• Review & Preview : Week 17 of the Iowa Legislative Session

    May 10, 2015


    Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.
    -Author unknown


    ​Week 17 Review

    Iowa Firearms Coalition members continue to fight the Senate’s inaction on SF427. We activated a new Advocacy Campaign and continue to call on each and every one of you to keep the pressure on the Senate and the Senate’s leadership. The details on how to do so are outlined below.

    Week 18 Preview

    Since this legislative session is already beyond it’s intended length (and the legislators are no longer being paid nor receiving a per diem), both chambers of the Legislature are under increased pressure to wrap things up for the year. At the forefront of our minds should be how we went 2015 to be remembered as it pertains to the expansion of our 2nd Amendment freedoms.

    As we have previously mentioned, SF427 continues to remain a viable bill that needs only a final vote in the full Iowa Senate. It continues to enjoy broad bipartisan support and needs only to overcome the obstacle that is Senator Gronstal (D). As the Senate Majority Leader, Gronstal decides what bills will and will not be bought to the floor for debate and a vote. Recognizing that there is very little time left, we must make this week count as we continue to remind the Senate Leadership that we are still here and demand to be heard.

    What You Can Do

    As we celebrate Mother’s Day and reflect on everything we are thankful for, it becomes apparent that those things we are most thankful for include the many freedoms we enjoy. But as we ponder those freedoms we must continue to remind ourselves that we gain and maintain freedom through involvement.

    Similarly, we lose freedom when we become spectators to the political process and sit on the side-lines hoping for the best. As such, you must ask yourself if you want to be an agent of change that expands freedom, or do you want to be a spectator that watches freedom evaporate from our nation’s vocabulary.

    Get involved today! Make one phone call… send one email, and talk to one neighbor. Together, we can make our voices heard that SF427 must receive a vote!

    Email:
    Use our newest Advocacy Campaign to quickly and easily email your Senator. Help us send a strong message – ‘Your inaction on SF427 will be considered the same as a “No” vote.’

    If you can, copy the body of that message and send an additional email to the Senate leadership as well. Their email addresses are: mike.gronstal@legis.iowa.gov; steve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov; pam.jochum@legis.iowa.gov; joe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov

    Call:
    The Senate switchboard will open for calls tomorrow (Monday) at 1:00 p.m.

    Call them and leave a message – (515)281-3371 – “SF427 deserves a vote! It’s time to do what’s right for the people of Iowa. Stop the games and bring Senate File 427 to floor.”

    Ask that the message is delivered to your Senator as well as the Senate leadership.


    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.

  • Review & Preview: Week 16 in the Iowa Legislature

    May 3, 2015

    Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.
    -Napoleon Bonaparte

     

    Week 16 Review

    The Iowa Senate continues to purposely stall SF427, the Omnibus Gun Bill. There has been no new action on the bill this week.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition members are fighting this malicious inaction. We’ve activated a new Advocacy Campaign and are calling on each and every one of you to turn up the pressure on the Senate and the Senate’s leadership.

    More details below on how you can do your part to help the cause.

    Week 17 Preview

    Right now many of us have more questions than answers with regard to the status of SF427. It is still a viable bill that can be voted on at a moment’s notice IF Senate Majority Leader (D) Mike Gronstal were to allow the democratic process to actually occur.

    Our current situation epitomizes everything that’s wrong and broke about our legislative system, and we need your help to get the word out.

    When a bill, such as SF427, passes 6 votes, each time with  bipartisan support, often receiving a supermajority vote, you’d think the Senate would recognize that it deserves a vote.When a bill, such as SF427, would protect the privacy more than a quarter million Iowans, you’d think the Senate would give it a fair vote.When a bill, such as SF427, is backed by Iowa’s police agencies, you’d think the Senate would listen to the men and women that keep them safe.

    Senator Gronstal and the inner circle that makes up the Senate leadership are purposely blocking this bill from being brought to a vote.

    They’re doing this because they’re afraid.

    Radical out of state gun control groups have put a lot of pressure on them to kill the Omnibus Gun Bill by any means possible. Undoubtedly there have been promises made about the 2016 elections as well. The Senate leadership is afraid that voting on this bill would mean their members would have to go on record and show their true colors.

