• No Gun Control Needed – New Police Tactic Cuts Gun Related Crime in Cedar Rapids

    January 27, 2017

    Overall crime is on the rise in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but so-called “gun violence” has dropped significantly in the last year. The success is not the result of new gun control laws, but rather a new policing strategy that focuses attention on individuals who are most likely to commit crimes with a gun.

    In 2016 the number of shots fired calls in Cedar Rapids dropped by 14% compared to the year before. The number of homicides also dropped. This is the first time in three years that the number of shots fired calls has decreased. After 2015 there were numerous calls for strict gun control measures, yet the Cedar Rapids Police Department took a different approach, one that did not involve restricting the rights of non-violent, law-abiding Cedar Rapids residents.

    Cedar Rapids’ Police Chief Wayne Jerman credits the drop in gun crime to the creation  of a new community based approach to gun violence. In 2016 CRPD created a five person Police Community Action Team (PCAT). Officers assigned to the PCAT are sent out into the community to build relationships, identify problem areas and key players in gun crimes and gather intelligence used to target those committing crimes with a gun. One year later the results are in, this tightly focused community based approach works. Gun crime is down at a time when overall crime has been on the rise in Cedar Rapids.

    According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette the number of all criminal offenses in Cedar Rapids increased from 15,045 in 2015 to 15,469 in 2016 – an increase of nearly four percent. More specifically, other types of crime not directly related to firearms stayed consistent or increased in 2016. Yet the number of gun related crimes dropped significantly. The Gazette reports the following trends for non-firearms crimes:

    Burglary: 1,005 reported offenses, up from 999 in 2015.
    Assault: 1,319 reported, an increase from 1,272.
    Vandalism: 1,116 reported, compared with 1110 in 2015.
    Drug violations: 1,529 reported, an increase from 1,373.
    Thefts: 3,811 reported in both 2016 and 2015

    The results of Cedar Rapids’ community based approach to targeting gun crimes mimics what other communities around the country have found. When properly staffed and funded, intelligence based, community policing that focuses on the bad actors reduces gun crime in a big way.

    This style of policing and community outreach gained national attention in Boston in the mid-ninety’s after it led to a 63% decrease in youth homicides. Labeled “Operation Ceasefire” in Boston, this approach to gun violence was dubbed the “Boston Miracle” after logging so much success. Even more encouraging, the results have been replicated in numerous other communities. Stockton, California saw a 42% reduction in monthly homicides by gun. Indianapolis, Indiana reduced the number of monthly gun homicides in their city by 34%, and assaults involving a gun dropped by 44% in Lowell, Massachusetts after they implemented their own version of Operation Ceasefire. The program has been named by the US Department of Justice as one of only five crime reduction programs that’s proven effective. Now Cedar Rapids, Iowa appears to have discovered what so many other communities have learned, tightly focused community based policing that focuses on those most likely to commit gun violence works.

    Gun owners and civil rights advocates alike should applaud and encourage this approach to solving the “gun violence” problem in their community. Solid, repeatable gains can be made in reducing crimes associated with firearms while still respecting and not infringing on the rights of non-violent, law-abiding citizens.

    In short, reductions in so-called gun violence can be achieved without infringing on the right to keep and bear arms of vast swaths of non-violent Americans.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition lauds the Cedar Rapids Police Department’s PCAT members and the city’s new approach to community based policing. We hope to see continued reductions in firearms related offenses and hope that other communities in Iowa and throughout the country recognize the impact this style of policing can have.

  • Mistaken Matt McCoy on Iowa Gun Law

    January 18, 2017

    Iowa Senator Matt McCoy was recently recorded making numerous false claims about gun law in Iowa. The Polk County Democrat has previously declared “no one should have a gun that can fire more than twelve times in a minute,” which would pretty much limit us to muzzle-loaders.

    Over the span of about seven minutes at a January 15th, 2017 legislative forum Senator McCoy spreads numerous “untruths” about Iowa gun laws. We’ve highlighted and corrected several of his statements below.

    The fact that Senator McCoy, a veteran lawmaker and member of the Iowa Senate Democrats’ leadership team could be so mistaken about Iowa law is beyond belief for most Iowa Firearms Coalition followers. Considering the fact that he is willfully spreading this misinformation is extremely alarming and downright irresponsible because if gun owners in Iowa were to base their actions off his words they could easily end up committing a criminal act.

