• 2-28-2020 Update from the Capitol

    February 28, 2020

    Friends of IFC – HF2502 passes the House 52-44!

     

    Rep Windschitl’s FB post just before HF2502 debate!

    I noticed the HF2502 vote yesterday was 52-44 on party lines.  I found that equally troubling and disappointing.  Apparently the House Democrats weren’t interested in your civil liberties yesterday.  I’ll admit to you, it can be hard to work with folks who think of you as a law breaker waiting to happen.  It always bothers me that the default position is often, “I can’t trust you, so I’m taking steps,” quickly followed by, “There needs to be compromise as we blend safety with gun rights.”  Sorry people.  There is no such thing as ‘gun rights’ in this world.  There are basic human rights – civil rights if you will.  They are not to be marginalized or compromised upon.  I don’t know why more Democrats don’t support their constituent’s desire to have the personal choice of self defense left to them.  We used to see quite a few bills with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Shall Issue was passed just 10 years ago with a Democrat majority House and Senate and signed into law by a Democrat Governor!  I hope the mindset changes within those who have come to think so little of our liberties.  I really do.  We only back those candidates for office that will protect and embrace the Second Amendment.

    Our current Preemption code can be found in 724.28.  Iowans continue to be bamboozled by local authorities banning self protection under the guise of silly stickers and “Gun Free Zones” as it were.  I wish those magical stickers actually did what the people slathering them all over courthouses, city halls, parks, and public property said they did.  If magical stickers actually accomplished a task, I know a lot of Dads who would instantly place a “No Boys” sticker on their daughters, me included.  …But, the hard core truth is, they’re a false sense of security and wildly irresponsible.  Besides, your lives are every bit as valuable when buying your annual ATV tag at the courthouse as they are when you’re home with your family.  Anyone who says otherwise has a flawed view of the sanctity of human life.

    The vital range protection portion of this bill is pretty straight forward.  However, there are some questions about the Preemption portion of this legislation.  Below is a summary our Chief Lobbyist and Board Member, Richard Rogers, prepared for us to help explain the bill’s contents.  Keep in mind Preemption is in essence, getting ahead of a potential problem by definition.  In this case Preemption disallows a political subdivision (counties, cities, townships) from placing a more restrictive law onto Iowans than exists on the State of Iowa level.

    Here is the summation Richard composed:

    Iowa has long preempted the regulation of firearms to the state. Iowa Code 724.28 has been in effect since April 5, 1990.

    The new “shall issue” system for issuing Permits to Carry Weapons became effective on January 1, 2011. 7242.7(1) states that those permits “…shall be valid throughout the state except where the possession or carrying of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.

    In 2017, the General Assembly amended 724.28 to strengthen the prohibition on local regulation of firearms and to ensure that any Iowans who might be adversely affected by local regulations or policies erected in violation of 724.28 would be able to sue for declaratory and injunctive relief for damages.

    Whether taken alone or in combination, these statutes clearly show the intent of the General Assembly to reserve to itself the exclusive authority to limit the issuance and scope of permits to carry weapons.

    Nevertheless, some local governments in Iowa persist in attempting to regulate the otherwise lawful carrying of firearms in direct violation of 724.28. Some examples:

    • Approximately two years ago, the City of Urbandale considered banning firearms in all City owned buildings that were within 1,000’ of a school. After much discussion and education behind the scenes, they were eventually dissuaded from the attempt.
    • The West Des Moines Library has adopted a Library Code of Conduct with nearly thirty rules, one of which bans firearms from the property. The City of West Des Moines has adopted that Code of Conduct as a City Ordinance. Violations of the ordinance are punishable by thirty days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. As it pertains to firearms, this ordinance is VOID under 724.28, but there it is – on the books.
    • Last summer, the City of Des Moines considered banning ammunition magazines with a capacity greater than ten rounds. The proponents claimed to believe that magazines are not integral parts of a firearm, but rather are accessories and somehow not included in the protections provided by 724.28. Legislators and citizens alike worked to convince them otherwise and the proposal was dropped.However, had Des Moines tried to regulate firearm suppressors, optical or laser sights, or other firearm accessories, they might have found a legal avenue to do so. Thus, the necessity of this measure to further reform and strengthen 724.28.

    Preemption Reform

    • Iowa issues Permits to Carry Weapons, not “Firearms”. This revision to Iowa Code 724.28 recognizes that and prevents the erection of an unworkable patchwork of local restrictions on any weapons or accessories. This maintains a logical and understandable statewide standard.
     

    This bill (HF2502, formerly HSB615) allows political subdivisions of the state that have a demonstrable need for security screening at certain venues to be exempted from the preemption provisions of Code 724.28 at certain times and places, IF they provide actual security screening and armed security personnel.  Simply posting “No Guns” signs is actually counterproductive and is insufficient to meet this test.

    Here is my summation:

    Richard is a talented and skilled orator.  He can research and scour through code like few I’ve ever witnessed.  His summation above should help anyone grasp what history surrounds Preemption Reform and the nuances of this bill.  Let me put this in my words.

