• Legislative update week 6

    February 21, 2016

    Legislative update week 6

    Surviving the Funnel

    We’re six weeks into the 2016 legislative session and we’ve just passed our first real hurdle of the year. Friday marked the first funnel date of this year’s session. The “funnel” is a legislative deadline that each bill much reach in order to continue the legislative process. There are multiple funnel dates throughout the legislative calendar. They serve to keep the session moving forward and keep it from getting bogged down with oodles of extemporaneous bills.

    We’re extremely proud to say that FIVE pro gun owner bills backed by the Iowa Firearms Coalition have successfully passed through the first funnel. The following bills are still active for 2016:

    Each of these bills have passed out of committee and will soon be voted on by the entire House of Representatives. Votes on all five of these bills are expected this Tuesday, February 23rd. That also happens to be the same day as our Second Amendment Day in the Iowa Capitol (more on that in a moment).

    Uphill Climb

    Thanks to all of you who’ve helped get these bills to this point. While others in Iowa spend their time talking about the number of sponsors their bill had, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and our members are getting votes passed out of committee, organizing legislative lobby days, and schooling legislators and the media on pro gun owner issues. We sincerely mean it when we say that our members are second to none. You folks are the ones getting things done.

    Let us make one thing clear though, things are going to get more difficult. In the legislative process each step forward is more difficult than the last. Our side has managed to build up a fair amount of momentum. But that forward progress will come to a grinding halt if we fail to keep active and keep the pressure up. Last year was a perfect example, our omnibus bill was quite literally attacked from all sides. Iowa based “#GunSense” groups, New York City lobbyists funded by Michael Bloomberg, even other gun owners from Iowa all worked together to kill our bill. The point is there’s no shortage of people who want to see our bills fail, which means it’s critical that each and every one of you takes an active role to help move things forward.

    Second Amendment Day

    We have a tremendous opportunity for you to get involved. In less than 48 hours we’ll be holding our 2016 Second Amendment Day in the Iowa Capitol. Hopefully you’ve heard about it by now, but if not please click the link above for specifics and join us on Tuesday in the state capitol. We’ll get the day started at 8AM and we expect to see votes on the five pro-gun owner bills in the House of Representatives sometime in late morning.

    Come stand with us and a legion of other Second Amendment advocates. We’ll also be joined by the National Rifle Association, and the American Suppressor Association. We’ll be giving away t-shirts, stickers, and providing talking points to make it easy to send a strong message directly to your legislators. As an added bonus, we expect to see several pro gun owner bills voted on in the House. Come see the legislative process in action first hand, and let’s give these pro gun owner bills a firm push into the Senate!

    More updates to come. Thank you for your ongoing 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. 

  • Review & Preview – Week 10 of Iowa’s Legislative Session

    March 22, 2015

    The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.

    -Daniel Webster

    The Clock is Ticking for SF425
    Key Iowa Senators have lost sight what Omnibus Gun Bill accomplishes
    Email your Senator – “Who Do You Trust More: Iowans or Out-of-State Lobbyists?”

    Week 10 recap:

    Week 10 saw little action in the Iowa Senate on SF425. While the powers that be continue to avoid this bill and hide their heads in the sand, the battle rages on outside the Senate chambers. As we explained last week a slew of out-of-state lobbyists and gun control groups have flocked to Iowa in an all out last-ditch effort to stop the Omnibus Gun Bill. What started out as a grassroots push to protect and enhance the Second Amendment rights of Iowans has suddenly morphed into a battle royale that pits Iowans against numerous billionaire funded national gun control groups.

    Unfortunately in the last week a few key Senators have forgotten who they’re in Des Moines to represent. With just a few whispers in their ear they’ve lost sight of the facts. The Omnibus Gun Bill has already passed 5 landslide votes in the legislature. It’s backed by Iowa law enforcement. It protects the private information of hundreds of thousands of Iowans. It allows Iowans to legally teach their children proper gun safety. And most importantly this bill is backed by an overwhelming number of everyday Iowans.

    What you need to know for week 11:

    This is crunch time. The second funnel date is April 3rd. For those that don’t remember, the funnel is a legislative deadline. In this case, a bill has to be approved by both chambers by April 3rd or it is considered dead for the year. We’ve already passed the House of Representatives by a huge margin. Now we just need the Senate to do its job, then this bill is off to the Governor’s desk.