    Senator McCoy, gun laws can be confusing, we recognize that, but before you “educate” your constituents on gun law in Iowa please, PLEASE make sure you have your facts straight. We’re more than happy to help answer any questions you may have, all you have to do is ask.

    Mistaken Matt McCoy on Stand Your Ground:

    Question: “What can be done about the no limits on guns being proposed?”

    Referring to pending “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) legislation he incorrectly states intent/effect of the bill as:

    If “I’m arguing with somebody and I can turn around and walk away and leave safely, that under [SYG] if I stay and fight and take out my sidearm and shoot that person, who may or may not also be armed with an equal amount of weapons, … I’m entitled to shoot it out.”

    Of course, Stand Your Ground legislation will retain the current and age-old requirement that the use of force against an assailant (not an argumentative stranger) or to prevent a serious crime must be reasonable. Stand Your Ground law merely removes the duty to retreat in the face of aggression in most circumstances. This remedies the current situation wherein a person may in fact use clearly justifiable and reasonable force to repel an attack, yet be indicted and tried for the crime of failing to retreat because the prosecutor alleges that the person could have safely done so. Of course, that prosecutor was not present at the time of the incident and was assuredly not able to properly evaluate the defendant’s necessarily instantaneous decision under the surprise, shock and fear of the moment. That’s Monday morning quarterbacking of the worst kind. By the way, Stand Your Ground applies to the justifiable use of force, up to and including deadly force, of any type. It is in no way restricted to the use of firearms and could apply as well to the use of fists, a knife, a club or a rock.

    Mistaken Matt McCoy on Youth Shooting in Iowa:

    “They have another bill, that, um… would allow children under the age of 12 [14, actually, Senator] to be able to fire semi-automatic or AK-47s [they can do THAT now, Senator, with parental permission] or, you know, Glocks, which can hold up to 50 rounds… and, uh, I just think that pistols and children… I just… Does anybody see that as a good idea?”

    The Senator then cites some un-sourced statistics claiming that 45% of Iowa homes contain a loaded gun, that “a third” of those homes have children under the age of twelve, that 75% of those children know where the gun is kept and that 37% of those children claim to have handled the gun “at one time or another”. To hear the Senator tell this tale, it sounds somewhat concerning – and, of course, IFC advocates strongly for safe handling, storage and training regarding guns in the home. However, Senator McCoy leaves out three important points: 1.) If his math is correct, of all the children under the age of twelve in every 100 Iowa homes, only four of them have handled a gun at any time without parental supervision.; 2.) While every death or injury of a child is tragic, a recent study (Jan. 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014) showed that fewer than three children were killed and three injured annually in Iowa by accidental gunshot. It is NOT clear that these incidents all involved a child accessing a firearm; 3.) Iowa law already makes it a crime punishable by up to one year in jail for allowing a child unauthorized access to a firearm.

    IFC strongly supports the right and responsibility of Iowa parents to address the need and suitability for firearms safety and proficiency training in the home. End of story.

    Senator McCoy continues with this gem:

    “The odds are, like, 1000% that if you have a loaded gun in your house the gun will be used against you or somebody in your household, either accidentally or deliberately and if you have children, that’s like setting a gasoline can next to a water heater.”

    This is a completely unsupportable – and mathematically impossible – contention. By the Senators own statistics, about 15% of Iowa’s homes have “loaded guns” and children under the age of twelve. With “1000%” odds, where are all the explosions?

    Mistaken Matt McCoy’s full statement on gun law in Iowa:

    After all this, Senator McCoy reminds the audience that “Iowa has a lot of people that enjoy hunting” and that he “plans” to increase the availability of “public lands for public hunting”. Well, that will make it all better!

    The Senator attempted to sum up his position by saying that “people with “these extreme positions on guns are out of touch with average Iowans” and that “we can have hunting and reasonable laws protecting children” without “turning Iowa into the Wild West”.

    Things went a little off the track at that point though, when a woman in the audience shouted out: “But Brownells are in Grinnell and they want the gun laws to be as silly as they can be!

