• Vote Pending on Iowa Gun Bill

    March 3, 2017

    Vote expected on HF517 (formerly HSB133)

    Now that HSB133 has advanced out of committee it has been reassigned a new bill number. HSB133 is now House File 517 (HF517).

    Leadership in the Iowa House of Representatives has done something pretty extraordinary. They’ve reached out to IFC and indicated that they’re going to do everything they can to get our bill HF517 to the floor for debate and a vote on Tuesday, March 7th.

    ACTIVATED: Send your pre-written “Pass HF517” email now

    Why is this a big deal? Well, March 7th is when IFC is hosting Second Amendment Day in the capitol.

    To put it another way, House leadership has told us they’re adjusting their schedule so our members can see HF517 voted on in person. This kind of thing never happens. Politicians don’t operate this way. For House leadership to reach out on their own accord and tell us this says a lot how much they respect us, and that’s all because of you!

    HF517 is the biggest quote unquote “gun bill” in state history. If we get this bill passed your Second Amendment freedoms will take the biggest leap forward since 1846 when Iowa became the 29th state in union. Second Amendment Day 2017 will offer a prime opportunity to watch history in the making. The day starts with a presentation at 10 A.M. and ends once the House wraps up its vote on HF517.

    2017 Second Amendment Day
    March 7, 2017
    Iowa Capitol
    1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319

    Timeline:
    10:00 – 10:45 A.M. – Presentation and speakers  – Room 102
    10:45 – 12:00 P.M. – Lobby time
    12:00 – ??? – Potential House of Representatives vote on HSB133

    Email your House member and tell them to Vote Yes on HF517!

    Email NOW

    The time is now. With just a few days until we expect a vote on HF517 we’ve launched our first Advocacy Campaign of the 2017 legislative session. You can use this tool to send an email encouraging your House member to vote YES on HSB517. You don’t have to write anything, just fill out your information and we’ll send an email on your behalf. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

    No time to wait. They’ll be voting on our bill in a matter of days. Take action and spread the word!


  • Amendment to HSB133 Explained

    March 2, 2017

    How did the amendment change the bill?

    Use our Advocacy Campaign to send a pre-written email to your House member urging them to vote Yes on HF517 (formerly HSB133).

    After being postponed a day, and then more than four hours after they were initially scheduled to vote on HSB133, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve HSB133 with an amendment. Here’s an overview of what that amendment does (you can read the full text of HSB133 on the Iowa Legislature’s webpage):

    • The current Permit to Acquire system remains in place, but it is now valid for 5 years instead of 1
    • Hunter Safety Course is now accepted as valid Permit to Carry training
    • Anyone possessing an SBR and/or SBS without proper BATFE paperwork will be charged with a Class D felony (just like current Iowa suppressor law)
    • Removed Permit-less Carry (explanation below)
    • Private investigators may carry on school grounds while performing work duties
    • Permits will be uniform across the state, and include “invalid when intoxicated” on them
    • Campus Carry removed
    • Preemption clarification – Gives standing to a person adversely affected by a local ordnance or policy regulating firearms (e.g. if a city makes the public library a gun free zone, a citizen could hypothetically sue)
    • Capitol Carry clarification – applies to the capitol building only and requires that a person carries concealed. i.e. no open carry in the capitol
    • Creates immunity from noise pollution lawsuits for target shooters in rural areas

    What happened to Permit-less Carry?

    The amendment to HSB133 removed permit-less carry (i.e. Constitutional Carry), the Iowa Firearms Coalition recognizes this issue is a major priority for our members, here’s the chain of events that lead to striking permit-less carry from HSB133.

    When HSB133 was initially drafted more than two months ago permit-less carry was one of the many provisions in the bill. As various legislators studied the bill and provided input it became obvious that this particular issue would be a sticking point. Several revisions of the bill were drafted, each making slight tweaks here and there all in an effort to secure enough votes to pass permit-less carry and the rest of HSB133. Eventually it appeared there was consensus on the language and the bill was introduced approximately two weeks before the first legislative funnel of 2017.

    Once the bill was introduced and out in the public our allies began getting feedback on the bill. Much of it was the same old predictable anti-gun stuff — “There will be blood in the streets,” “No one wants these laws,” “Mob violence and vigilantes will reign over Iowa,” the same, tired arguments we hear about every bill we introduce. But we did receive some very astute and legitimate feedback that indicated the HSB133 permit-less carry language (as it was introduced) would inadvertently mess with other provisions of Iowa’s weapon laws causing many problems. So, once again the House Judiciary Committee set about amending the permit-less carry provision of HSB133 while hurrying to still meet the March 3rd legislative funnel deadline.

