically tailored to teach young kids what to do should they ever come across a gun. The message is simple, if you see a gun:

    1) STOP!

    2) Don’t Touch

    3) Run Away

    4) Tell A Grown-up

    Whether you’re a gun owner or not, teaching your kids this message is invaluable and the Iowa Firearms Coalition highly encourages it. Reviewing this message on a regular basis is critical. It won’t be successful if it’s just a one time thing. Teaching kids to respect firearms, and addressing their natural curiosity are two of the very best things that can be done to keep kids safe.

    Child Safety & Parental Rights Act

    KWWL, it’s great that you want to talk about gun safety. We’re in agreement, everyone, everywhere to talk to their kids about what to do if they find a gun. But please, don’t stack the deck against a group of small children for dramatic effect during a ratings period. Instead of setting them up to fail, why not set them up for success? At the very least you could have brought in an additional group of kids and prepped them using the Eddie Eagle program then aired the results of that experiment as well.

    And finally, please, before putting unsupervised kids in a room with a gun, even if it is unloaded, make sure you know the law. We all know that ignorance of the law is no excuse. That’s especially true if you’re breaking the law in front of tens of thousands of impressionable viewers.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition is leading the charge to repeal Iowa’s ban on supervised youth shooting and gun safety training. House File 2042, the Youth Safety and Parental Rights Act would give parents the freedom to educate their kids on proper gun safety at a young age. True gun safety can’t be legislated. Our kids must be educated. Removing a child’s natural curiosity and teaching them to stop, don’t touch, leave, and tell a grown up is the only way to keep them safe in every situation. “Curiosity is killing our kids” says Goodman, quite simply we want Iowa families to have every option available to remove that curiosity.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition is fighting for this repeal so people like Ms. Goodman, and Lieutenant McClelland don’t have to worry about committing a criminal act when teaching kids about gun safety. But most importantly we’re fighting for change because the safety of tens of thousands of families and children in Iowa should never be put in jeopardy because a misguided and little known law makes teaching kids to shoot a crime.

    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. 


  • Facts for the Senate on SF425

    March 20, 2015
    Iowa Police or Mom Demand Action. Who would you think knows more about fighting crime?

    When you are in danger who would you rather call? The police -OR- a mom that demands action?


    Call the Senate switchboard, leave a message for your Senator. Tell them you want to see SF425 brought to a vote in its original form! The number is 515-281-3371.


    What the anti-gunners are not telling you

    1) This bill actually increases penalties for straw purchasers and anyone that presents false information when trying to buy a gun in Iowa. Makes it a class D felony.

    2) Gives parents, instructors, and coaches the ability to teach minors proper gun safety at a young age.
    -You are currently breaking the law if you take anyone under the age of 14 shooting with a handgun.
    -Education is the key. You can’t legislate gun safety. It must be taught, and the younger we teach our kids the better.
    -You shouldn’t be committing a criminal act while teaching your kids proper gun safety.

    3) SF425 makes shooting and hunting safer in Iowa by legalizing suppressors (reduces the threat of irreparable hearing damage).
    -They are NOT silencers, despite what Hollywood would have you believe
    -Legal in 39 other states already, and regulated by the Federal gov’t/ATF
    -No recorded evidence of a suppressor being used in a crime anywhere in the US.

    4) Protects the private information of gun owners and permit to carry holders.
    -Makes it illegal to share the private information of permit holders.
    -This has happened before in Iowa and elsewhere. CityView newspaper (in Des Moines) has published the names of 5,000+ permit holders. Paper in New York published the names and addresses of permit holders — WITH AN INTERACTIVE MAP to their homes.
    -This irresponsible behavior gives criminals a treasure map to guns. And on the flip side shows everyone who’s not armed and indefensible.


    Will you stand alongside Iowa’s firearms owners and law enforcement and vote yes on SF425 in its current form?


