• When Did Supporting the Second Amendment Become Disqualifying in the Democratic Primaries?

    Is a consistent history of anti-gun policy a new a litmus test for Democratic presidential candidates?

    VOX just released an article that illustrates the rapid push to embrace extreme anti-gun policies and the lack of tolerance for Bernie Sanders at one point having a C minus rating from the NRA. One gun control leader says he was stopped dead in his tracks when he read this rare moment of clarity from Senator Sanders:

    “If you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.”

    What changed? Bernie Sanders now embraces an all of the above gun-control policy including backpedaling on his defense for his vote against holding gun manufacturers liable for misuse.

    Giffords gun-control group and Everytown outspent the NRA in 2018 almost two to one and the big donors like Bloomberg are putting big dollars behind gun-control candidates. The party has also taken a clear step left and is far more emboldened to chip away at the Second Amendment when they gain the power to do so.

    Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb had an undeniably strong resume and an A rating from the NRA when he ran for President as a Democrat in 2016. His campaign gained little traction. Will he be the last A-rated Democrat to ever run for President?

    What are your thoughts?

  • Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment Advances!

    HJR-3 has advanced from the House subcommittee 2-1 with no language changes. We’ll keep you posted as the amendment to recognize the right of Iowans to keep and bear arms advances.

    Below is the testimony presented by IFC lobbyist Richard Rogers.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) has registered For HJR3 and most strongly urges its passage.

    Nearly every living organism displays an instinct for self-preservation. Certainly, all human beings have the desire, the need, and the right to defend themselves, their families and their communities. Their ability to do so effectively is often dependent upon having tools – arms – available for that purpose. In the past, those tools may have been a stick, a blade or a bow. In the modern era, the most effective tool for this purpose is typically a defensive firearm. The right to keep and bear arms arises directly from the universally acknowledged right of self-defense. This right to bear arms has long been recognized in English and American law and its protection was enshrined in our national Constitution as the Second Amendment with the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

    The United States Supreme Court, as well as lower courts, has long recognized that this right is a fundamental right that pre-existed the Constitution and is not “… in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed…” (United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876)).

    This fundamental, individual right is so important that forty-four state constitutions also have specific protections for it. California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Minnesota, and, unfortunately, Iowa – are the six outliers that have failed in this regard. HJR3 is intended to correct this grave oversight. This simple amendment will ensure that these basic rights are protected for future generations and will not be affected by shifting and transitory political winds. Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms for all legitimate purposes.

    This committee will undoubtedly hear testimony that opinion polls show Iowans do not support the adoption of this amendment. Of course, it is easy for an agenda driven organization to fund a “poll” that asks skewed or misleading questions of a public not yet well informed on the issue and that, unsurprisingly, delivers the desired result. However, the only poll results that really matter are of an actual election by the voters of Iowa.

    Furthermore, consider this: All human beings possess certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. It is in order to realize and safeguard these rights that we institute government, to which each citizen assigns a portion of his inherent powers. (For a government has no just power that does not first belong to the people.) The American system of government is a representative republic, not a pure democracy. The fundamental rights of the people are not subject to just revocation by majority rule.

    This amendment will not (and cannot) grant any right that we the people do not already possess. But it can offer needed protections for that right. The intent of this amendment is not to upend Iowa’s laws regarding weapons, but to prevent the potential for a future imposition of draconian restrictions and the consequent denial of our basic human rights.

    Some who oppose this amendment wish to relegate this fundamental, individual right to the status of a highly regulated privilege, to be granted or denied at the whim of legislators, or even bureaucrats. It is not that and we must never allow it to become that!

    Objections have been raised to the detailed language of this amendment and particularly to its demand that potential infringements upon this right be subjected to “strict scrutiny” by the courts. This amendment was drafted in this manner out of necessity, as we have seen a century or more of legalistic attempts to circumvent or obfuscate the clear, historically supportable meaning of the Second Amendment. With this amendment, Iowa would affirm and recognize this right to be a fundamental individual right. It was only in 2008 that the Supreme Court of the United States declared this to be so and thus far there has been little jurisprudence developed to bolster that decision. As to strict scrutiny, this is the judicial test that is most appropriate and most often applied when potential conflicts with fundamental rights are considered. Except that in cases involving Second Amendment rights, courts have generally ignored this practice and have used (and too frequently abused) less stringent tests, allowing many local and state laws and policies to remain in place that clearly and egregiously infringe upon this natural right. This amendment does require the most stringent test and it will make it difficult to infringe upon this right with the panoply of “gun control” schemes that are continually put forth. As computer programmers say, that is a feature, not a bug.

