• 2-28-2020 Update from the Capitol

    February 28, 2020

    Friends of IFC – HF2502 passes the House 52-44!

     

    Rep Windschitl’s FB post just before HF2502 debate!

    I noticed the HF2502 vote yesterday was 52-44 on party lines.  I found that equally troubling and disappointing.  Apparently the House Democrats weren’t interested in your civil liberties yesterday.  I’ll admit to you, it can be hard to work with folks who think of you as a law breaker waiting to happen.  It always bothers me that the default position is often, “I can’t trust you, so I’m taking steps,” quickly followed by, “There needs to be compromise as we blend safety with gun rights.”  Sorry people.  There is no such thing as ‘gun rights’ in this world.  There are basic human rights – civil rights if you will.  They are not to be marginalized or compromised upon.  I don’t know why more Democrats don’t support their constituent’s desire to have the personal choice of self defense left to them.  We used to see quite a few bills with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Shall Issue was passed just 10 years ago with a Democrat majority House and Senate and signed into law by a Democrat Governor!  I hope the mindset changes within those who have come to think so little of our liberties.  I really do.  We only back those candidates for office that will protect and embrace the Second Amendment.

    Our current Preemption code can be found in 724.28.  Iowans continue to be bamboozled by local authorities banning self protection under the guise of silly stickers and “Gun Free Zones” as it were.  I wish those magical stickers actually did what the people slathering them all over courthouses, city halls, parks, and public property said they did.  If magical stickers actually accomplished a task, I know a lot of Dads who would instantly place a “No Boys” sticker on their daughters, me included.  …But, the hard core truth is, they’re a false sense of security and wildly irresponsible.  Besides, your lives are every bit as valuable when buying your annual ATV tag at the courthouse as they are when you’re home with your family.  Anyone who says otherwise has a flawed view of the sanctity of human life.

    The vital range protection portion of this bill is pretty straight forward.  However, there are some questions about the Preemption portion of this legislation.  Below is a summary our Chief Lobbyist and Board Member, Richard Rogers, prepared for us to help explain the bill’s contents.  Keep in mind Preemption is in essence, getting ahead of a potential problem by definition.  In this case Preemption disallows a political subdivision (counties, cities, townships) from placing a more restrictive law onto Iowans than exists on the State of Iowa level.

    Here is the summation Richard composed:

    Iowa has long preempted the regulation of firearms to the state. Iowa Code 724.28 has been in effect since April 5, 1990.

    The new “shall issue” system for issuing Permits to Carry Weapons became effective on January 1, 2011. 7242.7(1) states that those permits “…shall be valid throughout the state except where the possession or carrying of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.

    In 2017, the General Assembly amended 724.28 to strengthen the prohibition on local regulation of firearms and to ensure that any Iowans who might be adversely affected by local regulations or policies erected in violation of 724.28 would be able to sue for declaratory and injunctive relief for damages.

    Whether taken alone or in combination, these statutes clearly show the intent of the General Assembly to reserve to itself the exclusive authority to limit the issuance and scope of permits to carry weapons.

    Nevertheless, some local governments in Iowa persist in attempting to regulate the otherwise lawful carrying of firearms in direct violation of 724.28. Some examples:

    • Approximately two years ago, the City of Urbandale considered banning firearms in all City owned buildings that were within 1,000’ of a school. After much discussion and education behind the scenes, they were eventually dissuaded from the attempt.
    • The West Des Moines Library has adopted a Library Code of Conduct with nearly thirty rules, one of which bans firearms from the property. The City of West Des Moines has adopted that Code of Conduct as a City Ordinance. Violations of the ordinance are punishable by thirty days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. As it pertains to firearms, this ordinance is VOID under 724.28, but there it is – on the books.
    • Last summer, the City of Des Moines considered banning ammunition magazines with a capacity greater than ten rounds. The proponents claimed to believe that magazines are not integral parts of a firearm, but rather are accessories and somehow not included in the protections provided by 724.28. Legislators and citizens alike worked to convince them otherwise and the proposal was dropped.However, had Des Moines tried to regulate firearm suppressors, optical or laser sights, or other firearm accessories, they might have found a legal avenue to do so. Thus, the necessity of this measure to further reform and strengthen 724.28.

    Preemption Reform

    • Iowa issues Permits to Carry Weapons, not “Firearms”. This revision to Iowa Code 724.28 recognizes that and prevents the erection of an unworkable patchwork of local restrictions on any weapons or accessories. This maintains a logical and understandable statewide standard.
     

    This bill (HF2502, formerly HSB615) allows political subdivisions of the state that have a demonstrable need for security screening at certain venues to be exempted from the preemption provisions of Code 724.28 at certain times and places, IF they provide actual security screening and armed security personnel.  Simply posting “No Guns” signs is actually counterproductive and is insufficient to meet this test.

    Here is my summation:

    Richard is a talented and skilled orator.  He can research and scour through code like few I’ve ever witnessed.  His summation above should help anyone grasp what history surrounds Preemption Reform and the nuances of this bill.  Let me put this in my words.

    Firearms Preemption should be guarded like a crown jewel.  Some states don’t even have preemption.  Does anyone remember how awful it was when your permit was issued at the discretion of each of the 99 Iowa County Sheriffs?  Each county had a different policy, and often those policies changed based on the outcome of an election.  Your rights would come and go like the passing of seasons.  Here’s a map in case you have forgotten.