    With two weeks to go, there’s literally no time to waste. We’re clicking on all cylinders, and we cannot let off the gas now.

    Our volunteers will be in the capitol everyday working to push this bill forward. Their efforts can only take this so far though. We need a strong showing from you if we’re going to be able to get this to a vote.

    Keep calling.​ Keep emailing. Keep spreading the word about SF425 – It’s time for a vote!!!

    The future of the Omnibus Gun Bill, and the next two weeks can be summed up like this:Grassroots Iowa firearms owners vs. big money out-of-state gun control groups. We need you to remain active, and bring as many of your family and friends into this as possible.

    What you can do right now:

    Call the Senate switchboard, leave a message for your Senator. Tell them you want to see SF425 brought to a vote in its original form!

    The number is 515-281-3371. You can only leave messages while the Senate is active. It’ll be Monday afternoon before they start work again and you can leave a message. Please make every effort to make a call. Politely ask the switchboard operator for the Senator you wish to talk to and they’ll connect you. We’ve created a few talking points if you’re not sure what to say.

    In the mean time, you can use our Legislative Action Center to send another email to remind the Senate they’re there to represent Iowans.

    Of course we’ll be emailing you if there’s any critical updates on SF425. If you’re looking for more information we’re posting regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as our website IowaFC.org throughout the week.

     

    Finally, the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s leadership would like to sincerely thank you for all the work you guys do. It’s truly amazing seeing so many people rally to our cause. It’s impossible to know the outcome of all this, but know that we’re genuinely thankful for your support. Most politicians would rather avoid Second Amendment issues, but around the capitol IFC members have a reputation as a class act, and that makes a real difference when it comes to advancing our cause.

    We’re going toe-to-toe with some formidable adversaries. There’s still a lot of fighting to be done, and your continued support really is making a world of difference.

     

    Fighting for your Second Amendment rights,
    Sheena Green
    IFC Communications Director
    NRA 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.

  • Gut check on Senate File 425

    March 20, 2015

    The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Gut check on Senate File 425

    As some of you know by now Senate leaders in Iowa have expressed some doubts about whether they’ll be bringing SF425 to a vote in the Senate. Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with a half-dozen or so moms walking around the capitol demanding gun control. What this is is a product of numerous out-of-state lobbyists and gun control groups parachuting into Iowa politics and trying to redirect the Senate’s attention.

    Iowans have two options:

    A few members of the Iowa Senate are getting squirrely on us and suddenly having doubts. This presents us with two options:

    1) Accept the games that are being played and walk away with our tails between our legs
    -OR-
    2) Tighten our belts, get serious about this and continue to push this through until the very end.

    Do not lose heart, we’re in a tough fight. We’re up against some real national level power players. But do not forget, nothing has done to officially stop this bill.

    I can assure you that myself and the rest the IFC leadership are not about concede this fight. We also know that we’re not alone. The anti’s may have Bloomberg and his billions but we’ve got some friends to call on as well. Through all this we’ve had the NRA by our side, and we’ve had the support of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the American Suppressor Association and most importantly the grassroots support of hundreds of thousands of Iowans like you.

    It’s also important not to lose sight of the fact that Iowa’s law enforcement want this bill passed as well. The anti’s want nothing more than to distract you from that. But we need to make this point very clear. The Iowa Police Chiefs Association, the Iowa Peace Officers Association, and the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association are all lobbying for this bill to pass right along side us.

    The anti’s want you to think SF425 would make you less safe. But ask yourself, “If this bill made Iowans less safe, why would Iowa law enforcement be pushing for it to be signed into law?”

    Time for action

    I’ve just activated a new Advocacy Campaign – please use this to drop a note to your Senator. If you can, please follow it up with a personal email and a phone call to your Senator, a personal note really can make a big difference. You can find their contact information at our Legislative Action Center. To make the process easier we’ve drafted a few important points to include. The Senate switchboard phone number is:515-281-3371, though they only accept messages while the Senate is in session.

    Most importantly, we need to hold our Senators accountable at their weekly legislative forums and round tables. This cannot be stressed enough. If you can make it out to a forum this weekend and ask about SF425 please do so. It’s one of the best ways to help advance this bill.

    Here’s a link to where you can find the Senate Democrats schedule, and here’s the calendar for Senate Republicans.