    It’s important to note that there have been at least seven revisions to this language since it was first drafted. Each time the bill got tweaked it got a little more complex. Each time a new concern was raised and addressed the permit-less carry provision got a little more unwieldy. Eventually things got to the point that the proposed permit-less carry provision was the exact opposite of what it is supposed to be. Instead of clean and simple, it was complex and had numerous hurdles. At that point it was obvious that this portion of HSB133 had gone off the rails, and that’s why the truly pro-Second Amendment legislators pulled permit-less carry from HSB133. It had become a choice between passing an onerous permit-less carry law that had been watered down, or scrapping it and doing it the right way at the next available opportunity.

    Reminder: Second Amendment Day 2017 next Tuesday (3/7). House leadership has told us they’re trying schedule HSB133 a vote in the full House on the same day as Second Amendment Day. Join us and watch the legislature in action as we march toward the passage of a major pro-gun owner law in Iowa!

    Remember, we faced a very similar situation is 2015 while trying to legalize suppressors. Senate Democrats offered a severely compromised suppressor bill full of poor language and numerous legal pitfalls. We had members howling that we should take the deal because they wanted suppressors so badly, even if the law was full of crappy language. Much to those members chagrin, we held fast, said no to the bad suppressor bill and then came back in 2016 and forced a rock solid suppressor bill through the legislature and into Iowa’s legal code. We find ourselves in a very similar situation this year with permit-less carry. Accept a less than optimal bill right now, or bear down and do it the right way even if it takes a little while longer? When it comes to our freedom and our right to keep and bear arms, we chose to do things the right way.

    Permit-less carry is a weighty issue. For many of our members it’s a simple concept, but for others who are not liberty minded gun owners it takes some time to digest and come around. Very few things happen quickly in politics. The Iowa Firearms Coalition still has lots of allies in the legislature. But even more important than that is the fact that numerous lawmakers have been educated on permit-less carry (something many of them never spent much time considering) and they’re now that much closer to passing this law, the right way, here in Iowa.

    HSB133 still contains LOTS of pro-Second Amendment stuff. Stand Your Ground, repealing the ban on supervised youth shooting, SBRs/SBSs and more. With your help we’ll get this bill signed into law and enhance the right to keep and bear arms of Iowa’s 3+ million residents. By now you’ve probably seen or heard, our opposition is pulling out all the stops. We need your help. Come to the capitol on March 7th for Second Amendment Day 2017. Help us show that Iowans want this bill. That we’re reasonable people. That these are reasonable bills. The anti-gunners are working overtime to paint us, and HSB133 as a liability. We need you to help us show the legislature otherwise. Please join us in the capitol on March 7th!

    TL;DR – Summary:

    Permit-less carry language within HSB133 had been revised many times by the legislature. Eventually it got to the point that it became to complex and unwieldy, the exact opposite of what it should be. Due to time constraints (the first funnel), rather than pass a sub-optimal version of permit-less carry, the House Judiciary Committee decided to remove that provision of HSB133.

    HSB133 still contains a ton of good stuff and we need you in the capitol March 7th for Second Amendment Day 2017 to show the legislature they need to pass this bill.


  • HSB133 Passes Committee Vote 13-7

    March 1, 2017


    HSB133 Passes Committee Vote 13-7
    Next Stop: Full House of Representatives

    After a four-hour delay HSB133 survives the first funnel of 2017. The bill passed out of committee with an amendment. After concerns about civil immunity related to Stand Your Ground were raised Representative Matt Windchitl clarified that under this bill anyone who’s been deemed to have acted in a reasonable manner in a self-defense situation would be immune from a civil lawsuit under section 707.6 of the Iowa legal code.

    We’ll be sharing the exact text of the amendment passed this by the House Judiciary Committee as soon as it’s made available. You can see video of the House Judiciary Committee’s debate and vote on our IFC Facebook page.

    HSB133 is now eligible for debate and a vote before the full House of Representatives.

    What’s in HSB133?

