March 2, 2017
How did the amendment change the bill?
Use our Advocacy Campaign to send a pre-written email to your House member urging them to vote Yes on HF517 (formerly HSB133).
After being postponed a day, and then more than four hours after they were initially scheduled to vote on HSB133, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve HSB133 with an amendment. Here’s an overview of what that amendment does (you can read the full text of HSB133 on the Iowa Legislature’s webpage):
- The current Permit to Acquire system remains in place, but it is now valid for 5 years instead of 1
- Hunter Safety Course is now accepted as valid Permit to Carry training
- Anyone possessing an SBR and/or SBS without proper BATFE paperwork will be charged with a Class D felony (just like current Iowa suppressor law)
- Removed Permit-less Carry (explanation below)
- Private investigators may carry on school grounds while performing work duties
- Permits will be uniform across the state, and include “invalid when intoxicated” on them
- Campus Carry removed
- Preemption clarification – Gives standing to a person adversely affected by a local ordnance or policy regulating firearms (e.g. if a city makes the public library a gun free zone, a citizen could hypothetically sue)
- Capitol Carry clarification – applies to the capitol building only and requires that a person carries concealed. i.e. no open carry in the capitol
- Creates immunity from noise pollution lawsuits for target shooters in rural areas
What happened to Permit-less Carry?
The amendment to HSB133 removed permit-less carry (i.e. Constitutional Carry), the Iowa Firearms Coalition recognizes this issue is a major priority for our members, here’s the chain of events that lead to striking permit-less carry from HSB133.
When HSB133 was initially drafted more than two months ago permit-less carry was one of the many provisions in the bill. As various legislators studied the bill and provided input it became obvious that this particular issue would be a sticking point. Several revisions of the bill were drafted, each making slight tweaks here and there all in an effort to secure enough votes to pass permit-less carry and the rest of HSB133. Eventually it appeared there was consensus on the language and the bill was introduced approximately two weeks before the first legislative funnel of 2017.
Once the bill was introduced and out in the public our allies began getting feedback on the bill. Much of it was the same old predictable anti-gun stuff — “There will be blood in the streets,” “No one wants these laws,” “Mob violence and vigilantes will reign over Iowa,” the same, tired arguments we hear about every bill we introduce. But we did receive some very astute and legitimate feedback that indicated the HSB133 permit-less carry language (as it was introduced) would inadvertently mess with other provisions of Iowa’s weapon laws causing many problems. So, once again the House Judiciary Committee set about amending the permit-less carry provision of HSB133 while hurrying to still meet the March 3rd legislative funnel deadline.
It’s important to note that there have been at least seven revisions to this language since it was first drafted. Each time the bill got tweaked it got a little more complex. Each time a new concern was raised and addressed the permit-less carry provision got a little more unwieldy. Eventually things got to the point that the proposed permit-less carry provision was the exact opposite of what it is supposed to be. Instead of clean and simple, it was complex and had numerous hurdles. At that point it was obvious that this portion of HSB133 had gone off the rails, and that’s why the truly pro-Second Amendment legislators pulled permit-less carry from HSB133. It had become a choice between passing an onerous permit-less carry law that had been watered down, or scrapping it and doing it the right way at the next available opportunity.
Reminder: Second Amendment Day 2017 next Tuesday (3/7). House leadership has told us they’re trying schedule HSB133 a vote in the full House on the same day as Second Amendment Day. Join us and watch the legislature in action as we march toward the passage of a major pro-gun owner law in Iowa!
Remember, we faced a very similar situation is 2015 while trying to legalize suppressors. Senate Democrats offered a severely compromised suppressor bill full of poor language and numerous legal pitfalls. We had members howling that we should take the deal because they wanted suppressors so badly, even if the law was full of crappy language. Much to those members chagrin, we held fast, said no to the bad suppressor bill and then came back in 2016 and forced a rock solid suppressor bill through the legislature and into Iowa’s legal code. We find ourselves in a very similar situation this year with permit-less carry. Accept a less than optimal bill right now, or bear down and do it the right way even if it takes a little while longer? When it comes to our freedom and our right to keep and bear arms, we chose to do things the right way.
Permit-less carry is a weighty issue. For many of our members it’s a simple concept, but for others who are not liberty minded gun owners it takes some time to digest and come around. Very few things happen quickly in politics. The Iowa Firearms Coalition still has lots of allies in the legislature. But even more important than that is the fact that numerous lawmakers have been educated on permit-less carry (something many of them never spent much time considering) and they’re now that much closer to passing this law, the right way, here in Iowa.
HSB133 still contains LOTS of pro-Second Amendment stuff. Stand Your Ground, repealing the ban on supervised youth shooting, SBRs/SBSs and more. With your help we’ll get this bill signed into law and enhance the right to keep and bear arms of Iowa’s 3+ million residents. By now you’ve probably seen or heard, our opposition is pulling out all the stops. We need your help. Come to the capitol on March 7th for Second Amendment Day 2017. Help us show that Iowans want this bill. That we’re reasonable people. That these are reasonable bills. The anti-gunners are working overtime to paint us, and HSB133 as a liability. We need you to help us show the legislature otherwise. Please join us in the capitol on March 7th!
TL;DR – Summary:
Permit-less carry language within HSB133 had been revised many times by the legislature. Eventually it got to the point that it became to complex and unwieldy, the exact opposite of what it should be. Due to time constraints (the first funnel), rather than pass a sub-optimal version of permit-less carry, the House Judiciary Committee decided to remove that provision of HSB133.
HSB133 still contains a ton of good stuff and we need you in the capitol March 7th for Second Amendment Day 2017 to show the legislature they need to pass this bill.