    They’d rather pander to nanny state billionaires than do their jobs and serve the people of Iowa. They know the Omnibus Gun Bill has the votes to pass, but in order to keep their 1% East Coast sugar daddies happy they’re forced to use ticky-tack procedural methods to kill this bill rather than give it the vote it deserves.

    That is the real reason they refuse to bring SF427 to a vote.

    What You Can Do

    The time has come for us to hold the Senate Majority Leadership accountable. Rather than continue to make us explain *why* SF427 should receive a vote, it is time for us to require THEM to answer *why not.*

    Email:
    Use our newest Advocacy Campaign to quickly and easily email your Senator. Help us send a strong message – ‘Your inaction on SF427 will be considered the same as a “No” vote.’

    If you can, copy the body of that message and send an additional email to the Senate leadership as well. Their email addresses are: mike.gronstal@legis.iowa.gov; steve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov; pam.jochum@legis.iowa.gov; joe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov

    Call:
    The Senate switchboard will open for calls tomorrow (Monday) at 1:00 p.m.

    Call them and leave a message – (515)281-3371“SF427 deserves a vote! It’s time to do what’s right for the people of Iowa. Stop the games and bring Senate File 427 to floor.”

    Ask that the message is delivered to your Senator as well as the Senate leadership.

    Closing Thoughts

    Ask yourself, “Who runs Iowa? Do out-of-state astroturf organizations funded by New York billionaires run Iowa? Or do Iowans run Iowa? Do Iowans want to be told by East Coast gun grabbers how we should live our lives? Or do we want Iowa Legislators to represent IOWA values?”

    If Senators Gronstal and Sodders block our other 48 Senators from voting on SF427, they will have single handedly disenfranchised millions of Iowans. We cannot sit idly by and allow this to happen. As a 2nd Amendment advocate, if you have been saving your time and energy to be heard during this legislative session; now is the time! We’ve worked too hard to throw in the towel now.

    Call or email your Iowa Senator repeatedly this week and explain that we will not relent on this issue. Tell the Senate leadership we expect them to listen to the people of Iowa, or we will hold the whole Senate accountable at the voting booth in 2016!


    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, ormaking a donation.

  • DO or DIE Time for Iowa’s Omnibus Gun Bill

    May 1, 2015
    Legislative Alert
    Do or Die Time for Omnibus Gun Bill – SF427
    New Advocacy Campaign Launched

    Iowans-

    We’re getting word the Omnibus Gun Bill is in dire straits. We greatly need your help.

    It’s been three full weeks since the Iowa House of Representatives passed SF427, the latest version of the Omnibus Gun Bill. Since then the bill has been waiting for the Iowa Senate to schedule it for a vote. For three full weeks it has sat there, on the Senate leadership’s desk, and they haven’t lifted a finger. Nor will they unless we start making some racket.

    IFC needs your help starting right now, and continuing until the final gavel falls. We’ve just activated a brand new Advocacy Campaign telling the Senate Iowans expect them to do their jobs and give this bill a fair vote.

    If you can, please copy body of that message and send an additional email to the Senate leadership as well. Their email addresses are: mike.gronstal@legis.iowa.govsteve.sodders@legis.iowa.govpam.jochum@legis.iowa.govjoe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov

    Tell them the people of Iowa (whom they’ve sworn to serve) expect them to give the Omnibus Gun Bill a fair vote. Most importantly, make sure they know that no action on this bill must be considered the same as them voting ‘No.’

    We need you to help us make it very clear, the Senate’s actions (or in actions) in 2015 will not be forgotten during the 2016 elections.

    If the Senate allows the Omnibus Gun Bill to die without a vote they’ll have made several points very clear to the people of Iowa.

    • A track record of six massive by bipartisan votes mean nothing to them.
    • The word of Iowa’s law enforcement communities means nothing to them.
    • Protecting the privacy of a quarter million Iowans means nothing to them.
    • Parental rights, and supervised gun safety training mean nothing to them.
    • Stiffer penalties for criminals buying guns illegally means nothing to them.
    • Legalizing suppressors, and restoring lost freedoms means nothing to them.