    Voting AGAINST HSB133 (7):
    Mary Wolfe
    Liz Bennett
    Vicki Lensing
    Brian Meyer
    Jo Oldson
    Ras Smith
    Beth Wessel Kroeschell

    Voting FOR HSB133 (13):
    Chip Baltimore
    Jim Carlin
    Stan Gustafson
    Greg Heartsill
    Lee Hein
    Ashley Hinson
    Megan Jones
    Kevin Koester
    Andy McKean
    Zach Nunn
    Ross Paustian
    Ken Rizer
    Matt Windschitl

    DON’T FORGET!

    HSB133 is now eligible for debate and a vote before the full House of Representatives. There’s a distinct chance this bill could be brought to the floor of the House and voted on next Tuesday (3/7).

    Reminder: the Iowa Firearms Coalition is hosting Second Amendment Day 2017 next Tuesday (3/7).

    Join us for a brief program starting at 10AM in the state capitol, room 102. We’ll introduce you to some key legislators who are leading the fight to protect and enhance the Second Amendment here in Iowa. We’ll also be talking about HSB133 and other important pro-Second Amendment legislation and how you can help advance our cause. Plus, there’s a chance we might get to see HSB133 get voted on in the House of Representatives.

    Make plans to spend the day in the capitol next Tuesday fighting to protect your right to keep and bear arms!

     

    More updates to come

    Thank you for supporting the Iowa Firearms Coalition


  • House Judiciary VOTING TODAY on HSB133

    February 28, 2017

    Iowa House of Representatives – Judiciary Committee
    HSB133 Vote Scheduled for 2 P.M. TODAY
    LIVE STREAM the debate and vote on the IFC Facebook page

    IFC will alert you to the final outcome of today’s vote shortly after the meeting has wrapped up.

    What’s in HSB133?

    More updates to come
    Thank you for supporting our work!


  • Legislation Update – Week 7 – Poll: MAJORITY of Iowans Support Stand Your Ground

    February 26, 2017

    Week 7 Update
    Poll: Majority of Iowans Support Stand Your Ground
    The Des Moines Register just released their latest Iowa Poll about Stand Your Ground legislation. Here’s their findings:
    54% support Stand Your Ground
    36% oppose Stand Your Ground
    10% are unsure about Stand Your Ground
    The poll, conducted by the widely respected Selzer & Company, was taken between February 6th and 9th and has a 3.5% plus or minus margin of error.What does this mean?

    It means Iowans want Stand Your Ground and no matter how you slice it there’s no way to deny that there are more Iowans who want and support Stand Your Ground law than there are who oppose or are even unsure about this law. If this were a presidential election and a candidate won by an 18 point margin it’d be called an historic landslide victory.

    Of course, IFC members have been saying this for YEARS since we first introduced the first Stand Your Ground bill in Iowa back in 2012. This latest Iowa Poll just confirms everything we’ve been saying.

    Friends, do not let this poll go unnoticed. Spread it far and wide.

    What’s the latest on HSB133?

    Last week HSB133 passed a three person subcommittee in the Iowa House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee. It now awaits a vote in the full House Judiciary Committee. In order for HSB133 to remain viable it must pass out of the House Judiciary Committee by the end of the day this Friday, March 3rd (the first funnel date of the year).

    We have no reason to believe this will be a problem but as always, IFC will alert you whenever legislative action on HSB133 is scheduled.

    What are we up against?

    When HSB133 passed its subcommittee the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the National Rifle Association and ABATE of Iowa were the only organizations to speak out in favor of the bill. The opposition is rallying as many vocal opponents as possible to try to give the perception that Iowans don’t want HSB133 passed. If you look at who’s registering For or Against the bill you’ll soon discover that we’re pretty much all alone, which is why it’s so important that you stay engaged on this one. Here’s a break down of who’s registered as working for and against HSB133:

    Registered FOR HSB133 Registered AGAINST HSB133
    Iowa Firearms Coalition League of Women Voters of Iowa
    National Rifle Association Broadlawns Medical Center
    ABATE of Iowa Episcopal Diocese of Iowa
    Iowa Valley Community College
    Iowa State Bar Association
    American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa
    Iowa Association of Community College Trustees
    Iowa Central Community College
    Iowa Catholic Conference
    Indian Hills Community College
    Iowa Association of School Boards
    American Academy of Pediatrics – Iowa Chapter
    Board of Regents – State of Iowa
    Iowa Hospital Association
    Blank Childrens Hospital
    Iowa Annual Conference of United Methodist Churches
    Iowans for Gun Safety

    If you have a connection to any of the groups on this list please reach out to them and explain that you support HSB133 and they should too.