    As members of the Iowa General Assembly, you most often find yourselves tinkering with the design and maintenance of our government in order to sustain its operations. In this case, however, I would ask you, as the elected representatives of the people, to break from your routine work and reconsider first principles. Iowans deserve this protection of a fundamental right and it is long past time for our state to join the mainstream by providing it.

    IFC asks that you support HJR3 and move it forward for consideration by your full committee. The people of Iowa will ultimately determine whether to adopt this amendment. You owe them that opportunity.

    Sincerely,

    Richard S. Rogers

    Board Member, Iowa Firearms Coalition

    rogers@iowafc.org

     

  • IFC Priority Legislation Introduced: Family Defense Act

    Rep. Matt Windschitl today introduced HF-259, The Family Defense Act (FDA), to address critical flaws in Iowa law that discourage or prevent responsible Iowans from having at hand the best tool for defending their families from violent crime – their lawfully carried defensive handgun.

    Currently, Iowans who routinely and lawfully carry a handgun on their person or in their vehicle throughout the day, commit a felony if they enter onto school grounds while so armed, even if only for a moment to drop off or pick up their child or spouse.

    Many Iowans are also burdened by senseless restrictions not only at their child’s school but in their employer’s parking lot or at the county courthouse. This bill eases those burdens and erases imaginary lines that restrict your Second Amendment rights and inhibit your ability to responsibly defend your family.

    This bill addresses the carrying, possession or transportation of weapons at school, work, or publicly owned entertainment venues. Current law makes picking up a child from school while armed with a handgun a class “D” felony, a law passed only in 1995 that provides zero real benefits to Iowans, but which places a significant burden on those who choose to carry for their defense. This bill will allow adults to lawfully carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the driveways, parking lots and sidewalks of a school. It also provides that a school is immune from any claim seeking damages as a result of someone lawfully carrying on the school grounds.

    The Family Defense Act also prohibits an employer from restricting an employee from possessing a firearm on the property of the employer if that firearm is out of sight and inside a locked vehicle and otherwise lawful. What does that mean? Your boss can’t impose a company policy that prohibits you from having your firearm safely stored in your vehicle while at work. This legislation includes contract employees and volunteers. Under the bill, employers are protected from liability for damages as a result of an employee bringing a firearm or ammunition onto their property in compliance with this statute.

    Remember when Chief Justice Cady took it upon himself to limit your right to carry a firearm anywhere in an Iowa courthouse? This bill makes any court order like that unenforceable in a county courthouse or joint-use space, other than in courtrooms and court offices. These county offices are the people’s buildings, and all rights should be recognized inside of them.

    The Family Defense Act would also extend Iowa law’s current protections against local regulation of firearms (known as “preemption to the state”) to all weapons, as well as to firearm modifications and attachments. This expansion will prevent a patchwork of local regulations on knives, suppressors, folding stocks, ammunition magazines, etc. The bill preserves the right of individual Iowans to file a lawsuit and seek damages if they are adversely impacted by such an (invalid) local regulation.

    The FDA adds an exemption to the ban on local weapons regulation for publicly owned entertainment venues in specific cases where weapons bans are contractually required and the venue provides both actual screening for weapons and the presence of armed security personnel. Merely posting a “No Guns” sign will not be permissible.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition has made eliminating the imaginary lines that arbitrarily restrict the liberty of gun owners a priority in 2019. The Family Defense Act is how we’re going to accomplish that.

    Tell your Senator and Representative that you want the Family Defense Act (HR-259) signed into law!

     

  • Iowa Gun-Control Bills Have A Windschitl Problem

    It’s no secret that after some hard work in the 2018 Midterms, Iowans retained a pro-Second Amendment majority in the Iowa Legislature. Today we see why that is so important. IFC confirmed with Iowa House Representative and Second Amendment champion, Matt Windschitl that the storm of gun-control bills proposed since the open of the session is as good as gone.

    The anti-gun bills are toast because all of these bills have been given subcommittee assignments with Pro-2A legislators Matt Windschitl and Jarad Klein. Both of these legislators have a consistent record and unquestioned reputation for advocating on behalf of gun owners in Iowa.

    Representative Matt Windschitl (R)

    Statement from Rep. Windschitl: “Today the House Public Safety Committee assigned all of the gun-control bills to me, so you can be assured that these bills will not be moving forward because I don’t do gun control unless it means the government has none and the law-abiding citizen has full control.”