    You’d think any legislator worth their salt would not want to be responsible for blocking of all that. But by now we know full well the Iowa Senate would rather follow its own agenda rather than listen to the people they’ve sworn to serve.

    Please use our Advocacy Campaign.

    We need you to contact the Iowa Senate the same way they vote in Chicago; early and often.

    We’ve asked for your help a lot this session. But this is when we need it most. This is shaping up to be our final push to get SF427 the vote it deserves. If we do not raise the alarm and make our case right now the Senate leadership will be more than happy to brush our Second Amendment freedoms aside once again.

    Please contact your Senator, the Senate leadership, and get your friends and family to do the same. It is do or die time for the Omnibus Gun Bill.

    The final push begins now.


    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, ormaking a donation.

  • Consider the Source: Gun Control Group Releases Skewed Survey

    April 16, 2015
    Out of state gun control activists grasping at straws to keep gun control push alive in Iowa.

    Methodology and the exact contents of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety poll have (unsurprisingly) not been released.

    Survey Says…

    Desperate for attention anti-gunners have released the results of a new poll about gun laws in Iowa.

    The poll, paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety, claims that only 8 percent of Iowans oppose universal background checks.  Iowa media have begun circulating the results, you can find a copy of the story on the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier website. Other Everytown survey results include:

    34 percent supported and 61 percent opposed weakening the current requirement that Iowans complete a gun safety training course to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public places; 72 percent opposed and 25 percent supported removing the age requirement that children be 14 years or older to use handguns when supervised by adults; and 28 percent supported and 68 percent opposed changing current Iowa law to allow the use of firearm silencers.

    The results are extrapolations based off of the responses of 703 Iowans who took the phone survey conducted by SurveyUSA.

    Not surprisingly the questions participants were asked have not been released, nor have any other details of the poll’s methodology.

    No doubt the poll was designed to elicit the most skewed results possible.

    Consider the Source

    The poll is funded by the same group that has been making the bogus claim that the Omnibus Gun Bill would “arm domestic abusers and felons.” It’s also the same group that has a flown in a New York City lobbyist to try to persuade the Iowa legislature to kill the Omnibus Gun Bill. Now these out-of-staters are pushing this survey on as many people as possible, hoping to paint a picture that all of Iowa opposes the Omnibus Gun Bill (a fact we all know to be false).

    The fact is this group has yet to show their work, or any specifics about the survey, and truth be told we’re not holding our breaths that we’ll ever see that kind of information.

    Sadly Everytown for Gun Safety is now getting help from a group of gun owners in Iowa who are also trying to kill the Omnibus Gun Bill. It goes to show anti-gunners come in all shapes and sizes.

    The story about the Everytown for Gun Safety poll conveniently omits the fact that this bill would immediately benefit hundreds of thousands of Iowa Permit to Carry holders. These lawful Iowans would no longer have to worry about the threat of the media collecting things like their name, address, date of birth, etc., and publishing it for the whole world to see.

    Also missing from the piece is the vital detail that the Iowa law enforcement community wants to see this bill signed into law. The Iowa Police Chiefs Association, the Iowa Peace Officers Association, and the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association all back the Omnibus Gun Bill. A fact that Everytown, Moms Demand Action, the Center for American Progress, and other gun control zealots omit every time this bill is brought up.

    Of course telling their followers that the officers that keep you safe think this bill is good for Iowa does not fit their fear based agenda, so this should not be a surprise to anyone.

    And finally the reason the anti’s are so desperate to kill this bill is because they know it can pass. It’s got bipartisan support. And it’s not just a couple of Republicans and Democrats back this bill, an OVERWHELMING number of Iowa legislators from both sides of the aisle want to see the Omnibus Gun Bill signed into law. All it needs is to pass one more vote before going to Governor Branstad’s desk. This is precisely why anti-gun groups and now so-called no-compromise groups are working together to try to kill this bill, they know that despite their skewed polls, our side has virtually everything we need to get this bill passed.