    Thin Blue Line Rifle Benefits Iowa COPS

    Last night Iowa COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) held their annual Black and Blue Ball fundraiser for the families of Iowa’s fallen police officers (this includes the family of IFC member and Des Moines Police Sergeant Tony Beminio). To show our support the Iowa Firearms Coalition leveraged some of our firearms industry contacts to build a truly remarkable and one-of-a-kind AR15. Our Thin Blue Line rifle featuring Trijicon optics, a SilencerCo suppressor and skeletonized F-1 Firearms receivers was the marquee raffle item at last night’s fundraiser. Statistics show that three-quarters of our nation’s law enforcement officers support Second Amendment rights much the same way we do. Iowa COPS volunteers are still tallying up the raffle sales from last night, but no matter how much this rifle raised we’re proud to continue to standby Iowa COPS.

    More updates to come
    Thank You for Continuing to Support the
    Iowa Firearms Coalition!

  • House Judiciary Members Report Flood Of Pro-HSB133 Emails

    February 24, 2017

    Dear IFC Members,

    Reports have come to me this morning that following our message to you about the successful passage of HSB133 from the subcommittee yesterday, that representatives on the House Judiciary Committee have been flooded with hundreds of emails from you urging their support on our monumental and historic gun bill.

    First, thank you so much for your eager activism and support!  The truly amazing thing about this deluge of emails you sent, is that we merely listed the names and email addresses of the representatives on the committee in your message.  You all then took it completely upon yourselves to act and make your voices heard on your own, without IFC even needing to set up an Action Alert.  So again, thank you for being such loyal and supportive members!  That’s awesome!

    I have to respectfully request now though, that we dial back the volume.  When House leadership gives you a call at 7:30 AM the next day and asks if anything can be done to stop the flooding of legislators’ inboxes, that’s a sure sign your message has been heard loud and clear!

    I know those of us who believe in freedom, civil liberties, and the Second Amendment have been beaten up and denigrated for years.  I know that now that we have a legislature friendly to our cause, that it is our sincerest wish to throw our eager and passionate support behind them and let them know where we stand.  But that’s just it: These legislators are friendly to our cause, and we want to keep it that way.

    So as a personal request, from me to you, I respectfully ask that if you were going to send an email today or in the very near future to the members of the House Judiciary Committee, to voice your support and urge the passage of HSB133, that you hold off for the time being.  The legislators got the message, they’re on our side, now it’s time to let them get to work.  You have my word that if and when the time comes to apply real pressure, that you all will be the first to know.

    Thank you all again for being so proactive.  You’re the absolute best members an organization could possibly wish for!

    Defending your Second Amendment right in Iowa,
    Barry B. Snell
    Executive Director
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

  • HSB133 Advances Out of Iowa House Subcommitee

    February 23, 2017


    HSB133 ADVANCES 2-1
    Next step: House Judiciary Committee

    House Study Bill 133 just advanced through its subcommittee hearing without amendment on a 2-1 vote with Representatives Matt Windschitl and Greg Heartsill voting Yea and Representative Mary Wolfe voting Nay.

    House Judiciary Subcommittee members for HSB133 Representatives Matt Windschitl, Greg Heartsill and Mary Wolfe

    HSB133 now heads to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill will have to pass out of the House Judiciary by March 3rd in order to avoid being killed by the first legislative funnel of the year. We’ve listed the email addresses of members of the House Judiciary Committee below. Please contact them and respectfully encourage them to advance HSB133 to a vote in the full House of Representatives.

    For those of you wondering how this process works we’ve created step-by-step guide explaining How a Bill Becomes a Law in Iowa. HSB113 has just completed step eight.

    Finally, don’t forget, we’ve got Second Amendment Day in the capitol coming up on March 7th. If all goes well HSB133 will be eligible for a vote in the House at that point and you can tell your elected officials face-to-face you want to see this bill signed into law.

    Join us on March 7th in the capitol!


  • Comprehensive Gun Bill Introduced

    February 20, 2017

    Comprehensive Gun Bill Introduced

    The Iowa House of Representatives has just introduced a major pro-gun owner bill. House Study Bill 133 (HSB133) is a comprehensive gun bill that effectively re-writes a large portion of Iowa’s firearms and use of force laws. HSB133 is a major bill (more than 41 pages long) that benefits Iowa gun owners in numerous ways. We’ve listed a general overview below.