    Senator McCoy responded: “Well, I’m glad you mentioned that, Ma’am. Since the ban was lifted on AK-47s, we’ve made about nine million of them in America. … So, so, one of the things that I’ve found is these high magazine weapons have been in a lot of the attacks, um…, are the weapon of choice for cowards that go into a room full of unarmed people and indiscriminately start shooting and, um…, and so I think limiting the amount of magazines to ten is reasonable and I think that if a buck goes over a hill and can’t, uh, be hit with ten, uh, shots then you’re not worth your salt as a hunter. So if it’s really about, uh, um, sporting, then, then let’s limit the magazines to ten.”

    Of course, Senator McCoy has previously stated that “no one should have a gun that can fire more than twelve times in a minute”, which would pretty much limit us to muzzle-loaders.

    So there are the highlights, but if you really want to appreciate how Senator McCoy feels about responsible Iowa firearms owners like the members of IFC, please listen to the recording, which is a little over seven minutes long.


  • Sgt. Tony Beminio: Police Officer. Father. IFC Member.

    November 21, 2016

    Sgt. Anthony Beminio IFC

    Today, November 21st, would have been Sgt. Anthony “Tony” Beminio’s 39th birthday. Beminio was ambushed and murdered the morning of November 2nd, 2016. Investigators believe he was murdered by Scott Michael Greene of Urbandale. Greene is also charged in the murder of Justin Martin, an Urbandale police officer.

    Beminio was a veteran police officer, SWAT team member and respected member of the Des Moines community. Beminio was also a Second Amendment advocate and part of the IFC family. He believed strongly in the people’s right to keep and bear arms. He stood alongside the thousands of IFC members using our email Advocacy Campaigns as we pushed for legalizing suppressors, and making Permit to Carry information private in Iowa.

    The news of Sgt. Beminio and Officer Martin’s murders hit most everyone in the State of Iowa very hard. We all received a jarring reminder that evil is everywhere and ready to strike when we least expect it. Once we realized Tony was one of the victims, one of our own, the entire IFC leadership team immediately set to work doing what we could to make sure his family and the Martin family knew we had their backs. Tony was one of thousands of Iowa law enforcement officials who recognized and valued the Second Amendment and supported our cause. We’re eternally grateful to be able to call Tony part of the IFC family.

    For the past several weeks we’ve been using our industry contacts to assemble a fundraiser for the Beminio and Martin families. We’re shoring up some of the final details, but we’re proud to say that some of the biggest names in the firearms industry have stepped up to help us. We’ll be releasing the details shortly.

    In the meantime, Tony, happy birthday brother. From the bottom of our hearts thank you for your years of dedication. To your family. To your community. To IFC and our efforts protect the freedoms of all Iowans. We know you had our backs every single day, and now it’s our turn to help watch over your loved ones. You’re absolutely not forgotten, rest in peace good friend.

    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. 

  • Random Stabbing Attacks Reported in Cedar Falls, IA

    October 18, 2016

    Image courtesy WCF Courier


    Two people in Cedar Falls are in the hospital after being randomly stabbed while in the University Avenue Studios apartments.

    Police were dispatched to the apartment complex at 4:35 p.m. on Monday, October 17th. Once on the scene they found two victims, in separate units, each with multiple stab wounds. Officers believe the victims were chosen at random.

    adam-jacobsenA 47-year-old female victim was taken to the hospital with multiple serious injuries.

    A 62-year-old male victim was taken to the hospital with multiple potentially life threatening injuries.

    Both victims are recovering.

    Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the apparent random stabbings. Right now 28-year-old Adam Jacobsen has been taken into custody. Jacobsen appears to also live in the University Avenue Studios apartment complex.

    adam-jacobsen-fbConcerns have been raised after citizens reported alarming posts on Jacobsen’s Facebook page. Posts from earlier this year have the 28-year-old claiming to be “…craving murder.” In another post Jacobsen claimed “Ive killed people in real and never have or will get caught.” Investigators with the Cedar Falls Police Department say they are aware of these posts and they are part of their ongoing investigation.

    This incident proves once again that violent human beings often defy logic and sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Being able to defend yourself and your loved ones is each resident’s responsibility. The police cannot be everywhere at once and when trouble comes calling you need to be prepared and able to defend yourself and your loved ones.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition will continue to monitor this story and share more details as they develop.

    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. 