    Firearms Preemption should be guarded like a crown jewel.  Some states don’t even have preemption.  Does anyone remember how awful it was when your permit was issued at the discretion of each of the 99 Iowa County Sheriffs?  Each county had a different policy, and often those policies changed based on the outcome of an election.  Your rights would come and go like the passing of seasons.  Here’s a map in case you have forgotten.

    Adhering to 99 different county variations of a ban, and then adding the possibility of nearly 950 city variations of gun free zones would make us all law breakers.  I’m not sure how anyone could choose self defense options and remain legal.  You’d be banned as you traveled the town, county, or state at any given moment without your knowledge potentially.  Thank your lucky stars, some good legislators, and IFC along with NRA-ILA for Preemption.  Trust me when I write to you, you don’t want to live in a state without it.

    SPECIAL THANKS

    We had a tremendous 2A Lobby Day at the Iowa Capitol yesterday.  After we hit 300 people it was hard to keep track of the rest that came and went.  We’re guessing a solid number to fall between 300 and 350 people by our head count.  To quantify that for you, when Chapter 20 debates were at their peak a few years prior, far fewer turned out.  I’m very proud of my fellow Iowans to say the least.  Representative Steve Holt has tucked this legislation under his arm like the proverbial pig skin, and has shucked and strong armed his way to the goal line for Iowans.  He has earned accolades from us all for his work to protect liberty and freedom.

    2A supporters came by the hundreds!

    I volunteer among great minds and a considerable depth of character with my fellow board members.  IFC’s executive committee is arguably the best we’ve seen.  Our dedicated and persevering volunteer staff put in the work on a daily basis.  Our altruistic team gives up personal time to volunteer at gun shows, work on IT issues, market our ideas, spread our information, manage the membership, return a dizzying number of calls and emails, communicate the current events, and tirelessly liaise with all forms of government officials and elected offices to do the work necessary to ensure your civil liberties.

    I’m not sure my “thanks” is suitable.  Between the IFC volunteers, our membership, and the folks who support us, there has to be another word I can use to express my admiration and gratitude.  When I find it, I’ll use it.  Until then, THANK YOU, for your collective and individual works!

    We have several bills that moving along, but nothing has landed on the Governor’s desk yet.  Let’s get these pieces codified and move forward.  In case you couldn’t join us yesterday, here is a bit of what you missed:

    In liberty,

     

    Michael Ware – IFC Chairman

  • Week 6 Update | The Funnel Is Coming

    February 19, 2017

    Week 6 Update
    The Funnel Is Coming

    There’s less than two weeks until the first legislative funnel of the year. What is the “funnel” and why does it matter? The funnel is essentially a deadline in the legislature. If a bill fails to make enough progress by the funnel date it’s considered dead for the year. It’s a way for lawmakers to keep focused on bills that have potential for passage and keep them from getting bogged down by an unending barrage of new bills.

    The first funnel is March 3rd. We need our bills out of committee by this date. So far we’ve seen a lot of pro-gun owner bills introduced but what we haven’t seen is any of them advancing out of committee. We’re getting down to crunch time, less than two weeks until the first funnel. We fully expect to see a lot of activity on gun-related bills in the next couple of weeks. We’ll be emailing you with updates and directions on how to help as things develop.

    PETITION – The Iowa Constitution Has No 2nd Amendment – FIX THIS!

    In the mean time please sign our petition in support of adding the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to the Iowa Constitution.

    If you haven’t heard by now Iowa is one of only six states whose constitution does not guarantee it’s citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. In short, there’s no version of the Second Amendment in the Iowa Constitution. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize this is a major problem.

    Stand Your Ground, Constitutional Carry, Concealed Carry, Open Carry, suppressors, SBRs, the freedom to simply own a gun in Iowa — ALL OF IT, it all requires that your Right to Keep and Bear Arms is written in the state constitution. Currently we have no such protection in here in Iowa. Without this amendment a runaway legislature or activist judges on the Iowa Supreme Court could quickly wipe out all the liberties we currently enjoy.

    Please encourage your freedom loving friends and family members to sign this petition and start voicing their support. Iowans need and deserve to have their freedoms protected by the Iowa Constitution!

    UPDATE: Second Amendment Day – March 7th

    We’ve been telling you for weeks, this year’s Second Amendment Day is being held on March 7th at the Iowa Capitol, apparently word is getting around and now anti-gunners are feeling intimidated.

    Moms Demand Action just scheduled their “Lobby Day” for March 8th, the day after our Second Amendment Day. We’re sure these Bloomberg gun control advocates will say their scheduling is purely coincidental, but no matter what they claim it’s important that you join us on March 7th and send a strong message to Iowa’s lawmakers:

    “Iowans want their freedoms left alone and we certainly don’t want some out-of-state billionaire telling us how to live our lives!”

    March 7th – Second Amendment Day in the Capitol – Be there!

    More updates to come, stand ready folks!

    Thank you for continuing to support the Iowa Firearms Coalition!

  • 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.