• Iowa Democratic Party Slams Gun Rights in 2018 Platform, Parkland Students Coming to Iowa, & DNR Update

    June 19, 2018

    Iowa Democratic Party Approves 2018 Platform

    Fred Hubbell just officially took the reins of the Iowa Democratic Party, and we just got a first look at their official gun-control agenda for the 2018 Election. The Iowa Democratic Party leaders met in Des Moines this past weekend for their conventions to officially nominate their candidates and to finalize their party platform. We’ve been asking specific ‘Gun Sense’ candidates to clarify their gun positions in recent weeks to let voters know precisely what it is that they intend to do if they take control in Des Moines. The response? Crickets.

    Fred Hubbell’s official platform did, however, offer us some insight as to their aggressive gun control agenda with the 2018 Iowa Democratic Committee State Platform.
    The platform opens with a promising and surprising line that suggests a good defense of individual liberty is going to follow.

    “We strive to secure, defend, and preserve basic constitutional and civil rights.”

    Unfortunately for Iowans, this was just an attempt at comedic irony as they followed it up with the following list of “Gun Safety Principles.”

    We didn’t expect anything this extreme. Updating the Second Amendment to say what exactly? They officially want to go backward on carry permits, suppressors, and the failed Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. What does this look like for you?

    After you give up your rifles, your magazines, your suppressors, your carry permit, and your dignity… then you may purchase a gun that is approved by Fred Hubbell AFTER you complete the requisite amount of proficiency and safety training, provide proof of firearm insurance, pay for a super thorough new background check system, and wait for the required amount of time that Fred Hubbell deems necessary. If you wish to carry that gun, you can plead your case with your county Sheriff to demonstrate just cause so that you may actually exercise your Second Amendment rights and then should you be selected to do so (So Sorry Johnson, Polk, Scott, Linn, Black-Hawk, and a few other counties!) it is at that time you may carry your Fred Hubbell approved gun in Fred Hubbell approved places. But be careful! Take that gun into an unauthorized area or fail to report that missing gun as stolen and you will now be a criminal without the right to access a firearm and will have no rights under the redefined and newly improved Second Amendment.

    Does this sound like the Iowa you want to live in? Sounds like California to us…

    Do we think all Democrats believe this? Absolutely not. To be clear, Four Iowa Senate Democrats have been reliable pro-gun votes:

    • Sen. Chaz Allen
    • Sen. Rich Taylor
    • Sen. Tod Bowman
    • Sen. Wally Horn

    These men prove that supporting our fundamental rights doesn’t have to be a partisan issue. We know that a majority of the people in the state don’t believe this nonsense. We would even wager that the majority of the people who identify as Democrats in Iowa wouldn’t support most of this mess. So why are the leaders in the Iowa Democratic Party putting this stuff in their platform? We suggest asking the leadership why it is that they have taken such an extreme position and made it the official position of their political party.


    Parkland Students Bring ‘March For Our Lives’ to Iowa

    Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., will be in Cedar Rapids and Linn-Mar High School in Marion on Thursday for two March for Our Lives events. They also just announced an event in Sioux City to rally against Rep. Steve King.  These new gun control celebrities have been financed by Hollywood stars like George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Spielberg, and significant businesses like Lyft and Salesforce.com to take their gun control message across the country to swing districts to push an extreme agenda against people like us.

    Here is what the ‘March For Our Lives’ organization is advocating:

    • Semi-Automatic Rifle Ban
    • Private Transfer Ban
    • Federally funded gun violence research
    • High Capacity Magazine Ban
    • Safe storage requirements
    • Criminalize untimely reporting of firearm theft
    • Increased funding and size of the ATF

    Why Marion? 
    Gun-control lobbyists put extra focus on this area in the last election when they sent out flyers bashing former Rep. Ken Rizer to try and turn the election for Molly Donahue. Northern Linn County has three swing House districts that were targeted in 2016 and are again a target for every interested organization in 2018. Rep. Zumbach, Rep. Hinson, and Randy Ray are all Pro-Second Amendment candidates in that area who will need our help winning in 2018. This particular area is getting a lot of focus, and this ‘Town-Hall’ is an effort to sign people up to vote against them. Also, Linn-Mar has a student who wants to follow in the footprints of David Hogg and will be using the school to host his second gun-control event of the year. This is the same student who was called out by Iowa Congressman Rod Blum in a tweet a month ago.