    Full text of House Study Bill 133. HSB133 covers numerous Second Amendment issues and greatly benefits gun owners in Iowa.

     

    This bill revises nearly every portion of Iowa’s weapons law, as well as other sections of the Code dealing with criminal penalties, the justifiable use of force and even regulation of vehicles. Such an extensive effort involves legitimately complex legal considerations. This Study Bill allows time for some final fine-tuning while still meeting legislative deadlines.

     

     

    HSB133 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee and a subcommittee consisting of Representatives Matt Windschitl, Greg Heartsill and Mary Wolfe. We expect them to hold a subcommittee meeting this week, most likely Wednesday or Thursday. As always we’ll be updating you on any upcoming action.

    What’s in HSB133?

    • Legalizes SBRs and SBSs
      • These items would be treated like suppressors currently are (must meet federal NFA requirements)
    • Fixes current “Armed with Intent” language
      • Just because you’re armed doesn’t mean you have any intentions of harming anyone
      • Under current law if you charged with a crime while carrying prosecutors can add an additional “Going Armed with Intent” charge even if your alleged crime has nothing to do with the you being armed
    • Lifetime Permits
      • Uniform permits statewide (eliminating county by county permit variations)
    • Removes the current Permit to Acquire requirement
      • Brings Iowa in line with federal gun purchasing laws
      • No permit required, you just need to pass a NICS check
    • Repeals the current ban on supervised youth handgun shooting
      • Kids can shoot and learn proper gun safety under the supervision of a parent, or instructor
    • Permit Privacy
      • Prohibits the public release of any personal information of anyone who holds a Permit to Carry
    • Preemption Cleanup (724.28 re-write)
      • Prohibits any political subdivision (city, county, municipality, regents institution, etc) from creating gun free zones that violate state preemption law
      • Establishes “loser pays” so that if someone sues over the creation of a gun free zone the loser of that lawsuit must pay the winner’s court costs
    • Permit-less Carry
      • Removes the burden of obtaining a Permit to Carry in order for a citizen to exercise their right to keep and bear arms in Iowa.
    • Establishes Emergency Powers restrictions
      • Prohibits the confiscation firearms during a declared state of emergency (i.e. Hurricane Katrina gun confiscations)
    • Legalizes Stand Your Ground
      • Removes the “duty to retreat” from law-abiding citizens who find themselves in a self-defense situation
      • Establishes that as long as you have a reasonable basis for the belief that you are in danger you may defend yourself or those around
    • Increases penalties for Straw Purchasers
      • Anyone caught straw purchasing would be charged with a Class D felony
    • ATV Carry cleanup
      • Removes the requirement of a so-called “retention holster” while operating an ATV or snowmobile

     


  • State of Emergency Declared in Cedar Rapids

    September 27, 2016
    (Tiffany Rushing/The Courier via AP)

    (Tiffany Rushing/The Courier)

    State of Emergency 2016 Cedar Rapids

    Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the surrounding area are once again looking at historic flooding. The situation is bad enough that Mayor Ron Corbett has declared a state of emergency in Cedar Rapids. Homes along the flood plain are being evacuated, an 8 p.m. curfew has been put in place and “law enforcement will be challenging anyone in these areas and you will be subject to arrest.”

    In short, the situation is not looking good and the city is doing everything they can to keep things in order. Yet during these times of crisis, these states of emergency, there are elected officials in Iowa who think residents should be disarmed exactly when their right to keep and bear arms is needed most.

    Last year with the help of Representative Greg Heartsill we introduced House File 2280, the Emergency Protection Act.

    This bill would have prohibited the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, and other Second Amendment rights during a “disaster emergency proclamation” or “public disorder” declared by the governor, or any other state official, or any community within the State of Iowa. In essence this bill would have kept Hurricane Katrina style confiscation of firearms from happening in Iowa.

    We talk about this bill in the past tense because even though it easily passed the Iowa House of Representatives 67-31 with bi-partisan support, the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Steve Sodders of Marshall County refused to bring this bill to the floor for a vote. They didn’t vote no on it, they simply refused acknowledge it even existed. We’re working reshape the Iowa Senate so that good bills like this will actually get to see the light of day and get a vote. To see what we’re doing and help us make a change in the Iowa Senate visit our political action page www.IFCPAC.com

    What does this mean for flood victims in Cedar Rapids?