     

    Representative Windschitl also informed us that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment would be moving forward shortly. This update is excellent news on both fronts. Usually, we would have to wait until the legislative funnel to confirm that anti-gun bills will not advance. We are fortunate to have the gun-control legislation assigned to two NRA and IFC endorsed representatives. Here is a list of the legislation that is no longer being considered in Iowa:

    • Universal Background Checks HF 92
    • May Issue HF 115
    • Stolen Gun Penalty HF 116
    • Firearm Violence Protective Orders HF 123
    • Magazine Ban HF 124
    • Semi-Auto Weapon Ban HF 125
    • Universal Background Checks HF 127
    • Bump Stock Ban HF 126
    • Firearm Transfer Restrictions HF 127

     

    The latest elections have brought legitimate legislation concerns to gun owners in several states where anti-gun legislators gained the majority. Our neighbors in Illinois and Minnesota have their rights in severe jeopardy and a handful of other states are debating terrible measures like the ones we won’t be wasting our time with in the state of Iowa.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition is proud to stand by Rep.Windschitl and Rep. Klein as they eliminate these terrible  gun-control bills from consideration.

    Join our 100% volunteer coalition at http://membership.iowafc.org/

     

  • IFC Opposes “Firearms Violence Protective Orders”

    Imagine your government making you guilty until proven innocent and completely circumventing due process. It’s not just the Second Amendment you’re being deprived of with Emergency Firearm Violence Protective Orders (EFVPO), but it also completely ignores the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It’s simple. You get accused and then if you can afford a good lawyer, then maybe you’ll get your constitutional rights restored – eventually. Maybe.

    Four Iowa House Representatives are now proposing “Firearm Violence Protective Orders” to create a process to stop a flagged individual from possessing, shipping, transporting or receiving a firearm when subject to an Emergency Firearm Violence Protective Order.

    Firearm Violence Protective Orders have three categories

    • Temporary Emergency Firearm Violence Protective Orders – A law enforcement officer can orally request approval from a judge outside of regular hours to impose a 21-day EFVPO that would prohibit the accused from possessing a firearm if that judge finds a reasonable cause to issue the order.
    • Ex-Parte Temporary Firearm Violence Protective Order –  An immediate family member or law-enforcement officer may file a petition to the court to issue an EFVPO if the accused demonstrates a substantial likelihood that he or she poses a significant danger, in the near future, of a physical injury to the accused self or others by being in possession of a firearm. This order is also valid for 21 days until a court can determine if the request should be extended for up to one year.
    • Firearm Violence Protective Order – Following the temporary EFVPO, a court will determine if the restriction on firearm possession should be extended for up to one year. What behavior would subject someone to a one-year restriction? The court will evaluate if the accused person in the last six months displayed a pattern of violent acts, reckless use or brandishing of an offensive weapon, a threat of violence, or any other evidence that is indicating an increased risk for violence.

    It’s tough to imagine a judge getting a phone call from a police officer with a request for an EFVPO and denying it. The backlash if they were wrong would be public and painful to the media, so why would they risk it? The threshold of evidence for protective orders is low so it is not tough to imagine that these would be any different.

    The problem is that this system could be or will be abused. We are essentially offering a blank check with our right to due process and to keep and bear arms in the balance.

    A false accusation, bogus charges, civil defamation, or a disingenuous smear on someone could place a person in a complex and expensive “Pre-Crime” process during which they are stripped of their basic rights. Brandishing a firearm? Could that be a picture on social media with a gun at a shooting range or a hunt? Giving our state and our notoriously anti-gun Attorney General Tom Miller, a blank check seems too dangerous.

    The history of civil forfeiture cases reminds us that the government has taken property away from people who were doing nothing wrong and who are never convicted of any crime, and they often spend years trying to get that property back with the burden of proof being on them, not on the government. And false accusations should be treated as an attempt to deny a person’s civil rights and prosecuted. (Greg Camp)

    HF-123 is another scheme from gun-control advocates that sounds good to the uninitiated or at a glance but is a threat to the essential rights of Iowans. Nobody should be barred from possessing a firearm with a process as simple as someone filing a report with the police. Due process is as valuable of a right as gun ownership and spelled out in both our state and federal constitutions. It is no coincidence that the four people who sponsored this legislation also sponsored the ban of semi-automatic weapons just a day before this bill was entered.