    Recap

    SF425 has already passed five votes in the Iowa legislature. Everytime by a landslide. All that’s left is a vote in the Senate, then it’s off to the governor’s desk. The anti’s are pulling out all the stops. They’re flying in professional lobbyists from out-of-state, and running a misdirection campaign. Unfortunately, their whispers are causing some Iowa Senators to waffle, forget the facts, and forget who they represent. It’s imperative we continue to make our voices heard.

    Make no mistake, we’re in a tough fight. We knew this wouldn’t be easy. Ultimately this will come down to two factors: 1) who can push harder, and 2) who do Iowa Senators trust more? Hundreds of thousands of their lawful constituents and the Iowa law enforcement community -OR- the voice of lobbyists flown into Iowa from New York City and beyond by a nanny-state billionaire.

    We’re heavily focused on passing SF425, but know this: we haven’t forgotten the big picture. 2016 will be a monumental election year. The balance of power in the Iowa Senate hangs by a thread. Plans are already being made, campaign maps are being carefully studied, and our side has plenty to gain.

    This isn’t over by a long shot.

    Working to protect and enhance your Second Amendment rights,
    Kurt Liske
    Vice President
    Iowa Firearms Coalition


    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.

  • Facts for the Senate on SF425

    March 20, 2015
    Iowa Police or Mom Demand Action. Who would you think knows more about fighting crime?

    When you are in danger who would you rather call? The police -OR- a mom that demands action?

     

    Call the Senate switchboard, leave a message for your Senator. Tell them you want to see SF425 brought to a vote in its original form! The number is 515-281-3371.

     

    What the anti-gunners are not telling you

    1) This bill actually increases penalties for straw purchasers and anyone that presents false information when trying to buy a gun in Iowa. Makes it a class D felony.

    2) Gives parents, instructors, and coaches the ability to teach minors proper gun safety at a young age.
    -You are currently breaking the law if you take anyone under the age of 14 shooting with a handgun.
    -Education is the key. You can’t legislate gun safety. It must be taught, and the younger we teach our kids the better.
    -You shouldn’t be committing a criminal act while teaching your kids proper gun safety.

    3) SF425 makes shooting and hunting safer in Iowa by legalizing suppressors (reduces the threat of irreparable hearing damage).
    -They are NOT silencers, despite what Hollywood would have you believe
    -Legal in 39 other states already, and regulated by the Federal gov’t/ATF
    -No recorded evidence of a suppressor being used in a crime anywhere in the US.

    4) Protects the private information of gun owners and permit to carry holders.
    -Makes it illegal to share the private information of permit holders.
    -This has happened before in Iowa and elsewhere. CityView newspaper (in Des Moines) has published the names of 5,000+ permit holders. Paper in New York published the names and addresses of permit holders — WITH AN INTERACTIVE MAP to their homes.
    -This irresponsible behavior gives criminals a treasure map to guns. And on the flip side shows everyone who’s not armed and indefensible.

     

    Will you stand alongside Iowa’s firearms owners and law enforcement and vote yes on SF425 in its current form?

     

    Addressing the misinformation spread by anti-gunners

    SF425 is a culmination of several groups coming together.

    -Iowa Police Chiefs Association
    -Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association
    -Iowa Peace Officers Association
    -NRA
    -Iowa Firearms Coalition
    -Several Iowa legislators
    -and more

     

    Dear Mr./Mrs. Senator

    Who do you trust more: Iowa law enforcement & hundreds of thousands of lawful Iowans -OR- out-of-state lobbyists?

    Ask yourself, why would Iowa police have anything to do with a bill that would make Iowan’s less safe?

    Who do your constituents expect you to trust?

     

    Despite what the anti-gunners say about background checks, Iowa will remain in compliance with federal gun laws.

    It’s illegal for anyone to sell or transfer a firearm to a prohibited person (felons/domestic abusers/etc.) – this will not change under SF425.


    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.

  • Both Versions of the Omnibus Pro-Gun Owner Bill Pass the First Funnel!

    March 5, 2015
    Legalize Suppressors in Iowa

    39 other states already allow their residents own these firearm accessories. Now thousands of Iowans are fighting to legalize these useful hearing protection devices.

    IFC Member’s Hard Work Pays Off!

    House Study Bill 201 and it’s companion bill Senate Study Bill 1251 have BOTH survived the first funnel.