  • 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.

  • “Beat Whitey Night” Is Precisely Why The Iowa State Fair Should Allow Visitors To Carry

    August 5, 2016

    Three Police Officers Injured By Mob Violence At Iowa State Fair

    WHO-TV’s Dave Price filed the report posted above after the 2010 Iowa State Fair. A fair that gained national notoriety after a mob of more than 3o teens ran wild in and around the state fairgrounds on a night proclaimed “Beat Whitey Night.”

    The violent mob, which was apparently targeting Caucasian fair goers eventually turned its focus to the police officers dispatched to the fairgrounds to make the area safe. At various points a handful of officers were overwhelmed by the mob, three of them sustaining injuries the process. Eventually tasers and mace had to be used to disperse the angry crowd.

    Iowa’s Permit to Carry holders have long complained that they cannot legally carry firearms for the protection of themselves and their loved ones during the Iowa State Fair. Now the Iowa State Fair’s gun ban (they’re specifically exempted from Iowa’s preemption law) is coming under review by the Iowa legislature.

    “There are no immediate plans by the legislative panel to consider the Fair Board rules one way or another, said Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids.”

    On August 5th a panel of lawmakers decided against changing the ban for 2016, BUT that doesn’t mean this issue is dead. Iowa’s 2017 legislative session will likely see the issue of State Fair Carry introduced as a bill intended to supersede the current law and repeal the Iowa State Fair’s ban on lawful carry.

    As word spread about the growing push to legalize carry at the Iowa State Fair our Iowa Firearms Coalition members began voicing reasons for why they, as trained & law-abiding citizens, should be able to exercise their Right to Keep and Bear Arms during the fair, just as they do at every county fair throughout the State of Iowa. Here’s a few of their comments:

    Unless they can assign me my very own security detail, which they can’t, they need to allow me to defend myself. I’ve said it for years!
    -Kina W.

    We have a booth at the fair, and for the most part have a lot of fun with no issues… But we walk in and out with a lot of cash everyday and no way to defend ourselves while moving around in and out
    -Scott C.

    Kinda ironic the fair board allows guns on the grounds every other month for the local gun shows….
    -Jan S.

    why is my life worth any less at the fairgrounds?
    -Michael W.

    Is free speech banned there? Or are certain religious groups or ethnicities not allowed there? If those constitutional rights aren’t banned at The Fair, then why should the right to bear arms?
    -Nate S.


    The Iowa Firearms Coalition has taken the lead on this issue testifying against the current Iowa State Fair ban at the August 5th review of the law. IFC will continue to push this issue along with other pro-Second Amendment bills in the 2017 legislative session. For updates on State Fair Carry and other Second Amendment issues in Iowa sign up for IFC’s email updates.

    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. 

  • Legislative update week 16 – Sine Die

    May 1, 2016
    Legislative update week 16
    Sine Die


    Friday night the state legislature adjourned “sine die” for 2016. This means lawmakers have closed out this year’s legislative session and have no plans to meet again until 2017. The Senate chose not to allow a vote on the Privacy Protection Act, and killed that bill like they have so many other pro-gun owner bills in the last 6 years. As we’ve pointed out before, this bill, HF2314, would benefit more than a quarter million Iowans. It is also endorsed by Iowa law enforcement, and it passed the House by an astounding 97 to 1 vote. Yet despite all this, the Democrats in control of the Senate said the bill “needed fixing” and refused to allow a vote on this bill. This course of action is something we Iowans are unfortunately way too familiar with.

    Despite this, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and our allies were able to secure two noteworthy victories this year. We legalized suppressors and legalized ATV carry. This is more progress on the pro-Second Amendment front than has been made in the last 6 years. We’re proud to be able to reclaim a bit of liberty and we’re proud to have led the charge for these pro-freedom bills. But our work is FAR from over.

    If you’re satisfied with the way Senate Democrats have deliberately mishandled pro-Second Amendment bills, continue doing nothing. But if you’re like us, frustrated with the fact that we have to fight tooth and nail for every for pro-gun owner bill, then we need you to stay active. We’re facing a major election season, and we’re poised to flip the Senate and shake up the Iowa legislature. Now that the session is over, we’re not slowing down. We’ll soon be rolling out specific plans, easy things we all can do, that’ll help us flip the Senate and greatly improve the odds for pro-gun owner legislation in the Iowa legislature. But know this, we’ll only be successful if we can build a ground swell of active supporters. That means doing more than just casting a ballot in early November.