    Why Sioux City?
    Rep. Steve King and the Parkland teens have sparred on social media after Rep. King criticized the Cuban jacket worn by Emma Gonzalez. The gun-control teenagers have promised to vote King out of office and are making this appearance to rally votes against him. King is being challenged by a ‘Gun-Sense’ candidate named J.D. Scholten in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

    Many people in our organization have messaged IFC to inform us that they will attend the ‘Town-Hall.’ You can RSVP on the March For Our Lives website. We suggest selecting the box on the RSVP form that will not get you email updates from them in the future. There is no harm in filling out an RSVP to this event, even if you are uncertain if you will be able to attend. The Town-Hall is going to be held on Thursday, June 21st at 7 PM in the Linn-Mar High School Gym. As a reminder, it is a public school and security will be present with metal detectors.


     

    DNR Update

    Thank you to all of you who participated in our advocacy campaign to the Iowa DNR and those who showed up at the meetings to push for changes that benefit all Iowans in the state hunting regulations. This process is not yet over, in fact, we are still working on this daily by interacting with legislators and officials at the DNR and NRC to tweak the rules to the best possible result for hunters in Iowa. We are still hammering out the final details on some aspects of the rules and expect the changes to be finalized by mid-July. We will keep you posted when the final product has been reached.

  • Iowa Supreme Court Admits Unconstitutional Behavior & Commits to Continued Judicial Overreach

    December 21, 2017

    There’s cause for alarm on the bench of the Iowa Supreme Court. Chief Justice Mark Cady and his fellow justices have doubled down on their baseless ban on the lawful carry of firearms in courthouses statewide. The complete disregard of separation of powers by a rogue justice should be cause for concern for all Iowans, whether you feel strongly about your Second Amendment freedoms or not.

    For context let’s review the chain of events that led to our current situation:

    January through April 2017
    The Iowa Firearms Coalitions lead the grassroots effort to pass House File 517 the largest pro-Second Amendment bill in Iowa history. HF517 includes preemption enhancements allowing citizens to sue local governments who violate section 724.28 of Iowa’s weapons law. The preemption portion of HF517 proposes that if a political subdivision — county, city, township, etc., — wrongly preempts state firearm law by passing local weapons bans citizens can sue the political subdivision in question for violating 724.28 and have the weapons ban removed.

    March 14, 2017
    David Boyd, Molly Kottmeyer, and Sydney Kronkrow, all state paid lobbyists working on behalf of the Iowa Supreme Court register against HF517 and begin working to try to stop its passage.

    April 13, 2017
    Governor Terry Branstad signs House File 517 into law. Included in the bill is the update to 724.28 Iowa’s weapons preemption law. This is a major victory for Iowans as citizens now have the ability to effectively challenge and override anti-Second Amendment local governments. Lobbyists for the Iowa Supreme Court have failed their attempt to stop HF517 from being enacted.

    June 19, 2017 – 11 days before HF517 takes effect
    Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court issues a memo (available here) declaring that every courthouse, including common areas and standard business areas, are now a gun free zones. This is a critical sticking point as this overreaching memo includes the non-court related areas where Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court have no jurisdiction.

    IFC’s initial statement on Mark Cady’s unconstitutional courthouse weapons ban, released less than 24 hours after it was announced.

    June 20, 2017
    The Iowa Firearms Coalition publicly calls out the Chief Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court for overstepping the court’s constitutional authority. Their June 19th memo wrongly implied the Iowa Supreme Court could write law for areas of the courthouses they have no jurisdiction over, i.e.; all public, non-court related areas of a courthouse. The Iowa Firearms Coalition points out that if it’s not a courtroom, judge’s chamber or jury room the courts have no constitutional basis to dictate what happens there. These areas, such as the county auditor’s office, recorder’s office and so on, are controlled by the local government, not the courts and therefore fall under Iowa’s weapons preemption law.

    July 1, 2017
    HF517 takes effect in its entirety, yet courthouses across the state continue to unlawfully ban qualified, law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms in their facilities. They continue to do so under the misguidance of Chief Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court.

    July through December 2017
    IFC lobbyists and legislative allies work on getting the Iowa Supreme Court to acknowledge they overstepped their constitutional authority and rescind and clarify their June 19th memo.

    December 19, 2017
    Chief Justice Cady issues another memo (available here) regarding courthouse security. Instead of rescinding the June 19th memo Cady doubles down by declaring the Iowa Supreme Court will continue with their unconstitutional courthouse weapons ban. The only exception will be if county supervisors from individual counties take the unlikely step of coming to the Iowa Supreme Court and requesting to have the weapons ban rescinded in public, non-court controlled areas of their specific courthouse.

    In summary:
    The Iowa Supreme Court does have jurisdiction over court areas such as courtrooms, judge’s chambers, jury deliberation areas and the like. However, the Iowa Supreme Court overstepped its authority on June 19th by declaring entire courthouses, including those non-court areas, as weapons-free zones. Something they have zero power to do. The Iowa Firearms Coalition has pointed this out, both publicly and privately. Yet when challenged Cady and his Supreme Court colleagues double down, issuing a new supervisory order saying effectively saying “We’re going to keep the baseless law we wrote (without any constitutional authority to do so). If you don’t like our edict, you may have your county supervisors come ask us to repeal it in your county only. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to (wrongfully) operate as if we have jurisdiction over non-court areas in courthouses throughout the rest of the state.”