    Adhering to 99 different county variations of a ban, and then adding the possibility of nearly 950 city variations of gun free zones would make us all law breakers.  I’m not sure how anyone could choose self defense options and remain legal.  You’d be banned as you traveled the town, county, or state at any given moment without your knowledge potentially.  Thank your lucky stars, some good legislators, and IFC along with NRA-ILA for Preemption.  Trust me when I write to you, you don’t want to live in a state without it.

    SPECIAL THANKS

    We had a tremendous 2A Lobby Day at the Iowa Capitol yesterday.  After we hit 300 people it was hard to keep track of the rest that came and went.  We’re guessing a solid number to fall between 300 and 350 people by our head count.  To quantify that for you, when Chapter 20 debates were at their peak a few years prior, far fewer turned out.  I’m very proud of my fellow Iowans to say the least.  Representative Steve Holt has tucked this legislation under his arm like the proverbial pig skin, and has shucked and strong armed his way to the goal line for Iowans.  He has earned accolades from us all for his work to protect liberty and freedom.

    2A supporters came by the hundreds!

    I volunteer among great minds and a considerable depth of character with my fellow board members.  IFC’s executive committee is arguably the best we’ve seen.  Our dedicated and persevering volunteer staff put in the work on a daily basis.  Our altruistic team gives up personal time to volunteer at gun shows, work on IT issues, market our ideas, spread our information, manage the membership, return a dizzying number of calls and emails, communicate the current events, and tirelessly liaise with all forms of government officials and elected offices to do the work necessary to ensure your civil liberties.

    I’m not sure my “thanks” is suitable.  Between the IFC volunteers, our membership, and the folks who support us, there has to be another word I can use to express my admiration and gratitude.  When I find it, I’ll use it.  Until then, THANK YOU, for your collective and individual works!

    We have several bills that moving along, but nothing has landed on the Governor’s desk yet.  Let’s get these pieces codified and move forward.  In case you couldn’t join us yesterday, here is a bit of what you missed:

    In liberty,

     

    Michael Ware – IFC Chairman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


     

    Iowans-

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

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

    Please take action today.


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

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

    January 23, 2015

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


    Reed

    John Reed – IFC Board Chairman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for your efforts!

    John Reed
    Chair – Board of Directors
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

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


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

  • List of Weapons Used in Charlie Hebdo Attack – Guess How Many Were Already Banned in France…

    January 13, 2015
    JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

    JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

     

    From the Japan Times newspaper:

    Following the multiple terrorist attacks in and around Paris, French security forces the Muslim extremists were in possession of the following weapons:

    – loaded rocket launcher

    – several pistols

    – 10 smoke grenades

    – 3 Kalashnikovs

    – a grenade

    – 10 Molotov cocktails

    – 15 sticks of dynamite

    – a detonator

    By now it’s fairly safe to say the whole world knows of France’s strict gun control measures, and the French citizen’s lack of a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. If you haven’t, the Crime Prevention Research Center has an excellent run down of the overly strict French gun laws.

    So now that we know what weapons were used (all of which were illegal in France), it’s nearly impossible to not wonder ‘How could those extremely strict gun control laws fail to protect the employees of Charlie Hebdo and the other murdered French citizens?’

    The answer is simple, and it’s one 2nd Amendment advocates have been saying for years. Gun laws are merely just words on a page. To terrorists, murders, thugs, and criminals of all types a law means nothing, particularly if these types are bent on doing harm to others. Feel good laws, bans, restrictions, and limitations merely place an increased burden on law-abiding citizens.

    As we’ve witnessed in France, banning firearms does not make them go away. In reality gun bans just create prime conditions for black market sales. In fact according to Bloomberg News and the Washington Post:

    “Semi-automatic and automatic firearms are banned [in France], but that hasn’t stopped drug dealers and terrorists from acquiring them in increasing numbers, according to the National Observatory for Delinquency, a state body created in 2003 by then-Interior Minister and later President Nicolas Sarkozy. The numbers of illegal weapons in France have increased by double digits for years, the body says.”

    “The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms,” Philippe Capon, the head of UNSA police union, told Bloomberg. “They are everywhere in France.”

    “The number of illegal guns is thought to be at least twice the number of legal guns in the country. Weapons such as AK-47s can be bought for the equivalent of a few thousand dollars.”

    With that said, how many gun French civilians do you think would be able to protect themselves or their loved ones from ‘drug dealers and terrorists’ armed with these types of black market weapons? Note that even three Parisian police officers had to flee the Charlie Hebdo scene because they were unarmed and incapable of defending themselves or the citizens they are tasked to protect and serve.

    It’s difficult concept for some people to grasp, but we live in a dangerous world where bad people do bad things to innocent people. When a person crosses the line and becomes intent on hurting others, laws will not stop them. We here at the Iowa Firearms Coalition recognize this, and odds are if you’re reading this you do too. We encourage everyone to acknowledge the fact that your own personal safety is your responsibility.

    Obviously we believe strongly in your right to carry concealed weapons. But we also realize that is not for everyone. The important thing is you have option and the freedom to carry for your own protection. As Americans we are free to go about our lives knowing full well it’s a dangerous world we live in. Everyday we run the risk of  being paralyzed by a drunk driver who runs a red light. We risk getting a paper cut and eventually dying of a staph infection. And there’s a chance we may be wounded or killed by a madman. But at least we are free enough to have a chance at defending ourselves.

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again:

    Be alert.

    Be prepared.

    Be safe.

     


    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.