    If we fail you can expect to see the same anti-gunners running the Iowa Senate in 2017 and 2018. If you want to see change, you need to do your part to bring it about. We’re working hard on our end, but our success is directly tied to your involvement. Our active followers are a tremendous resource during the legislative session, now we hope to continue to harness your energy for the upcoming campaign season.

    We sincerely thank you for supporting the Iowa Firearms Coalition. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without your support. There’s a reason why IFC is the most respected Second Amendment organization in Iowa, and that reason is the thousands of you who keep close tabs on Iowa’s elected officials. Now we just need you to keep up the momentum and help us make some much needed changes in the legislature.

    Thank you so much. More updates to come!

    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. 

  • Legislative update week 10

    March 20, 2016

    Legislative update week 10
    Suppressor success & unfinished business


    We’ve just wrapped up a monumental week in the capitol. House File 2279, the Hearing Protection Act passed the Senate by a 46 to 4 vote. The bill had an amendment attached to it that fixed a small grammatical error in the original draft. This means the House of Representatives will have to vote on the amendment before the bill goes to the governor’s desk. House leadership has already signaled that they have prioritized this vote and will be taking it up in short order. We fully expect the House to adopt the amendment. Once that happens we expect the governor to sign the Hearing Protection Act into law. Major thanks to all of the IFC members who’ve worked so hard make this happen.

    We’re extremely proud to have pushed the Hearing Protection Act through the Senate, but we can’t lose sight of the other two bills that are still eligible for votes in the Senate: the ATV Carry Act and the Privacy Protection Act. There’s no denying that legalizing suppressors will great for gun owners in Iowa, but these two other bills will serve hundreds of thousands of gun owners statewide. Unfortunately Democrats in the Iowa Senate have heavily amended both the ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act. The Iowa Firearms Coalition strongly opposes these amendments and encourages you to contact your senator and urge them to vote no on any amendment to either bill.

    Please take 30 seconds to email your senator about the ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act.

    Finally, in honor of this week’s victory in the senate we’re discounting our life memberships from $500 down to $300. Use the code “Suppressors2016” to take $200 off your life membership purchase. NOTE: if you’re a current IFC member email us at “membership@iowafc.org” to apply your coupon code. This offer will expire on May 1st.

    More updates to come. Thanks so much for your hard work and continued 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. 

  • Legislative update week 9

    March 13, 2016


    Week 9 in the Iowa legislature, the second funnel week of 2016, was full of ups and downs.

    Good news first:
    There are three pro-gun owner bills eligible for votes in the full Senate. This is a monumental achievement considering the lay of the land in the legislature. The Hearing Protection Act, ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act all passed out of committee and are now eligible for votes in the Senate. This has exceeded many people’s expectations, but we’re not through yet.

    Few people know it, but the ATV Carry Act was essentially dead on arrival in the Senate’s Natural Resources committee. Democrats there were deadset against it and planned to kill it on the calendar. But thanks to a lot of hard work and some savvy maneuvering IFC’s volunteer lobbyists managed to get the ATV Carry Act not only a subcommittee vote, but a committee vote as well. The ATV Carry Act passed both of these votes and is now eligible for a full vote in the Senate.

    The bad news:
    The Youth Shooting & Parental Rights Act and the Emergency Protection Act were both killed by Senate Democrats inaction. Both bills had wide bipartisan support, and would have benefitted families and gun owners in Iowa, but the Senate chose to play politics once again and kill these bills without even voting on them.

    Now, you should also know that the ATV Carry Act passed its committee vote 12 to 1, but an amendment that severely guts the original intent of the bill was tacked on. The same goes for the Permit Privacy Act. This bill passed its committee vote 8 to 4 with an amendment that fundamentally changes the concept of the bill. This amendment was so egregious that the only ones to vote for it were the Democrats on the judiciary committee. Keep in mind this bill passed the House 97 to 1, and Iowa’s law enforcement groups all endorsed this bill as written. There’s no reason for Senate Democrats to thumb their noses at Iowa’s police officers and their colleagues in the House.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition strongly opposes both of these amendments. We’ve got an explanation of the amendments and why we oppose them on IowaFC.org.