    Addressing the misinformation spread by anti-gunners

    SF425 is a culmination of several groups coming together.

    -Iowa Police Chiefs Association
    -Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association
    -Iowa Peace Officers Association
    -Iowa Firearms Coalition
    -Several Iowa legislators
    -and more


    Dear Mr./Mrs. Senator

    Who do you trust more: Iowa law enforcement & hundreds of thousands of lawful Iowans -OR- out-of-state lobbyists?

    Ask yourself, why would Iowa police have anything to do with a bill that would make Iowan’s less safe?

    Who do your constituents expect you to trust?


    Despite what the anti-gunners say about background checks, Iowa will remain in compliance with federal gun laws.

    It’s illegal for anyone to sell or transfer a firearm to a prohibited person (felons/domestic abusers/etc.) – this will not change under SF425.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd 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 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

  • Review & Preview – Week 2 of Iowa’s Legislative Session

    January 25, 2015

    Quote of the week:
    “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.”
    -James Earl Jones

    Fellow Iowans-

    We’ve wrapped up week two of Iowa’s legislative session, and we’re beginning to see the first signs of movement on Second Amendment issues. A few bills, some good some bad, have already been introduced. This is just the beginning though, the Iowa Firearms Coalition along with the NRA have been working diligently behind the scenes on some very significant bills. They will be introduced soon, when that happens we’ll need help from each and every one of you. Stand ready Iowans!

    Week 2 recap:

    Good news first. Representative Matt Windschitl has introduced two bills that will provide important protections for our Second Amendment rights. More specific details on each of these bills can be found on our 2015 Legislative Session webpage.

    HF45 – Emergency powers
    This bill would prohibit the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, and other Second Amendment rights during a “state of emergency” or “public unrest.” In essence this bill would keep Hurricane Katrina style confiscation of firearms from happening in Iowa.
    HF59 – Preemption cleanup bill
    This bill amends Iowa Code 724.28 which says local municipalities and governing bodies cannot supersede state firearms law, and adds a means to penalize anyone that attempts to trump the state law.

    Now for the bad news. A very small contingent of anti-gun legislators have introduced a trio of bills that can best be summed up as the “Michael Bloomberg Gun Control Wishlist.” Fortunately several other key legislators have assured us the passage of these bill is highly unlikely. That’s thanks in very large part to your ongoing contact with Iowa legislators. Keep it up!

    HF70 – 10 round maximum on magazine capacity
    This bill would make it illegal to buy, sell, or trade any magazine that held over ten rounds of ammunition. Under this bill anyone caught transferring magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds would be subject to a fine of up to $6,250.HF76 – Barring transfer of all semi-automatic firearms
    This bill would make it a felony for anyone to buy, sell, trade or transfer a semi-automatic firearm in Iowa. Punishment would include up to 5 years confinement and up to a $7,500 fine for first time offenders. Repeat offenders would face up to 10 years confinement and a $10,000 fine.HF77 – Universal background checks
    Under this bill anyone selling or transferring a firearm must go through an FFL who is mandated to run a NICS background check, regardless of the relationship of the buyer and seller. Punishment would include up to 2 years confinement and a fine of up $6,250.

    What you need to know:

    As we mentioned, the Bloomberg Gun Control Wishlist stands very little chance of gaining any traction. Regardless of that fact we’ll be keeping an extremely close eye on their status and update you as needed.

    More importantly, there’s a pair of pro-Second Amendment bills that have already been introduced but more are coming. Once they’ve all been introduced and assigned to a legislative committee we’ll put out the word on who you need to contact in order to help ensure their passage.

    These bills will be very ambitious and will take a serious amount of work. We’re fully committed to doing our part, but when the time is right we will need you to back us up with a flood of emails, phone calls, and conversations with Iowa’s lawmakers.

    What you can do right now:

    Fighting for your Second Amendment rights in Iowa,
    Sheena Green
    IFC Communications Director
    NRA Member

    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting 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.