    SSB1251 passed as written by a 10-3 margin in the Senate Judiciary Committee March 5th. HSB201 passed 19-2 out of the House Judiciary Committee March 4th.

    Both bills passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support despite an aggressive campaign by anti-gunners to strip the bills of several key provisions and strip Iowa’s firearms community from our right to privacy and our right to raise their children as we see fit.

    Lobbyists working on behalf of Iowa’s mass media outlets attempted to remove a portion of SSB1251 that would protect gun owner privacy. If signed into law the omnibus pro-gun owner bill blocks the State of Iowa from releasing any information that could be used to identify any individual who holds a Permit to Carry or Permit to Acquire in the State of Iowa.

    SSB1251 also came under attack from a contingent of gun control pushers who sought to block a portion of the bill that would repeal the ban on supervised youth handgun shooting. In a show of true grassroots support Iowa Firearms Coalition members responded en masse and on extremely short notice to remind legislators this ban is an affront to family traditions shared by hundreds of thousands of Iowans statewide.

    There’s Still Work To Be Done

    The omnibus pro-gun owner bill has cleared a major hurdle, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. Each bill will now be scheduled for debate and a vote in the full Senate and House. We’ll make absolutely sure that you know when that will be happening. We’ll need another show of force to advance each of these bills.

    We’ve created a simple How a Bill Becomes a Law in Iowa page to help you better understand the legislative process. Right now both HSB201 and SSB1251 have cleared steps one through ten.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition has literally worked side by side with the National Rifle Association to craft this bill. If it passes Iowan’s will see their right own a suppressor restored, and several other freedoms protected. This bill quite literally protects and enhances Iowans Second Amendment rights.

    A Word of Warning

    Things will get more difficult. There will be more attacks on the omnibus gun bill. Anti-gunners and others will do anything they can to alter this bill and keep it from passing. We simply CANNOT let that happen. Everything in this bill is capable of passing. There’s a slight wording discrepancy between the House version and the Senate version. Outside of an amendment to make these bill’s wording exactly the same there’s no reason to alter this bill. Adding or removing anything other than slight wording changes will kill this bill, and keep it from passage. Beware of anyone attempting to change the core functions of the omnibus bill.

    We’ve made an incredible amount of progress Iowa. Stay the course and see this through!


    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.

  • Des Moines Register Attempts To Justify Printing Gun Owner’s Personal Information

    March 3, 2015
    Keep the media from sharing your personal information.

    It’s time to protect Iowan’s Permit to Carry information.

    Our pro-gun owner legislation, House Study Bill 201, has hit a nerve with the Des Moines Register – big surprise right? The paper has now run two pieces against HSB201 on two consecutive days.

    First it was a story on Monday where the Register’s lobbyist claimed the Second Amendment was important but then insinuated their right to know who has guns and who does not trumps your right to privacy.

    Then today (Tuesday) the Register editorial board issued another attempt to justify prying into the personal information of everyone who has a permit to carry in Iowa.

    Quite frankly we’re not at all surprised to see the Register’s vehement opposition to HSB201 and you shouldn’t be either. It’s a major pro-gun owner bill and they’ve historically opposed most everything that protects or enhances the Second Amendment rights of Iowans.

    More specifically, what we’ve done with HSB201 is write a provision in that would block the state from sharing the personal information of anyone who’s got a permit to carry, or a permit to acquire. This is what has the Register up in arms. Right now if someone were to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the state they could get the personal information (names, addresses, dates of birth, etc.) of every Iowan with a concealed carry permit or permit to acquire.

    You may remember 2012, when in the wake of the Newtown tragedy the Journal News of New York filed a FOIA request and published the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in their region. Not only did they publish that very private information, they also created an interactive map of the pistol owners addresses making it easy for any thieves, thugs, and domestic abusers to find their victims.

    This irresponsible act of “journalism” was nothing more than an attempt to marginalize and shame gun owners in the Journal News reading area. What’s worse, by publishing this information the Journal News also published the names and addresses of law enforcement officers and prison guards. Rockland County law enforcement condemned the act saying it endangered the lives of their officers. There were reports of convicts taunting prison guards saying they now knew exactly where to find the guard and their families once they were released, and victims of domestic violence, rape, and other violent crimes who had reported their attackers now had easy access to their new homes.

