• 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


  • Anti-Gunners Overrun Legislative Forum

    January 29, 2017

    Hundreds of gun control advocates filled Sen. Brad Zaun’s legislative forum on Saturday, January 29th, 2017.   Courtesy: KCCI

    Did you make time to meet with your legislator this weekend? Anti-gunners did.

    More than 300 of them packed Senator Brad Zaun’s forum on Saturday. They berated and belittled him for an hour and forty-five minutes straight. Things got so bad that Zaun was given a police escort out of his legislative forum.

    A fair number of those gun control advocates came from outside of Zaun’s district and quite frankly had no business being there. BUT, the point remains, our opposition is energized and they’re making their voices heard in the most effective way possible, face-to-face with Iowa lawmakers.

    Dates, Times, Locations of All 2017 Legislative Forums in Iowa

    They’re spreading lies like “it’ll soon be easier to get a machine gun than a pap smear in Iowa.” We gun owners know this is patently false (purchasing a machine gun requires multiple federal background checks and special taxes), but guess which message was getting through unchecked at legislator meetings throughout the state last weekend. Without you there to counter these anti-gunner lies who’s going to do it?

    The truth is, there’s more of us than there is of them. We know it. They know it. The 2016 elections proved it. But that’s not stopping them from doing what they do best: making a scene and drawing attention to themselves. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. We say it all the time – the most effective way to help get laws passed is to meet your legislators face-to-face and talk about pro-Second Amendment bills. We don’t say that because it feels good, we say it because it works.

    Misguided gun control activists telling lie after lie, painting a picture that anyone that opposes them is evil, it’s happening right now. Yet in a matter of seconds a single voice – your voice – standing firm on fact and principle can wipe away all the lies and half-truths spread by anti-gunners, but that’s impossible if you’re not there. THIS is exactly why it is so important to get out and meet face-to-face with your elected officials. Right now your voice, the voice of gun owners in Iowa, isn’t being heard, and if you’re not there to provide a sense of balance, some truth to their lies, don’t be surprised when pro-gun legislation starts to die. Get out there!

    Dates, Times, Locations of All 2017 Legislative Forums in Iowa


  • No Gun Control Needed – New Police Tactic Cuts Gun Related Crime in Cedar Rapids

    January 27, 2017

    Overall crime is on the rise in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but so-called “gun violence” has dropped significantly in the last year. The success is not the result of new gun control laws, but rather a new policing strategy that focuses attention on individuals who are most likely to commit crimes with a gun.

    In 2016 the number of shots fired calls in Cedar Rapids dropped by 14% compared to the year before. The number of homicides also dropped. This is the first time in three years that the number of shots fired calls has decreased. After 2015 there were numerous calls for strict gun control measures, yet the Cedar Rapids Police Department took a different approach, one that did not involve restricting the rights of non-violent, law-abiding Cedar Rapids residents.

    Cedar Rapids’ Police Chief Wayne Jerman credits the drop in gun crime to the creation  of a new community based approach to gun violence. In 2016 CRPD created a five person Police Community Action Team (PCAT). Officers assigned to the PCAT are sent out into the community to build relationships, identify problem areas and key players in gun crimes and gather intelligence used to target those committing crimes with a gun. One year later the results are in, this tightly focused community based approach works. Gun crime is down at a time when overall crime has been on the rise in Cedar Rapids.

    According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette the number of all criminal offenses in Cedar Rapids increased from 15,045 in 2015 to 15,469 in 2016 – an increase of nearly four percent. More specifically, other types of crime not directly related to firearms stayed consistent or increased in 2016. Yet the number of gun related crimes dropped significantly. The Gazette reports the following trends for non-firearms crimes:

    Burglary: 1,005 reported offenses, up from 999 in 2015.
    Assault: 1,319 reported, an increase from 1,272.
    Vandalism: 1,116 reported, compared with 1110 in 2015.
    Drug violations: 1,529 reported, an increase from 1,373.
    Thefts: 3,811 reported in both 2016 and 2015

    The results of Cedar Rapids’ community based approach to targeting gun crimes mimics what other communities around the country have found. When properly staffed and funded, intelligence based, community policing that focuses on the bad actors reduces gun crime in a big way.

    This style of policing and community outreach gained national attention in Boston in the mid-ninety’s after it led to a 63% decrease in youth homicides. Labeled “Operation Ceasefire” in Boston, this approach to gun violence was dubbed the “Boston Miracle” after logging so much success. Even more encouraging, the results have been replicated in numerous other communities. Stockton, California saw a 42% reduction in monthly homicides by gun. Indianapolis, Indiana reduced the number of monthly gun homicides in their city by 34%, and assaults involving a gun dropped by 44% in Lowell, Massachusetts after they implemented their own version of Operation Ceasefire. The program has been named by the US Department of Justice as one of only five crime reduction programs that’s proven effective. Now Cedar Rapids, Iowa appears to have discovered what so many other communities have learned, tightly focused community based policing that focuses on those most likely to commit gun violence works.