    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.

  • Des Moines Register Thinks Firearms Owners and the NRA are Too Powerful

    December 30, 2014

    Des Moines Register thinks firearms owners and the NRA are too powerful.

    Alright, so maybe this isn’t really breaking news for most of you. By now it’s pretty well-known the Register’s editorial board opposes pretty much every effort to protect or enhance the second amendment rights of Iowans and Americans in general.

    However, earlier this week the Register doubled down on their anti-gun, anti-NRA stance by shaming the U.S. Senate over their vote to confirm Vivek Murthy as the nation’s newest surgeon general. It seems confirming a pro-gun control nominee is simply not good enough for the Register’s editorial board. The fact that millions of NRA members and like-minded individuals opposed Murthy’s appointment is apparently just too much for the Register’s editorial board to handle. Never mind the fact if Harry Reid hadn’t used the nuclear option and changed the fundamental operation of the Senate Murthy would not have been confirmed. Or the fact that gun control, err, gun sense, err, common sense, err, Universal Background Check pusher (D) Joe Manchin of West Virginia also voted against Murthy’s appointment.

    Speaking as Iowa’s most effective 2nd Amendment advocates, and also an NRA affiliate, we thank the Des Moines Register for acknowledging the power of millions of voices united against gun control measures and other repeated attempts further restrict our constitutionally protected freedoms. And while we may never be able to persuade the Register’s editorialists to support our cause we can point them to the truth. A majority of Americans back gun owner rights rather than gun control efforts. Gun ownership is on the rise and yet violent crime continues to fall. And more Americans than ever are realizing that their own personal safety is their responsibility. More than anything else these examples and the millions of NRA members and like-minded individuals are what makes this group so powerful.

    That’s not a political statement. That’s something anyone with a little “common sense” would recognize. It’s a fact.


    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.

  • 4 Common Myths About the NRA…Busted!

    December 12, 2014

     

    Protest

    Originally written by Daniel T. McElrath for the NRA’s Family Insights

    Myth 1: The NRA represents gun manufacturers.

    One of the most pervasive myths about NRA is that it represents firearm manufacturers. It doesn’t. It represents firearm owners. Firearm manufacturers are represented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Yes, manufacturers often contribute money to the Association or raffle/contest prizes to one of its many programs, but NRA—at its heart—is a non-profit civil rights organization. As for firearms manufacturers, their size and cash reserves are grossly overestimated by those who oppose gun rights. A firearm is an extremely durable product with a very long service life, and is a big-ticket item for most consumers, limiting sales. Unless a firearm manufacturer is also a defense or law-enforcement contractor with domestic and/or foreign government contracts, it is typically a small operation; certainly nowhere near being a Fortune 500 company.

    Myth 2: The NRA’s power rests in how much money it gives out to candidates.

    Many gun-control advocates seem to have trouble believing that someone would disagree with them on a subject like gun control and that, if someone does, it must be the result of greed. The truth is that the NRA’s power comes not from distributing cash, but from producing votes. NRA members are politically informed and engaged, and vote in extremely high numbers. Moreover, many are single-issue voters who have arrived at the understanding that their opinions on any other subject are potentially moot without the Second Amendment backing them up.

    Myth 3: The NRA’s influence is grossly disproportionate to its membership numbers.

    This miscalculation is based on the actual number of paid NRA memberships. It fails to consider the practical realities of non-profit advocacy. Not every family can afford separate memberships for each member of the family. Many households have only one “official” member, but everyone in the home reads the NRA Official Journal and supports the Association in spirit. During times of economic hardship, organization memberships are often viewed as a luxury and are voluntarily suspended by annual members until things improve. Further, when the political situation is “good” for gun owners (for example, when there is a pro-gun administration in Washington), gun owners feel safe and often allow their memberships to lapse. And, of course, some people just aren’t “joiners.” They believe in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms but, for whatever reason, don’t formally join advocacy organizations, though they vote in support of the Second Amendment. So, while NRA may have “only” 5 million members, each of those represents many like-minded folks who turn out come Election Day and cast votes in preservation of their rights.