    The Journal News and the Des Moines Register are both part of the same Gannett media company, and right now there’s nothing stopping the Register or any other media outlet from pulling the same kind of stunt here in Iowa. We also know this isn’t an isolated case. Media outlets around the country are using FOIA requests to build databases of gun owners personal information. These are all reasons why we are fighting to protect gun owners privacy.

    So try to frame this however you like Des Moines Register, but this isn’t about government overreach or your right to know, it’s about hundreds of thousands of Iowa firearms owners and our right to privacy. This is about media overreach and standing up for the everyday John and Jane Doe who simply want to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones from those who seek to do us harm. We’re law-abiding citizens and we have a right to go about our business without being marked for extra scrutiny because we acknowledge that our personal security starts with us.


     

    Iowans-

    If you’re like us and want to keep your information private please sign our petition and join us in supporting House Study Bill 201. Click here to learn more about this pro-gun owner bill.

    We’ve made it easy to write your legislators and tell them you want to keep the media from sharing your private information.

    Please take action today.


    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.

  • Message from the IFC Board — Effectively Communicating with Your Legislators

    January 23, 2015

    The following message was written by John Reed, Chairman of the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s Board of Directors. Reed is also one of our main lobbyists. He works extremely closely with our legislators on an almost daily basis, and provides valuable insight in how IFC members can maximize their effectiveness.


    Reed

    John Reed – IFC Board Chairman

    It occurs to me that some of you may not know how you can help to communicate with your legislators in a manner that will synchronize your message with ours. Of course, feel free to communicate anyway that you want, but if you want to be helping us in our efforts in a generic sort of way, here’s what you can do.

    Stress these two themes in all your communications, doing this will put an exclamation point on what the IFC lobbyists are saying on the hill.

    1) ALWAYS state clearly that you support and want them to support a Right to Keep and Bear Arms amendment to the Iowa Constitution and that you won’t settle for the federal wording. You want the enhanced language that National Rifle Association and Iowa Firearms Coalition has presented.

    It may happen that a bill would get introduced that would mimic the federal language. We’ve been told that such a bill would get strong support from nearly everyone in both chambers. However, that bill, should it come out, would NOT be anything IFC would support. Amending the Constitution is a long, arduous fight so it’s not done very much. Therefore, If we’re going to work to get an amendment through, that amendment MUST be the best we can get for future generations of Iowans.

    I think we can all agree that the federal language, while clear to us, has been problematic in this age, and is yet not properly applied to We the People’s rights. Therefore, the language we will be putting up (very soon) will be an amplified version wherein the meaning of the language is clarified.

    Example: Would you believe that there are some (perhaps many) who don’t understand that the word “bear” means “carry”? I personally find that absurd, but it’s there nonetheless. So, it’s imperative that the word “carry” be inserted into any amendment we put forth. In addition, our language would include the legal phrase, “strict scrutiny,” a phrase I’ll not explain here because you can easily look it up. But that phrase MUST be included in order that the high courts not easily erode the protection we intend the new amendment to afford our kids and grand kids.

    2) ALWAYS state clearly that their support of the Second Amendment will always benefit them and never harm them with the public. The 2nd Amendment is a winner for politicians – always has been and always will be. In fact, support for the 2nd Amendment is growing with the public as recent polls clearly point out.

    Some legislators seem to understand this to the extent that they know their district and how it feels about our firearms rights. But, even they become concerned when they think of other districts. Rare indeed is a district where a legislator would be punished for voting for any good firearms rights bills. You see, that’s what this is — it’s a civil, common law RIGHT. Firearms aren’t ‘social’ bills and we certainly don’t ask for money. This is about our CIVIL RIGHTS! Legislators who support civil rights win. Therefore, when they support firearms bills, they win! Help them understand that.

    Unless we are calling for you to support a specific action or issue, use the above as a guide to include with your communications to your legislators. Doing this would be helping us a great deal.

    Thank you for your efforts!

    John Reed
    Chair – Board of Directors
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

    Use the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s Legislative Action Center to find your legislators, send them a pro-Second Amendment email, and sign up for our newsletter.


    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.

  • 3 Undeniable Facts from Frontline’s NRA Documentary

    January 7, 2015

    GunnedDown

    The PBS show Frontline just put out an hour-long documentary about “The Power of the NRA.” As expected it casts the organization in a negative light. But try as they might to make the NRA look bad — trust us, they tried pretty hard — there’s a couple of very positive and encouraging things you should takeaway from this documentary.

