• State of Emergency Declared in Cedar Rapids

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

    (Tiffany Rushing/The Courier)

    State of Emergency 2016 Cedar Rapids

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

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

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

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

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

    What does this mean for flood victims in Cedar Rapids?

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

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

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

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

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

  • 10 years ago the gov’t went door-to-door confiscating guns – Let’s keep it from happening again.

    September 9, 2015
    Proof that warrant-less door-to-door gun confiscation does actually occur in America.

    Warrant-less gun confiscation can and does happen. Here’s proof from not that long ago.

    10 year anniversary

    It’s been a decade since Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast. The destruction that occurred was truly catastrophic. What’s worse the storm not only destroyed homes and businesses, but in the days that followed it also brought out some of the worst in our society.

    Looters. Thieves. Violent attacks.

    A near breakdown of society followed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Those that chose to wait out the storm were in many cases left to fend for themselves as law enforcement had either evacuated or were stretched so thin that they could not quickly respond to calls for help.

    Targeting gun owners

    Many of the Katrina holdouts were nothing more that law-abiding private citizens simply trying to save their life’s belongings. Both from the hurricane, but also from the dregs of society looking to loot and pillage the storm ravaged community of New Orleans.

    Yet despite this the New Orleans police administrators decided to go door-to-door targeting gun owners, confiscating their weapons at a time when they were needed most. On September 8th New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass declared “No one will be able to be armed… Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.” Thus began the city-wide warrant-less confiscation operation carried out by the New Orleans Police Department, the U.S. Army National Guard, and Deputy U.S. Marshals.

    This trampling on the Second and Fourth Amendments didn’t make many headlines, but it did get covered by ABC news. See a copy of their story embedded below.

    Deny. Deny. Deny.

    The confiscations continued for nearly two weeks. It took a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Gun Owners of America to finally stop the warrant-less door-to-door firearms confiscation.

    Even after a restraining order was filed the City of New Orleans continually denied that it ever confiscated any firearms. It took more than five months of legal proceedings to get the city to even admit that it wrongfully taken more than 1,000 privately owned firearms. Even after it admitting they took the weapons it took the City of New Orleans more than years and several lengthy rounds of legal action to return many of the firearms to their rightful owners.

    Lessons learned & work to be done

    Civil rights minded and freedom loving Louisiana legislators quickly recognized they had to act to keep this gross disregard for the Bill of Rights from happening again. In early June of 2006 HB760 was signed into Louisiana law. The measure prohibited confiscation of firearms in a state of emergency, unless the seizure is pursuant to the investigation of a crime, or if the seizure is necessary to prevent immediate harm to the officer or another individual.

    21 other states quickly passed their own versions. Unfortunately Iowa was not among them.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition is working to guarantee all Iowa’s civil rights are protected during a state of emergency. In 2015 we filed HF45. This bill would prevent the confiscation of any lawfully owned private firearms and ammunition during a state of emergency in the state of Iowa. It would go even further than the Louisiana bill by making sure gun shops and sporting goods stores that sell firearms and ammunition are not targeted by the government and forced to close while other businesses remain open. This would help ensure that during times of emergency Iowans would not only have a means to protect themselves, but also a way to re-stock if need be.

    Sadly this bill did not gain any traction during the 2015 legislative session. But expect to see it re-introduced in 2016 and every year that follows until we get this vital bill signed into law.

    We firmly believe the right to bear arms does not disappear when the weather gets rough or during any other form of disaster. In fact that’s often when the Second Amendment is needed most. If you agree with us please consider hitting the “Donate” button to support to our cause, or better yet become a member.

     

     


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

  • Stop Hurricane Katrina style confiscations — Support HF45

    February 11, 2015

     

    We’re working to keep Hurricane Katrina style gun confiscations from ever happening in Iowa. Rep. Matt Windchitl has introduced House File 45, an emergency powers act that would keep scenarios like the one seen above from playing out here in Iowa.

    Use our “Email Your Legislators” tool to tell Iowa’s lawmakers to support HF45 and other pro-Second Amendment legislation

    HF45 would prohibit the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, and other Second Amendment rights during a “disaster emergency proclamation” or “public disorder” declared by the governor, or any other state official, or any community within the State of Iowa. In essence this bill would keep Hurricane Katrina style confiscation of firearms from happening in Iowa.

    More specifically, during times of emergency it would keep government officials from: prohibiting, regulating, or curtailing the lawful use of firearms, or ammunition. They also could not suspend or revoke concealed carry permits or permits to acquire. The also could not seize or confiscate legally owned firearms or ammunition.

    Under this bill government officials could not force a gun shop to close down, or limit their operating hours, while other businesses in the area are allowed to remain open. Gun shops could be closed down only if all businesses the area are also shut down.

    If a person’s Second Amendment Rights are unlawfully violated during times of emergency under this bill that person is allowed pursue legal action to get their firearm and ammunition back. The government that unlawfully confiscated the firearm or ammunition would also be responsible for the victim’s court costs and attorney’s fees.

    Use our “Email Your Legislators” tool to tell Iowa’s lawmakers to support HF45 and other pro-Second Amendment legislation


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.