• Omnibus Gun Bill – Noteworthy Items on SF425 & SF427

    April 3, 2015

    Legalize Suppressors in Iowa

    This week saw a flurry of activity in the Iowa Legislature. We’ve had some ups and downs, and in all of that activity it is sometimes difficult to follow what just happened, what happens next, and how we can do our part to keep pushing solid pro-gun owner legislation forward.

    Right now there are two particular bills whose file numbers look very similar – SF425 and SF427. This can easily lead to more confusion.

    With that said, here’s a couple of items of note that will (hopefully) clear up some confusion and make sure we’re all on the same track.

    Week in Review

    Tuesday the Senate debated and voted on a bill known as Senate File 427 (SF427). At that time this bill did nothing more than legalize suppressors. It passed 46 to 4. SF427 was sent to the Iowa House of Representatives for approval, and/or amending.

    Senate File 425, the Omnibus Gun Bill, was not taken up by the Senate. It still remains eligible for debate and a vote, but despite all of your efforts and ours to get Senate leadership to listen, they’ve chosen to continue to ignore SF425.

    Wednesday, with less than 24 hours notice the House made SF427 (legalizing suppressors only) a priority and scheduled it for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee, a requirement that had to be met by Friday’s legislative deadline commonly known as the Second Funnel.

    The House Judiciary Committee took SF427, the suppressors only bill that the Senate passed, and decided to amend the bill and add in all of the language from the original Omnibus Gun Bill, with two slight variations (see below for more details on the two changes). These changes are a good faith attempt to address the concerns of a very small minority of Senators who have the power to hold up pro-gun owner legislation.

    With the new amendment added, SF427 becomes, for all intents and purposes, the new Omnibus Gun Bill.

    The House Judiciary Committee then passed SF427 which includes language from the original Omnibus Gun Bill, by a 19 to 2 vote. This nearly unanimous vote proves (yet again) that the Omnibus Gun Bill is something all parties can agree on. The only two votes against the new version of the Omnibus Gun Bill came from Representatives Marti Anderson and Jo Oldson, both of Des Moines.

    Looking Forward

    SF427 must be debated and voted in the full House of Representatives. The earliest this could happen is Monday, April 6th. Realistically though it may take a few days to get it scheduled, after all the House does have other issues and bills they must also attend to.

    We expect SF427 to pass a full House vote. When it does it then goes back to the Senate.

    It’s important to note the Senate leadership must then schedule the new Omnibus Gun Bill (SF427) for debate and a vote. Short of continuing to show Senate leadership that this bill has the overwhelming support of Iowans, there’s no way we can force this to the floor.

    The other item worth noting is that SF427 is now eligible for debate and a vote at any point between now and the end of the legislative session. No more funnels, no more legislative deadlines save for one, when the final gavel drops at the end of the session.

    Two Slight Variations Explained

    When the House Judiciary Committee amended SF427 on Wednesday they included everything from the Original Omnibus Gun Bill with two exceptions. They tweaked the Permit to Acquire provision as well as the Gun Owner Privacy provision. Here’s the differences between the original and new versions:

    Permit to Acquire – a Permit to Acquire would still be required for handgun purchases, and makes all Permits to Acquire valid for 5 years rather than current 1 year period. Previously this provision made the Permit to Acquire optional, and extended its validity from 1 to 5 years.

    Gun owner privacy – previously the Omnibus Gun Bill was written so that no one could request your private information if you held a Permit to Carry. Under this amendment only individuals (not businesses or media outlets) would be allowed to ask the sheriff if a particular person holds a valid Permit to Carry (no other information will be made available). The individual making the request must also give a valid reason for why they want to know. The individual making the request must also provide the person in question’s name, and one of the following: date of birth, or phone number, or address. Once they do all this the individual making the request must also leave theirname and contact info for the sheriff’s office to keep on file. After all of this has been done the sheriff’s office is then only allowed a one word answer –Yes or No, the person in question has a valid Permit to Carry. If the permit holder in question starts being harassed in any way, they then have a right to go to the sheriff’s office and ask if anyone has been asking about their Permit to Carry. If they do that they will then be given the name and information of anyone that’s been asking about them and their permit.