    We’ve also activated a brand new Advocacy Campaign telling the Senate to stop monkeying around this year’s gun bills. Please use this tool to email your Senator, once you’re done please send this to a few friends and encourage them to do the same.

    There is good news though:
    The amendments put on the ATV Carry Act and the Privacy Protection Act are not set in stone. They must be approved by the entire Senate before they can truly alter the bills. We expect a real slugfest if/when these bills are brought to the floor of the Senate. Our volunteer lobbyists are working extremely hard to lockup votes for our side, but we need your help. Get in contact with your senator early and often. Magnify your efforts by getting a few friends to contact their Senators. Send them the link to our Advocacy Campaign and fill them in on why these amendments are no good.

    Finally, even if the Senate ramrods these amendments through they have to be approved by the House of Representatives, which is a tall order considering the strong bipartisan support these bills enjoy in the House.

    So, to be clear, the optimal outcome is for these amendments to fail on the Senate floor. But if that doesn’t happen, we’re not out of the game. Not by a long shot.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition is leading the way and fighting these amendments tooth and nail, but we need you to do your part.

    More updates to come. Keep pushing Iowans, your efforts are making a difference!

    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. 

  • IA Senate Democrats Change Bipartisan Gun Bills

    March 12, 2016

    Breaking down the recent Senate amendments

    The Senate Judiciary and Natural Resources committees recently approved the ATV Carry Act and Privacy Protection Act. These two bills, and the Hearing Protection Act, are now eligible for a vote before the full Senate. But there’s a very large asterisk next to the ATV Carry Act and the Privacy Protection Act. Both bills were passed out of committee with an amendment, and in both cases the amendments greatly undermine the original intent of the bills. Rather than drum up a bunch of incendiary rhetoric we’ll simply lay out the amendments, a few facts about the bills and why the Iowa Firearms Coalition opposes these measures. Then you can decide for yourself whether or not the Senate Democrats were right to start monkeying with these bills. We hope that this will help you as you contact your legislators about these bills, and help you convince your friends and family to do the same.

    CLICK HERE to send an email to your Senator telling them to VOTE NO on these amendments!

    ATV Carry Act

    This bill was designed to allow Iowans to carry their firearms on ATVs, snowmobiles, and other off-highway vehicles in the same way they are allowed to carry their firearms in cars, tractors, or motorcycles. Under current Iowa law you’re committing a crime if you carry a firearm on ATV, snowmobile, etc., in any way other than unloaded and in a case. Even if you have a valid Permit to Carry.

    House File 2283, the ATV Carry Act, passed the Iowa House of Representatives 78 to 20 on February 23rd. When the Senate Natural Resources Committee got a hold of it they promptly amended this bill. Their originally proposed amendment does the following:

    -Makes the bill only apply to pistols and revolvers (long guns must still be kept unloaded and cased)
    -Requires the use of a “retention holster” (but does not define what a retention holster is)
    -Removes a provision that allows landowners to carry on an ATV or snowmobile without a Permit to Carry, so long as they remain on property they own or possess
    -Inserts a prohibition on shooting from an ATV or snowmobile under any circumstances (the original House version prohibited shooting from the vehicles while “hunting or attempting to hunt”)

    In our testimony to the Senate Natural Resources subcommittee, IFC voiced strong opposition to these unnecessary changes to the House approved language of the bill. We were able to convince the subcommittee members to reinsert the provision allowing persons to carry unrestricted on their own property. This is a vital correction, as it is anticipated that rural landowners will be the primary beneficiaries of this legislative reform.

    When HF2283 came before the full Natural Resources Committee, Senator Ken Rozenboom (R-Oskaloosa), offered an amendment that effected the changes listed above, but with the corrective language regarding private property. In addition, Sen. Rozenboom included a provision that would allow Iowans to carry loaded and uncased long guns when operating their vehicles on land they own or possess. In making the case for this provision, the Senator used the example of a cattleman who might come upon a coyote attacking a calf and needing immediate access to his firearm. (IFC has not yet seen the language of this amendment, but we believe this explanation to be accurate.) The amendment was approved without objection by the full committee, which then approved the bill with only Sen. Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) voting in opposition.
    Though the amendment was improved in committee, it raises immediate questions: What constitutes a “retention holster?” Aren’t all holsters considered retention devices? They’re designed hold our weapon in a safe way, right? Who get’s to define what is and is not a “retention holster?” These are all valid questions that the Senate Democrats have left unanswered, and that’s a very big problem. Then there’s the fact that this amendment only applies to handguns.