    Well, it means that right now if the Mayor of Cedar Rapids or the Governor of Iowa were to declare it was necessary to confiscate firearms from Cedar Rapids residents law enforcement and the National Guard could start going house to house disarming law-abiding residents stripping them of their constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, all at a time when that right is critically important.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition wants this to never happen to the people of Iowa. You should be free to have the means to defend yourself and your loved ones when times are good, but especially when times are bad. Unfortunately Senate Democrats and Steve Sodders’ Senate Judiciary Committee have blocked our efforts to protect your ability to protect yourself during times of emergency.

    Here’s a perfect example from ABC News of what we’re trying to avoid in Iowa:

    Finally, let’s be absolutely clear, law enforcement in Cedar Rapids have done a phenomenal job of keeping the peace thus far. But there’s no denying it, this flood is straining Cedar Rapids. That begs the question, what happens if things go south? What happens if there’s a levee break? What happens if mandatory evacuations are required? Police officers will no doubt have their hands full moving people out of the flood zone. But that also leaves the rest of the city vulnerable as emergency response times will no doubt get stretched out longer and longer.

    Whether it’s a breached levee, mandatory evacuations, or looting no one wants to see any of this happen. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared and able to deal with any of these scenarios. And it certainly does not mean law-abiding Iowans should ever be denied the ability and means to protect themselves in this or any other state of emergency.

  • 2016 Second Amendment Day Recap

    February 23, 2016

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

     

    The first annual IFC 2A Day at the Capitol is officially a wrap!

    Today was one heck of a day for civil rights and gun owners in Iowa. If you follow this page, no doubt you know already that we made a clean sweep of all five of our bills in the House today, each bill representing solid, positive progress for common sense gun legislation. Congratulations to all of you on our victories!

    VP Kurt Liske will be along later this evening to put something out via e-mail (he’s still driving home from Des Moines as I type this), but I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for stepping up and making some noise. As one of the guys who goes to the Capitol and talks to the legislators, I cannot express to you just how influential your collective voices are. I know every special interest group says that, but IFC has gained a very positive reputation among the legislators for being able to get the word out, not to mention turn the heat up, when necessary.

    Trust me when I say this: The Iowa Legislature knows who you and IFC are!

    This is going to end up being a long post, but it’s important that I write it and I hope you read it through to the end. This one is important because the people I’m about to thank need to know just how much they mean to me, to IFC, and to advancing the civil rights of over three million Iowans. Further, it’s important that you all know who is doing what on your behalf so hopefully someday, when you meet them at a gun show or some other IFC event or at the Capitol, you can shake their hand and say thanks too. They deserve it, and more.

    So with all that said…

    First, thanks to all of you who took time out of your day today, in the middle of the week, in the middle of February–some of you even driving across the state!–to come and talk to your legislators and witness history in the making. At no time in anyone’s memory has anything like today’s Second Amendment Day ever happened here in Iowa. Yes, lobbyists and interest groups show up at the Capitol each day, all with their different wants and needs…But nobody has ever put close to 100 people under the golden dome during a coordinated vote on that group’s bills. You folks were amazing today!

    About that coordinated vote…A HUGE thank you is owed to Representatives Jake Highfill, Brian Best, Terry Baxter, and Greg Heartsill for running legislation on your behalf. All managed our bills with aplomb, and they all deserve our gratitude. Watching them speak on your bills, answer questions, and counter some of the nonsense thrown at them today was a beautiful thing to see. The Republic was alive and well today in Des Moines, and it was an honor to be present to witness it.

    Furthermore, a special thanks is owed to Speaker Pro Tem Matt Windschitl, without whose support and friendship we’d not be nearly as far as we are. We could not ask for nor have any better ally. Matt is truly the happy warrior, and we all owe him a debt that cannot be repaid.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Speaker Linda Upmeyer, Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, and Representatives Zach Nunn, Walt Rogers, Jarad Klein, John Wills and Joel Fry. I feel bad lumping these folks together because they all deserve individual thanks. But these good folks, the House majority leadership, worked closely with Matt and the bill managers to make our bills come to the floor today, on our Second Amendment Day. This may sound like a simple task to the uninitiated, but timing such things is not all that straightforward and there’s a great deal of art to it. That they pulled it off for us is beyond cool!