    What Can Be Done to Help

    The situation has changed slightly, but ultimately end goal remains the same. We expect SF427 to pass the House with relative ease. The question is whether the Senate will take up this bill or not?

    It’s impossible to say what the Senate leadership has in mind or what their intentions are. But whether you believe they’ll do the right thing and vote on SF427 or not we believe we’re obligated to try to get this bill the vote it deserves.

    We’ve all put too much work into this, taken on to many foes, written too many emails, and made too many phone calls to just throw in the towel now.

    Our focus remains on the Senate. Keep pushing this issue to the forefront. Send an email to your Senator, leave them a message through the Senate switchboard – 515-281-3371. Tell them: “We’re serious about the Omnibus Gun Bill getting a vote. The bill number doesn’t matter, let the legislative process work and give the Omnibus Gun Bill an honest vote.”

    As always, keep your messages polite and professional. Our opponents are looking for any petty reason they can do deny us a fair shot at a vote. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to deal with the frustration that comes along with their political gamesmanship. But the fact is we live a very imperfect world, and that means if we want our cause to be taken seriously we must be above reproach and operate in a respectful manner. Please keep this in mind as you’re interacting with your legislators.

    Next week will bring new information about the path forward. Until then keep doing what you’re doing. Many Iowans, many legislators, and pretty much everyone in the media wrote off the Omnibus Gun Bill last week. But your passion, grit and hard work helped us revive it.

    There’s still work to be done, and we need your continued support as we work to push this bill over the finish line.


    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.

  • House Judiciary Committee Passes New Pro-Gun Bill 19-2!

    April 1, 2015

    House Judiciary Committee Passes New Pro-Gun Bill 19-2!
    Amendment Restoring Omnibus Gun Bill Language Added to SF427.

    As we expected we’ve seen a lot of activity in the legislature today. Here’s the latest.The House of Representatives has made SF427 (the bill the Senate passed yesterday that only legalizes suppressors) a priority. Today, with less than 24 hours notice the House Judiciary Committee took up SF427, added an amendment restoring the original Omnibus Gun Bill language, and promptly passed the bill 19 to 2 – yet another showing of this bill’s massive bi-partisan support.The amendment includes everything from the original Omnibus Gun Bill, with two exceptions.

    1) Permit to Acquire – a Permit to Acquire would still be required for handgun purchases, and makes all Permits to Acquire valid for 5 years rather than current 1 year period. Previously this provision made the Permit to Acquire optional, and extended its validity from 1 to 5 years.
    2) Gun owner privacy – previously the Omnibus Gun Bill was written so that no one could request your private information if you held a Permit to Carry. Under this amendment only individuals (not businesses or media outlets) would be allowed to ask the sheriff if a particular person holds a valid Permit to Carry (no other information will be made available). The individual making the request must also give a valid reason for why they want to know. The individual making the request must also provide the person in question’s name, and one of the following: date of birth, or phone number, or address. Once they do all this the individual making the request must also leave theirname and contact info for the sheriff’s office to keep on file. After all of this has been done the sheriff’s office is then only allowed a one word answer –Yes or No, the person in question has a valid Permit to Carry. If the permit holder in question starts being harassed in any way, they then have a right to go to the sheriff’s office and ask if anyone has been asking about their Permit to Carry. If they do that they will then be given the name and information of anyone that’s been asking about them and their permit.
    Everything else from the original Omnibus Gun Bill remains the same. Repealing the ban on youth handgun shooting. Permit to Carry training updates. Everything.BecauseSF427 and its amendment have now passed the House Judiciary Committee, the bill is now safe from the impending second funnel date.Point of clarification: last night we told you the bill would have to pass a whole House vote by Friday. That is not the case. We re-examined the rules of the legislature, and as long as SF427 passes out of committee by the second funnel it’s safe. We apologize for any confusion. The good news is this bill has met that requirement and is good to move forward unencumbered by any funnel dates.