    CLICK HERE to send an email to your Senator telling them to VOTE NO on these amendments!

    Privacy Protection Act

    This bill does a number of things, but most notably it makes it so that permit holders in Iowa can keep their private information (name, date of birth, address, etc.) private. Right now anyone can request the private information of all 250,000+ permit holders in Iowa. This is a problem when the media in Iowa collect all this information and publish or broadcast this information for no other reason than because they can. This bill, House File 2314, would curtail that, but it also cleans up and solidifies a handful of questionable provisions in Iowa’s Permit to Carry law that was passed in 2010.

    The amendment to this bill, passed by the Democrats on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee does the following:

    -Requires a proficiency test for all future Permit to Carry applicants (range test would be mandatory)
    -Eliminates the option of online training for a Permit to Carry
    -Institutes a “loser pays” system for permit denials & suspensions (if you’re denied a permit, appeal the ruling, and a judge rules in your favor your sheriff will have to pay your legal fees)

    There are several things to consider on this amendment. First off, the loser pays system is a provision that IFC supports. But outside of that the rest of this amendment leads to a lot of questions Senators would prefer you didn’t ask. Questions like: what other rights do we as Iowans enjoy that require a proficiency test? Do you need to pass a test to go to your place of worship? No. Do you need to pass a test before you can speak publicly? No. Do you need to prove your ability before you can go vote? Nope. Now, we might joke on occasion about ‘low information voters’ from time to time, but the fact is there’s no specific level proficiency you must prove before you can vote. Can you imagine the fit the Senate would throw if a bill was put forward requiring a proficiency test for voters? It would be epic. So considering all this ask yourself, why should your right to keep and bear arms be any different? Take it one step further and ask yourself when has a private citizen in Iowa ever been required by state law to pass a proficiency test to exercise their Second Amendment right? The answer is never.

    Fundamental issues with the proficiency tests aside, this amendment would severely limit Iowans’ ability to obtain quality instruction. This is because there is currently a very distinct shortage of public shooting areas in the State of Iowa, which means if this amendment were passed the only instructors that would be allowed to teach Permit to Carry classes would be those who have access to a range. In addition, this amendment blocks a citizen’s ability to take a classroom Permit to Carry class with one instructor and take a proficiency test at a range with a separate instructor. In short, this amendment would severely cut into Iowans’ gun safety training options. Make no mistake, the Iowa Firearms Coalition encourages in the strongest possible terms that all Iowans to seek out high quality firearms training. But private citizens should be free to seek out training as they see fit, not be forced into an arbitrary set of demands established by a handful of non-carrying, non-gun owning legislators.

    Don’t lose sight of the voting record on this bill either. On February 23rd, this bill sailed through the Iowa House of Representatives 97 to 1. Republicans, Democrats, urban legislators, rural legislators, everyone but one stick in the mud in the House voted for this bill. On top of that, the lone representative who voted no on this bill didn’t even feel strongly enough about it to get up and speak in opposition. Not a single word of opposition about this bill was spoken! So what’s changed between then and now? One thing, the bill now resides in the Senate chambers, and for some reason those in power in the Senate Judiciary Committee feel the need to meddle.

    As if that meddling was not bad enough, we’d like to remind you of one final fact. Iowa’s law enforcement groups have all registered in favor of this bill as written. The Iowa Police Chiefs Association, Iowa Peace Officers Association, Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, all of these organizations representing law enforcement all throughout our state have endorsed the bill as written. The men and women who are sworn to keep us safe believe in this bill, and yet for some reason the Senate Democrats seem to think know how to protect Iowans better that Iowa’s law enforcement officers…

    Draw your own conclusions about these amendments, but make sure you know the facts. And when you hear someone telling you these amendments “strengthen these bills” make sure they know the facts as well.

    CLICK HERE to send an email to your Senator telling them to VOTE NO on these amendments!

    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.