    Why Should I Support Guns in a Courthouse?!?

    There’s no doubt that firearms can make some people uncomfortable especially in a court setting. But don’t let your feelings about firearms, whatever they are, keep you from seeing the more significant issue at play right now. The Iowa Supreme Court’s unconstitutional courthouse weapons ban is indicative of a much bigger problem in Iowa – a Supreme Court gone rogue.

    Realistically speaking there are two possible situations at play here. The best case scenario (and I use that phrase loosely) is that the Iowa Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Mark Cady, hasn’t read or doesn’t understand the US Constitution and the separation of powers laid out within it. Judges. Do. Not. Write. Laws. It’s as simple as that. This shouldn’t be anything earth-shattering, in fact, it’s high school civics class material. Yet writing their own law is precisely what the Iowa Supreme Court has tried to do in regards to how business is conducted in areas where they have zero jurisdiction. That’s scenario number one.

    Scenario number two is more likely, though it is significantly more alarming than ignorance. The scenario being the Iowa Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Mark Cady, has willfully chosen to ignore the Constitutional boundaries placed on their office to enact their  baseless edict. Then when a spotlight is shined on their unconstitutional activity, the Iowa Supreme Court doubles down by acknowledging their actions but refusing roll back their unconstitutional dictate. Instead, they put in place an onerous process that limits any possible change an extremely narrow scope. Effectively they’ve said “Yeah, we’ve done wrong and overstepped. But we’re going to keep doing wrong and if you want us to stop you can’t come directly to us. You have to have someone else ask us to stop. Now if you do that we’ll stop, but even then we’re going to continue doing wrong in every other community in the state.”

    Over the last several months, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and our allies have asked the Iowa Supreme Court to show us specifically where they derive the authority to dictate how business is conducted in non-court areas. This point of contention has been brought up numerous times and every single time the Iowa Supreme Court is left tongue-tied. No legal doctrine grants Mark Cady and or any of his fellow Iowa Supreme Court justices the legal ability to do what they’re doing.  The Iowa Supreme Court continues to run amok because the People of Iowa allow them to. Because the legal system is confusing. Because black robes are meant to intimidate. Because the judicial branch of government is one most normal people actively avoid. But if we don’t stand up to them, if we don’t remind these justices that judges don’t write laws, that legislating from the bench is inexcusable, that judicial overreach is not only unconstitutional it is intolerable these rogue justices of the Iowa Supreme Court will only be emboldened to go further at the next available opportunity.

    So What?

    What’s happening in the Iowa Supreme Court is wrong, and it is much bigger than whether or not you can carry a firearm when you go to the county courthouse to pay your taxes. This is indicative of a Supreme Court that believes it’s perfectly OK flaunting the fundamental rule of law laid out in the Constitution of the United States. Fortunately, though there’s another date on our timeline that’s fast approaching. One that the Iowa Supreme Court fears and actively wants to avoid.

    January 8, 2018
    The Iowa legislature reconvenes. There are numerous legislators who’ve taken note of Chief Justice Mark Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court’s cavalier behavior and wanton disregard for the Constitution. These legislators are eager to remind these rogue justices that it’s the Iowa legislature, not the Iowa Supreme Court that writes legal code in our state.

    This summer Sioux County Representative Skyler Wheeler put it nicely when he said: “If the Supreme Court wants to act like legislators they need to start getting paid like legislators.” The Iowa Firearms Coalition is not going to let this insult go unchecked. We’ve already begun to put wheels in motion to place much-needed boundaries on the Iowa Supreme Court and remind them of their place in our governmental system. Expect to see much more on this matter. Please join us and help us right this wrong.

     

  • GUN OWNER ALERT – Iowa Media Scrambling to Harvest Permit Lists

    April 12, 2017

    Iowans-

    We’re getting word from pro-Second Amendment sheriffs that media outlets around the state are mounting a last-ditch effort to harvest the personal information of Permit holders in Iowa. They’re scrambling because the second Governor Terry Branstad is done signing his name on House File 517 it will be illegal for anyone other than law enforcement to collect the personal information of Iowa’s Permit to Carry and Permit to Acquire holders.

    Right now it is critical that YOU reach out to your local sheriff’s office and explain the situation. Under House File 517, Division 6 permit issuing officers “shall keep confidential personally identifiable information of holders of professional and non-professional permits to carry weapons and permits to acquire pistols or revolvers.”