    Gun owners and civil rights advocates alike should applaud and encourage this approach to solving the “gun violence” problem in their community. Solid, repeatable gains can be made in reducing crimes associated with firearms while still respecting and not infringing on the rights of non-violent, law-abiding citizens.

    In short, reductions in so-called gun violence can be achieved without infringing on the right to keep and bear arms of vast swaths of non-violent Americans.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition lauds the Cedar Rapids Police Department’s PCAT members and the city’s new approach to community based policing. We hope to see continued reductions in firearms related offenses and hope that other communities in Iowa and throughout the country recognize the impact this style of policing can have.


  • IFC Update – Week 1 – Monumental Start to 2017

    January 15, 2017


    Monumental Start to 2017

    IFC on Offense

    Week one of the 2017 legislative session is off to a phenomenal start. On day one our friends in the Iowa Senate introduced Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2), a bill to write your right to keep and bear arms into the Iowa Constitution. Our long-time friends in the Iowa House of Representatives are expected to do the same. The new majority leaders in the Iowa Senate have proclaimed they’re ready to ‘kick the door in’ and introducing our Constitutional Amendment bill on day one is a good sign. Even more exciting, SJR2 has 29 co-sponsors!

    We expect a subcommittee hearing on SJR2 to take place next week. At this time we don’t expect any issue with this hearing.

    SJR2 is without a doubt the most important piece of pro-gun owner legislation that will be introduced this session. Without this bill all other gun laws and gun bills (Stand Your Ground, Shall Issue, and everything we’ve worked for) in Iowa can easily be wiped out by activist judges on the Iowa Supreme Court or a runaway Iowa legislature. Here’s more detail on why SJR2 trumps all other pro-gun owner bills.

    More good news, the first week of the session also brought the introduction of Stand Your Ground, and Permit Privacy bills. Don’t be surprised if you see multiple bills covering the same general topic (Stand Your Ground for instance). IFC will be closely monitoring every one of these bills and will be updating you on which versions are best, which are gaining traction and which bills have the best chance at passage.

    Reminder: there are several more IFC backed bills that haven’t been introduced yet. We have our 2017 IFC Priorities list posted on the website. The list is long, it is thorough and we’re certain you’ll like what you see.

    Second Amendment Day in the Capitol

    March 7th, 2017

    Join IFC and gun owners from around the state in the Iowa Capitol on Tuesday, March 7th. Meet with IFC leaders, tour the capitol, and most importantly take your support for Second Amendment issues directly to Iowa lawmakers. Nothing is more effective than talking to a legislator face-to-face and there’s no better place to do it than right where they work.

    Mark your calendars, make your plans, tell your friends and tell your legislators to make sure they’re squared away on our bills because IFC will be in the capitol on March 7th.

    St. Jude Children’s Hospital

    When was the last you saw Mom’s Demand Action, or Everytown for Gun Safety do something like this?

    IFC is stepping up again this year to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. We’re asking for donations, either financial or in the form of firearms, ammunition or other related materials. All material items will lumped together in lots and raffled off. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s where they treat children with cancer and help find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

    Last year we raised more than $5,000 for St. Jude’s. This year we’d like to give even more to this great cause. A box of ammo, a firearm, magazines, or just about anything at all will be gladly accepted and appreciated. All we ask is that it’s in good working order if it’s a weapon or firearm. To donate visit www.IowaFC.org/StJude

    Finally, your laugh of the day…

    …compliments of Everytown for Gun Safety who just proved how little they know about Iowa.

    
    

  • IFC Backed Bill to Add Second Amendment to Iowa Constitution Introduced

    January 10, 2017

    Twenty-nine lawmakers in the Iowa Senate wasted no time introducing the most important pro-gun owner bill of 2017. Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2) was introduced on the opening day of Iowa’s 2017 legislative session. This bill would add the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) to the Iowa Constitution. This bill is critical because Iowa is one of only six states in the entire country whose constitution does not include a RKBA clause.

    Other gun owners will try to convince you there’s more important gun legislation to work on but the fact is without a RKBA provision in the state constitution every single pro-gun law in Iowa is in danger of being wiped out by judicial activism or a runaway legislature. Stand Your Ground, Constitutional Carry, your Permit to Carry – all pro-gun owner legislation requires that citizens have a guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. Right now you, the People of Iowa, are living without this critical protection.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition wholeheartedly endorses SJR2 and encourages ALL Iowa lawmakers to pass this bill as quickly as possible. Our members routinely hear legislators on both sides of the aisle talk about how they “respect the Second Amendment,” now these lawmakers have a perfect opportunity to put their money where their mouth is by adding RKBA language to the Iowa Constitution.

    Finally, make no mistake, the Iowa Firearms Coalition will be working to pass additional pro-gun owner legislation this session. Here’s an in-depth preview of our agenda for 2017 – SNEAK PEAK: Stand Your Ground, Constitutional Carry, Bowhunter Carry and much more are all on the list.

    IFC and our members are primed to make history in the weeks and months to come. If you respect the Second Amendment, if you want to see your Right to Keep and Bear Arms written into the Iowa Constitution, if you believe freedom is worth fighting for then join us. Become an IFC member and help us make history. Freedom starts here.