    1. The NRA really is the most powerful interest group in Washington D.C.

    “They are the best equipped, most feared special interest group on Capitol Hill.”  

    -Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post

    One thing the Frontline documentary proved beyond a shadow of a doubt is that when it comes to political clout, the NRA really is the gold standard. There are tens of thousands of special interest groups out there pushing one issue or another, but one thing they all have in common: they’re all trying to replicate the power the NRA has.

    So why is the NRA the most powerful organization in American politics? The answer is you. And your shooting buddies. It’s also the guys at the gun club. It’s the millions of us who’re a sick and tired of being told we should just “compromise just a little of your freedom,” in the name of #GunSense.

    Right now the NRA is made up of more than 5 million members. These are people who believe so strongly in the NRA and its message that every year they renew their membership, or they buy a lifetime membership.

    But what’s even more remarkable is that these dues paying members are just a fraction of firearms owners. For every paying member of the NRA there are scores more who believe in the NRA’s message, but for one reason or another do not purchase a membership. However don’t mistake this for a lack of support. These non-members are often just as passionate about their freedoms, and they’re just as likely to vote. So while the NRA has more than 5 million true members, what they really have is an immeasurable number of active supporters, and this is what makes them the envy of all other lobbying groups.

    2. The NRA plays by the rules (really well)

    “The NRA plays the game of democracy more effectively than any other influence group in Washington. It is an organization that works the levers of democracy in a way that is not illegal or improper, it’s just very, very effective.”

    -Paul M. Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek

    Amongst the anti-gun crowd there’s a lot of hatred for the NRA. They love to spout-off claims like “X number of Americans support banning this type of gun!” Or that “X percent of people want gun control!” Or “this many Americans think you only need a gun for hunting, and if it weren’t for the NRA lobbyists we’d have ‘#GunSense’ in America and everything would be lollipops and gumdrops!”

    Gun control zealots can (and will) shout their message until they’re blue in the face. But the reality is when push comes to shove all their stats fail to translate into votes. It’s a bunch of hot air. What makes our side different is that our members are united and they vote. It’s as simple as that. And when you live in a republic, votes matter. A lot.

    The NRA has been around a long time (they’re America’s oldest civil rights organization), and their lobbyists are good at their jobs. But what makes politicians listen more than anything else are election results, and when NRA members see candidates support gun control that candidate’s odds of being elected go down dramatically. When gun control candidates lose, other candidates get the message loud and clear. Gun control is a losing issue.

    In short, the NRA does nothing illegal. In fact they play exactly by the rules. But when you’re really good at playing by the rules, the people on the losing end will almost always accuse you of breaking those rules.

    3. Right now gun control advocates cannot beat the NRA at the federal level

    “It’s over for now. And it may be over for a very, very long time.”  

    -Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post

    This a pretty bold statement, we realize that, but we think the evidence speaks for itself. But whether they’ll actually admit it or not gun control advocates know they’re facing a near impossible battle at the federal level. That’s why they’re doing everything to circumvent congress and the political process all together. They’re turning to things like pressuring corporations, presidential executive orders, and ballot initiatives. They’ve used measures like this to get extremely flawed, anti-gun owner Universal Background Checks signed into law in Washington state, and now they’re boasting that they’re going to use that as model in more than a dozen other states. Fortunately the NRA is also very active at the state level. But once again that power rests in the hands of NRA members and gun owners taking an active role in the defense of their rights. State level politics are the new site of the ongoing gun control battle.

    In conclusion:

    As good as things appear to be for the NRA all of their power rests in their millions of active members. All of the clout and power that makes the NRA what it is would disappear without you. If you value your natural-born freedoms there are a couple easy steps you can take to ensure the NRA remains the most power force in the country.

    1. Become an NRA member. Already a member? Great, sign up your spouse, or a friend. There’s power in numbers.

    2. Become a member of your state level NRA group (such as the Iowa Firearms Coalition). The next round of the gun control battle will be fought at the state level. Supporting your local NRA affiliates will be critical to victory.

    3. Get politically active. Voting is great, but it’s not enough. Go to town hall meetings, city council meetings, primaries, caucuses, make your pro-gun voice heard. Gun owners who sit stagnant is exactly what the anti-gunners need to get gun control passed.


    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.