    Permit Privacy is something the Iowa Firearms Coalition has been working on for years. We’ve seen Iowa media outlets like the Des Moines City View newspaper publish the names of thousands of Permit to Carry holders. We’ve also seen the dangerous repercussions of this incredibly irresponsible behavior. Iowa Firearms Coalition members in Polk County have had their homes broken into and had their firearms and nothing else stolen after their personal information was published in print and online. After being outed in the local paper an IFC member in Dubuque County was singled out and eventually fired by his anti-gun employer for having a Permit to Carry.

    Iowa’s media have lobbied and worked extremely hard to block our Permit Privacy bills, but with HF517 we’ve beaten them. Now they’re spitefully working on a last ditch effort to harvest YOUR information for their benefit. Sadly if they succeed, law-abiding Iowans will be victimized.

    Protect your personal information. Contact your local sheriff’s office and kindly explain to them that under HF517, the Omnibus Gun Bill about to be signed by the governor, Permit to Carry and Permit to Acquire holders information shall be kept confidential. This includes Freedom of Information Act requests from the media. This provision of HF517 is effective immediately. So if a sheriff releases any information after the bill is signed they will be violating state law.

    We expect the governor to sign HF517 into law before the end of the week. We’ll of course be providing an update as soon as the bill is signed. In the meantime, please contact your sheriff’s office and urge them to decline all requests for permit holder’s personal information.



     

  • Senate Vote on HF517 Expected This Week

    March 26, 2017


    Senate Vote on HF517 Expected This Week

    Iowans-

    Leadership in the Iowa Senate have pledged to bring House File 517, the Omnibus Gun Bill, to the Senate floor for debate and a vote this week. We’re expecting action sometime around mid-week, but as you can imagine nothing is ever guaranteed. We can however promise you that we’ll alert you as soon as we have a solid date and time on when a vote will take place, as well as how you can do your part to help.

    If the Iowa Senate approves HF517 with no amendments the bill goes straight to the Governor’s desk. If the Senate makes any changes or amendments the bill goes back to the House who will have to vote on whether to accept or reject the changes. Obviously we’d like to get this signed into law as quickly as possible, so we’re asking you to email the Senate Republicans and urge them to pass HF517 as it’s written and without any amendments. At the bottom of this email we’ve included a list of the Senate GOP members’ email addresses. Send them quick note respectfully urging them to pass HF517 as it’s written.

    Thank You IFC Members!
    IFC members are second to none. Because of your support we were able to legalize suppressors almost exactly year ago. To show our gratitude we’ve partnered with SilencerCo and Controlled Chaos Arms to give away a FREE SilencerCo Omega suppressor.

    This is the easiest contest ever. Everyone that’s an active IFC member is automatically entered to win. It doesn’t matter if you’re a life member, annual member, long-time member or brand new member. You don’t need to do anything, as long as you’re an active IFC member you’re automatically entered to win.

    We’ll announce the winner Saturday, April 29th, so if you’re not a member yet you’ve still got a chance to join up and win.

    Annual IFC Memberships are $35 a year. We also have IFC Life Memberships available and for a short time we’re running special on life memberships. Our normal $600 life membership rate has been temporarily reduced to $400 if you sign up online and use the Coupon Code: LIFE.

    Thank you members! You make what we do possible!

    Senate Republican Email Addresses
    jake.chapman@legis.iowa.gov, dennis.guth@legis.iowa.gov, randy.feenstra@legis.iowa.gov, jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov, bill.anderson@legis.iowa.gov, bill.dix@legis.iowa.gov, craig.johnson@legis.iowa.gov, julian.garrett@legis.iowa.gov, tim.kapucian@legis.iowa.gov, tim.kraayenbrink@legis.iowa.gov, mark.lofgren@legis.iowa.gov, mark.costello@legis.iowa.gov, mark.chelgren@legis.iowa.gov, tom.greene@legis.iowa.gov, waylon.brown@legis.iowa.gov, michael.breitbach@legis.iowa.gov, rick.bertrand@legis.iowa.gov, ken.rozenboom@legis.iowa.gov, charles.schneider@legis.iowa.gov, jason.schultz@legis.iowa.gov, mark.segebart@legis.iowa.gov, tom.shipley@legis.iowa.gov, amy.sinclair@legis.iowa.gov, roby.smith@legis.iowa.gov, jerry.behn@legis.iowa.gov, jack.whitver@legis.iowa.gov, dan.zumbach@legis.iowa.gov

    Thank you for joining
    Iowa Firearms Coalition


  • 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.


  • Mistaken Matt McCoy on Iowa Gun Law

    January 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

    Mistaken Matt McCoy on Stand Your Ground:

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

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

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

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

    Mistaken Matt McCoy on Youth Shooting in Iowa:

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

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

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

    Senator McCoy continues with this gem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     


  • IFC 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.