    SF427 is now eligible for debate and a vote in the full House as early as Monday. It will remain eligible for debate and a vote until the end of the legislative session. There is hope that the bill may be voted on some time next week, but that’s not a guaranteed timeline. Whenever SF427 comes a vote in the House we expect it pass.

    As long as that happens the bill then goes back to the Senate. They will need to debate and vote on the amendment that was added today. It’s important to note that it is up to the Senate leadership to schedule this bill for a debate and vote. If they’re truly serious about wanting to pass a gun bill this session (as they say they are) they will take up this bill and promptly bring it to the floor. There are no promises this will happen. We need you to keep the pressure up. Keep the phone calls coming. Keep emailing your Senators. Keep your messages respectful and on point. Keep doing what you’re doing, and keep spreading the word about the Omnibus Gun Bill.

    This bill and the amendment added to it today are a good faith effort to address the concerns some have raised about the Omnibus Gun Bill. While not perfect we think this proves we’re serious about doing our part to get the Omnibus Gun Bill the vote it deserves in the Senate. As we’ve been saying all along, “It’s time for a vote!” The Senate says they want to pass a gun bill. We’ve now done our part (again) to give them the opportunity. Now it’s their turn to live up to their word.

    Keep pushing friends. There’s still work to be done.


    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.

  • VOTE PENDING – IA Senate Democrats Attempting Bait & Switch on SF425

    March 31, 2015
    Senate Democrats Attempting Bait & Switch on SF425
    VOTE PENDING

     

    The anti-gunners have finally shown their hand on SF425, and what they’re attempting is cringeworthy.

    Democrats in the Iowa Senate plan to bring a “gun bill” to the floor for a vote as early as tomorrow (Tuesday). What they’re planning to do though is continue to ignore you, Iowa’s law enforcement, and the hundreds of thousands of Iowans who’d benefit from the Omnibus Gun Bill.

    If they get their way they’d never bring SF425 to a vote, ever. What they’re currently doing is systematically cherry picking what they want from the Omnibus Gun Bill and inserting it into a different bill, SF427. They’ve already begun this process. Their goal is to play a shell game with lots of moving parts and at the last minute push through a watered down version of the Omnibus Gun Bill. For example…

    SF427 contains what looks like a gun owner privacy protection provision. In reality, it’s written in a way that continues to allow the media to access and publicize your private information.

    SF427 contains nothing about repealing Iowa’s archaic ban on youth handgun training. Under this new imposter bill you’d still be a criminal for training your kids on proper gun safety.

    Meanwhile, they’re taking all of the non-gun provisions in the Omnibus Gun Bill and inserting them into this new bill SF427. They want to give everyone exactly what they want, unless you’re a gun owner.

    They’ve waited until the last minute to do this in hopes that we wouldn’t catch wind of their games. They’re ignoring you, every single phone call you’ve made, every email you’ve sent, and the tens of thousands of messages they’ve received in favor of SF425. They’re ignoring the law enforcement community who’ve endorsed the every part of the Omnibus Gun Bill. They’re refusing to acknowledge the overwhelming number of legislators who want SF425 passed as is. And their continuing to ignore the fact that this bill has already passed 5 massive bi-partisan votes. When you consider all this, their desperation is rather obvious.

    None of this bodes well for them, and that’s why they’re trying rush this through as quickly and quietly as possible. To ignore all this, wait until the 11th hour and then let a small minority of anti-gun Senators re-write a perfectly good bill at last second is the epitome of what’s wrong with politics in our country.

    The fact is, we know what we’re doing on SF425 is right. We know we have the votes. We know we have the support of our fellow Iowans. We know that the anti-gunners wouldn’t resort to these types of last minute procedural moves if they weren’t out maneuvered, out numbered and desperate.