    Thanks to the man, the legend, Kurt Liske, our vice president. As with many things IFC, I or members of the board come up with the ideas and it ends up on Kurt’s plate to work out. Today’s Second Amendment Day was no different, and Kurt shouldered most of the load on making it happen. There’d be no 2A Day, or a lot of other things, without Kurt. There’s hardly a thing you see IFC do that doesn’t have Kurt’s fingerprints all over it. The gratitude I have for that is inexpressible.

    And did you see our new shirts and stickers? Shout-out to Membership Director Levi Larsen for getting those made up on what was an unrealistically short notice…But he pulled it off, with a good bit of help from our new printer, Paul Anderson at Creality Print Solutions. Look for these at the gun shows, and to go on sale soon!

    Richard Rogers, one of our board members, deserves a standing ovation for today too. I’m one of IFC’s two lobbyists, but it’s Richard out there literally doing the daily grind. A senator needs to have a meeting on short notice? Call Richard. Representative So-and-So is waffling on a bill? Call Richard. Richard is the go-to guy when our bills need that push, and as the votes from today prove, he’s damn fine at his job. I can’t think of a single IFC member who spends all day each day, Monday through Thursday, doing the good work for us…But Richard does. How amazing is that?

    Nathan Gibson and his daughters Natalie and Meredith are rock stars. Nathan has taken up the mantle of our tech director, but you may know him as the guy who was kicked off the range with his girls because they were too young to be shooting pistols. Through their misfortune, we discovered the long since forgotten law restricting children from learning gun safety. But turning aggravation into political possibility, Nathan decided to make their problem a teaching moment for his kids, and together he, Meredith and Natalie did the American thing and fought back. They serve as daily inspiration as to why we fight this fight, and together we’re doing right by the hundreds of thousands of parents affected by this ridiculous law.

    He’d be upset with me mentioning this, but that’s just too bad. You see, few people have such a positive influence on IFC and gun rights in Iowa as Michael Ware does. Today’s 2A Day is something Michael has dreamed of for years, though until the last year or so we lacked the resources to pull it off. And throughout all the planning and arranging, Michael was there in the background providing all the support anyone needed. That pretty much describes Michael: always there, always in the background, always helping move the ball just a little bit closer to the end zone.

    Along that same vein, our fearless leader of the board of directors, John Reed, deserves more thanks than its possible to give. John stepped down as an IFC lobbyist after last year and has tried to enjoy retirement a little more these days. However even though he had less of a hand in today’s 2A Day, today was only as successful as it was due to all the previous years work John has done, laying the tracks for our path to success. We simply wouldn’t be where we are today without John Reed.

    Thanks are also owed to our friends Knox and Michael Williams, the lobbyists for the American Suppressor Association. These guys have flown out here, from Atlanta, Georgia and Washington D.C. respectively, each time the suppressor bill has needed a little extra tender loving care. That’s what you call dedication, and we’re lucky to have such companions on this journey.

    A hearty thank you goes to Scott Rausch of the NRA. Scott is new to the Iowa legislative scene this year, but already he’s one of the gang. He helped us bring some of the capabilities of the NRA to bear, which has not only raised awareness of our issues, but got a few more people to turn out today.

    Next, while they’re far too numerous to name, my sincerest and most heartfelt thanks go out to all the legislators who voted for our bills, Republican and Democrat alike. In the end, despite what a few individuals do, passing legislation is a numbers game and it’s the votes that matter. Your support won’t be forgotten any time soon, and we sincerely look forward to working with you again in the future.

    And, if on the odd chance any of them read this, I’d like to thank those who voted against our legislation too. I obviously disagree with your positions, and I even think some of the counter-arguments made today were, frankly, ridiculous. But all that aside, we all want what’s best for Iowans even if we disagree on how to get it done. So to that end, please know that IFC is always available to you for any information you need, any questions you may have, or yes, even if you just want to go out shooting sometime and see what all the fuss is about. My offer here is genuine: we are honored to serve if called.

    Lastly, on a somewhat selfish note, I’d like to thank my wife Deb. Deb recently volunteered to be IFC secretary and work with me to get our years and years and years worth of paperwork in order, keep minutes of our meetings, and all that other boring and unexciting grunt work that unfortunately needs to be done. And perhaps more importantly, she puts up with me spending time doing IFC stuff instead of spending that time with her. Nothing I do, what little of it there is compared to all these aforementioned folks, would be possible without her support and friendship.

    Thanks to all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for all you do. Today, the first annual IFC Second Amendment Day at the Capitol, was a complete success–and it was all because of you!

    Sincerely,
    Barry Snell
    IFC President

     


    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.