    Myth 4: Polls show that most Americans disagree with NRA and want more gun control.

    The mainstream press often cites polls showing Americans support gun control. Don’t believe them. First of all, many of these polls are conducted immediately following highly publicized mass shootings, when people respond emotionally. Also, you have to know how the poll was conducted and how questions were posed. If asked, simply “Are you in favor of gun control?” a person on the street may say yes. However, if you pose the question “Do you favor more gun control legislation or the enforcement of existing laws?” that same person may favor the latter.

    We also must consider whether we really want Constitutional rights determined via polling. The Bill of Rights protects the individual from “the tyranny of the majority.” The Second Amendment doesn’t say “Good poll numbers being essential to good public policy, the right of the people … .” Are we forbidden from practicing a certain religion because it’s not trending well? Do we give up the right to read a good book because it’s fallen into disfavor among the majority?
    Join the NRA – $10 off annual memberships


    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.

  • Braley wants your opinion on background checks!

    August 11, 2014

    Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA)

    Bruce Braley (D-IA), Representative for the First Congressional District, is looking for your input on gun control. In a survey on his congressional website regarding Universal Background Checks, Rep. Braley says:

    The high level of gun violence inside our nation’s schools is simply unacceptable. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012 was followed by shootings at dozens of other schools around the country. Something must be done to stop this senseless and tragic violence.

    However, several pieces of legislation addressing gun safety have been considered by Congress, but not a single one has passed.

    One proposal includes instituting universal background checks to close loopholes to prevent guns being sold to people who aren’t allowed to own them — like those with previous criminal convictions or mental health problems.

    Take my quick survey: Do you think that Congress should pass a gun safety law requiring all individuals to undergo a brief background check prior to purchasing a gun?

    We all know the answer to that question, so CLICK HERE and take a few moments today to respond to Rep. Braley’s survey to tell him that Universal Background Checks are a bad idea, and inform him of one or a few of the following points:

    • Criminals obviously don’t do background checks, thus any changes or additions to background check laws only affect people who obey the law, unfairly and unnecessarily increasing their burden.
    • Much like a restraining order, background checks don’t prevent violent crime anyway.  To criminals, such laws are simply words on paper somewhere to be ignored.
    • The only way to enforce a Universal Background Check system would be to enact a universal gun registration system, which is absolutely not an option and we will not even entertain such a notion under any circumstance.
    • There are already tens of thousands of gun laws across the country, and they’re clearly not doing the trick.  One more gun law isn’t going to magically solve the violence problem, so Congress should focus on enforcing the laws it previously enacted, rather than grasping at straws making new ones for the P.R. purposes of appearing to be working for the public good.
    • The government barely prosecutes attempted gun purchasers who are rejected by the current background check system, so adding more transactions to the system for the alleged purposes of stopping crime is laughable at best.
    • Our privately owned guns are our private property.  The government has no business being involved in a private transaction of private property, and a background check is therefore yet another invasion of our privacy perpetrated by the government.
    • There is no such thing as “gun crime” any more than there is such a thing as “knife crime” or “baseball bat crime.”  There is only crime–violent crime, in this case.  Thus all laws beginning from the premise that such a thing as “gun crime” exists begin from a false premise, and are therefore philosophically “bad law” in a Rule of Law society such as ours.  So instead of taking a “Band-Aid approach” to crime by merely treating symptoms, Congress should stop trying to merely look good and actually address the root causes of crime, such as broken families and households, poor education, and joblessness.  Any cop can attest that most felons they arrest share one or more of these characteristics.
    • The majority of felonies are committed by previously convicted felons.  Various studies report the rate of recidivism between two-thirds and three-fourths.  As violent crimes–including those committed with firearms–are typically felonies, it stands to reason that one very good way to make violent crime drop by a dramatic 66-77% would be to keep felons in prison.

     

    As always, I know we can count on you to make your voices heard, because when it comes to guarding our civil rights, it’s all hands to the middle here at the Iowa Firearms Coalition!

    Fighting for your Second Amendment Rights in Iowa,
    Barry B. Snell
    IFC Communications Director
    NRA Member