     

  • 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

  • Random Stabbing Attacks Reported in Cedar Falls, IA

    October 18, 2016
    adam-jacobsen-wcf-courier

    Image courtesy WCF Courier

     

    Two people in Cedar Falls are in the hospital after being randomly stabbed while in the University Avenue Studios apartments.

    Police were dispatched to the apartment complex at 4:35 p.m. on Monday, October 17th. Once on the scene they found two victims, in separate units, each with multiple stab wounds. Officers believe the victims were chosen at random.

    adam-jacobsenA 47-year-old female victim was taken to the hospital with multiple serious injuries.

    A 62-year-old male victim was taken to the hospital with multiple potentially life threatening injuries.

    Both victims are recovering.

    Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the apparent random stabbings. Right now 28-year-old Adam Jacobsen has been taken into custody. Jacobsen appears to also live in the University Avenue Studios apartment complex.

    adam-jacobsen-fbConcerns have been raised after citizens reported alarming posts on Jacobsen’s Facebook page. Posts from earlier this year have the 28-year-old claiming to be “…craving murder.” In another post Jacobsen claimed “Ive killed people in real and never have or will get caught.” Investigators with the Cedar Falls Police Department say they are aware of these posts and they are part of their ongoing investigation.

    This incident proves once again that violent human beings often defy logic and sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Being able to defend yourself and your loved ones is each resident’s responsibility. The police cannot be everywhere at once and when trouble comes calling you need to be prepared and able to defend yourself and your loved ones.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition will continue to monitor this story and share more details as they develop.


    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. 

  • IFC’s August Update

    August 7, 2016

    email_banner

    August Update
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

    Iowans-

    There’s less than a week until the start of the 2016 Iowa State Fair. This major event draws more than a million people to the East side of Des Moines. With approximately 100,000 people passing through their gates each day and relatively tiny number of armed security personnel the Iowa State Fair is also Iowa’s largest gun free zone, making it an area ripe for crime and victimization.

    Last week a panel of Iowa lawmakers reviewed the Iowa State Fair’s gun free zone policy, but decided to take no action to overturn the ban. Speaker after speaker testified against your right to defend yourself and to protect your loved ones. The Iowa Firearms Coalition was the only pro-Second Amendment organization to testify in favor of repealing the Iowa State Fair’s ban on the lawful carry of firearms. Our testimony is on the website, and so is a perfect example of why you should be able to carry at the Iowa State Fair.

    IOWA STATE FAIR MOB VIOLENCE
    BEAT WHITEY NIGHT
    3 OFFICERS INJURED

    Iowa State Fair mob violence

    The Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee may have decided against taking any action but that does not mean the issue of State Fair Carry is dead. We expect to see this brought up during the 2017 legislative session. In all honesty though, unless we can flip the Iowa Senate repealing the Iowa State Fair gun ban will be tough. Not impossible, but tough. As will passing laws like Stand Your Ground, Constitutional Carry, or repealing Iowa’s ban on supervised youth handgun shooting. That’s why it’s imperative that you get involved this election cycle and do more than vote.

    gronstalled slider - voter voice

    We’re working extremely hard to flip the Senate, but we need your help. Our campaign and election division, IFC-PAC, is mobilizing Iowans around the state to end the Gronstalling in the Iowa Senate and pave the way for the a legislature that is committed to protecting and enhancing the Second Amendment. When you’re ready to go to work for the Second Amendment sign-up to volunteer with IFC-PAC or make a donation to help us flip the Iowa Senate!

    img_3541
    Finally, we’re very excited to announce that Jack of West Chester was the winner of our July AR15 Upgrade Giveaway. Jack won an 13” Geissele Automatics rail and ALG Defense ACT trigger for his AR15. This month we’ve partnered with Vortex Optics to giveaway their newest red-dot optic the SPARC AR. There are multiple ways to enter, and you can gain bonus entries for referring a friend. We’ll be giving away the Vortex SPARC AR at the end of this month, but every week we’re selecting a random winner and mailing them small prize from our IFC swag bag.

    Click HERE to enter.

    More updates to come. Thank you for continuing to support the Iowa Firearms Coalition!


    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. 

     

  • 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. 

  • 2016 Machine Gun Shoot

    May 12, 2016

    Join the Iowa Firearms Coalition for a weekend of food, guns, and great speakers.

    We’ve partnered with SureShot Range, Jerry’s Machine Guns, Pearson Guns, and Tactical Creations for a rare event, a public machine gun shoot in Iowa.

    Visitors will have their choice of more than 100 different machine guns to try on a controlled, professionally run range.

    June 10th-12th

    Rain or shine

    1777 55th St.,
    Mt. Auburn, IA

    $15 admission to get in (14 & under – free), belts and magazines of ammo for test firing start at just $15 each. This is a cash only event.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition will have a number of pro-Second Amendment guest speakers on hand, as well as a side shoot to raise funds for IFC-PAC. All money raised for IFC-PAC will be put to use getting pro-gun owner candidates elected to the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives.

    Food vendors will also be on site.


    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.