    One final note: SF427, the minority anti-gun Democrat’s attempt to water down the Omnibus Gun Bill does not make the original version disappear. This is a desperate Hail Mary pass to see if we’ll get rattled and settle for less. Regardless of the outcome on SF427, the original, full version, SF425 will remain eligible for a vote. This is the last thing they want you to know, they can still bring SF425 to a vote AS IS.

    Things are moving at an extremely quick pace and we’ll be updating you as often as we can. In the mean time thank you for all the calls and emails. The anti-gunners wouldn’t be pulling a stunt like this if it wasn’t for all the pressure you’ve been applying for months. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, and make sure you know exactly what’s going on.


    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.

  • Flashback: Des Moines Register publishes gun-ban column advocating deadly violence against NRA

    March 27, 2015

    1385496862000-editorialX2

     

    Here’s a flashback to a little over two years ago when the Des Moines Register published a column openly calling for the death and torture of of NRA members, Republican leadership, and anyone that refused to give up their guns.

    Keep in mind, this is the same organization that thinks it deserves to have access to your private information, and has a right to publish things like your name, date of birth, your address, and more.

    Sign the petition calling on the Senate to make gun owner’s personal information private!

    A couple of notable quotes from the Register’s December 29th column include:

     

    “Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony.”

    “If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.”

    “I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control. …If that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures.”

    “Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth.”

    “Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.”

    “Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. …I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth…”

    Other facts that are worth repeating: the Register is owned by the Gannett Company. Their fellow Gannett newspaper, the Journal News of New York, has published the private information of gun owners before, and there’s nothing stopping the Register or any other media outlet from doing the same here in Iowa. As we pointed out yesterday, there are several examples of how this kind of irresponsible behavior does much more harm than good. And we know this is not an isolated incident. It’s happened in several Iowa communities as well.

    Senate File 425 would make this incredibly irresponsible behavior illegal in Iowa (like it is a majority of other states). This bill is being purposely stalled by anti-gun leaders in the Senate. If it were called to a vote right now the bill would pass, as is, by a wide margin. Unfortunately, anti-gunners in key positions are trying to water this bill, strip it of key provisions like gun owner privacy protection, and do anything they can to keep it from passing.

    Please join us and call on the Senate to listen to the people of Iowa and bring SF425 to a vote. Sign our petition and please get as many other as possible to do the same. Time is short we have 1 week before the a legislative deadline kills this bill.

    Peition Ad

     


    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.

  • Veteran Iowa Sheriff on SF425 “There is nothing in this bill that does not make sense for public safety.”

    March 26, 2015
    40 Law enforcement veteran Dave White on SF425 - "There is nothing in this bill that does not make sense for public safety."

    Muscatine County Sheriff Dave White weighs in on SF425. “There is nothing in this bill that does not make sense for public safety. “

     

    “I am 40 year law enforcement officer.”

    “There is nothing in this bill that does not make sense for public safety.”

    Just this morning Muscatine County Sheriff Dave White shared this letter to Iowa legislators with us. White explains that he’s a sheriff with other 40 years experience and the content of SF425 is good for Iowans.

    Not only is SF425 endorsed by Sheriff White, it’s backed by a number of Iowa law enforcement groups. The Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, the Iowa Police Chiefs Association, and the Iowa Peace Officers Association have all endorsed the Omnibus Gun Bill, SF425.

    Last week Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington wrote his own letter – “The Men & Women Who Keep You Safe Support SF425” – explaining to the Senate that despite the misinformation being spread around SF425 really is a good bill.

    Senate Majority Leaders Ignoring the Facts

    SF425 has the votes to pass the Senate. If a vote were held right now the Omnibus Gun Bill would pass by a wide margin. The problem is, a small number of anti-gun Senators who are in charge of the Senate are purposely stalling this bill.

    As it stands right now Senate leadership is actively avoiding the thousands of Iowans who are calling, emailing and writing them about this bill.

    They’re actively avoiding the members of their own chamber who would vote Yes and pass an un-amended version of this bill in an instant.

    They’re ignoring the Iowa law enforcement community who helped craft this bill.

    They’re ignoring the 5 landslide votes this bill has already passed.

    Most importantly they’re ignoring the will of the people they claim to represent.

    What We Can Do

    Petition

    We’ve created a petition calling on the Senate leadership to stop playing games with this bill. Please sign and share it today.

    Email

    Email your Senator, and the Senate leadership. Tell them you want to see SF425 brought to a vote AS IS. It’s time for a vote!

    Keep your messages brief, respectful and on point. The email on this page serves as a great example of exactly how a good email should read.

    Send your emails to:
    mike.gronstal@legis.iowa.gov,
    steve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov,
    pam.jochum@legis.iowa.gov,
    joe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov,
    Your Senator. Don’t have their address? Not sure who your Senator is? Find who represents you and their contact info using our Legislative Action Center.

    Call

    Call the Senate switchboard – 515-281-3371 – and leave a message for the Senate leadership: “Listen to the people of Iowa. Listen to Iowa law enforcement. Bring SF425 to a vote AS IS!”

    Ask that the message is delivered to Senators Gronstal, Sodders, Jochum and Bolkcom.

     

    Peition Ad

     


    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.

  • 13 Most Dangerous Cities in Iowa

    November 6, 2014

    images

    Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, our own personal safety is every individual’s responsibility. The folks over at HomeSecurityShield have sifted through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report to compile a list of the 13 statistically most dangerous cities in Iowa. The rankings are based off of violent crime, such as: murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Also included are stats on property crime, such as: burglary, theft, arson.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own safety. Whether this means carrying a concealed firearm, pepper spray, a taser, or learning basic self-defense, being alert and prepared are two of the best things you can do to keep yourself from becoming a victim. If you’re interested in getting a Permit to Carry, or doing some training, we highly recommend you check out our Permits and Training page.

     

    1. Council Bluffs – Violent Crimes: 11.86 per 1,000 residents

      Council Bluffs has a crime rate of about 80 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Council Bluffs? One in 12.

    2. Keokuk – Violent Crimes: 10.33 per 1,000 residents

      Keokuk has a crime rate of about 66 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Keokuk? One in 15.

    3. Waterloo – Violent Crimes: 6.82 per 1,000 residents

      Waterloo has a crime rate of about 43 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Waterloo? One in 23.

    4. Burlington – Violent Crimes: 6.78 per 1,000 residents

      Burlington has a crime rate of about 47 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Burlington? One in 21.

    5. Muscatine – Violent Crimes: 6.78 per 1,000 residents

      Muscatine has a crime rate of about 42 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Muscatine? One in 24.

    6. Clinton – Violent Crimes: 6.35 per 1,000 residents

      Clinton has a crime rate of about 51 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Clinton? One in 19.

    7. Davenport – Violent Crimes: 5.97 per 1,000 residents

      Davenport has a crime rate of about 45 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Davenport? One in 22.

    8. Fort Madison – Violent Crimes: 5.44 per 1,000 residents

      Fort Madison has a crime rate of about 30 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Fort Madison? One in 33.

    9. Fort Dodge – Violent Crimes: 5.34 per 1,000 residents

      Fort Dodge has a crime rate of about 52 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Fort Dodge? One in 19.

    10. Boone – Violent Crimes: 5.28 per 1,000 residents

      Boone has a crime rate of about 31 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Boone? One in 32.

    11. Des Moines – Violent Crimes: 5.27 per 1,000 residents

      Des Moines has a crime rate of about 55 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Des Moines? One in 18.

    12. Centerville – Violent Crimes: 5.26 per 1,000 residents

      Centerville has a crime rate of about 50 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Centerville? One in 20.

    13. Marshalltown – Violent Crimes:5.09 per 1,000 residents

      Marshalltown has a crime rate of about 38 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Marshalltown? One in 27.


    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.