    What do we do now? This bill isn’t going anywhere in the Iowa House. However, should the pendulum swing and the minority party take over the House in 2020, it is game on for terrible legislation like this. Remind your legislators through email, phone, or in person that legislation like this is dangerous and not what Iowans want. Also, stay active with IFC through membership in our 100% volunteer coalition and by subscribing to our email alerts.

    IFC is registered AGAINST HF-123.

    Contact information is below for the four representatives who co-sponsored this legislation.

    Contact Info:

    Bruce Hunter – bruce.hunter@legis.state.ia.us

    Art Staed – art.staed@legis.iowa.gov

    Mary Mascher – Mary.Mascher@legis.iowa.gov

    Vicki Lensing –  Vicki.Lensing@legis.iowa.gov

     

     

     

     

     

  • Iowa House Democrats Propose Semi-Automatic “Assault Weapon” Ban!

    We’re not coming after your guns unless they are a semiautomatic rifle or pistol say Iowa House Democrats. Five Representatives have co-sponsored legislation that would ban the sale or transfer of semiautomatic “assault” weapons. These five legislators want anyone who transfers one of these weapons to become a felon and receive up to ten years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine with a minimum of a $1,000 fine.

    So what constitutes an assault weapon to these legislators?

    A semi-automatic rifle that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine and:

    • has a pistol grip or thumbhole stock (the vast majority of AR-15’s & AK’s)
    •  A forward grip for the non-trigger hand
    • a barrel shroud
    • a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock
    • a threaded barrel (good luck using your suppressor!)
    • A grenade launcher or rocket launcher (No chainsaw bayonets?)

    A semi-automatic pistol that can accept a detachable magazine and:

    • a second pistol grip
    • a shroud encircling the barrel
    • a threaded barrel
    • a magazine attached anywhere but the pistol grip

    A semi-automatic shotgun that has:

    • a detachable magazine
    • a pistol grip
    • a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock
    • a fixed magazine of greater than five rounds
    • a forward grip
    • a grenade or rocket launcher
    • a revolving cylinder

    This bill is an aggressive and reckless attempt to ban everything inside the gun stores. These legislators have zero regards for the Second Amendment nor the liberty of Iowans. Want to know why amending the Iowa Constitution is so important? It’s because we have people who are elected officials that are willing to make felons out of people for selling a standard AR, AK, Glock, 1911, or whatever other guns most Iowans would use to defend themselves.

    HF-125 is a hostile attack on gun owners. It’s a terrible bill for gun owners or anyone that cares about individual liberty. This language is similar to HR5087, the federal Assault Weapons Ban of 2018. This poor excuse for legislation is why elections matter. We don’t expect this extreme nonsense to hit the floor of the Iowa House because liberty-minded Iowans hold the majority and will keep this bill from committee.

    Contact information is below for the five representatives who co-sponsored this legislation.

    Contact Info:

    Bruce Hunter – bruce.hunter@legis.state.ia.us

    Art Staed – art.staed@legis.iowa.gov

    Mary Mascher – Mary.Mascher@legis.iowa.gov

    Jo Oldson – Jo.Oldson@legis.iowa.gov

    Vicki Lensing –  Vicki.Lensing@legis.iowa.gov

  • US Supreme Court takes a Second Amendment case

    This past Tuesday, January 22, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case out of New York, New York.  Quoting from the news article here, the case “involves restrictions on gun owners’ ability to transport their licensed firearms. Three gun owners and the firearms group are challenging a New York City law that prohibits individuals from transporting an unloaded firearm that is locked in a container to a shooting range or a second home beyond city limits.”

    The case can be tracked, and the petitions read, at SCOTUSblog here.

    This is the first case since McDonald that the Court has agreed to hear.

  • Magazine Restrictions Proposed in Iowa House

    Gun-control zealots Rep. Art Staed and Rep. Bruce Hunter have proposed legislation that would ban the sale, transfer, or possession of any magazine greater than 10 rounds. HF-65 seeks to impose up to $6250 in fines and a possible two year prison sentence for those who fail to destroy the magazines. No buybacks. No grandfather period. No respect for the rights of Iowans.

    This bill looks eerily similar to the language used in the 2013 Connecticut magazine ban and the language desired on the Giffords Gun-Control website. IFC is currently the only organization registered against this legislation. This is why elections matter.

    Rep Art. Staed’s contact page can be found HERE.

    Rep. Bruce Hunter’s contact page can be found HERE.

     

     

     

  • School Ground Carry Vote Results, Time for Action!


    School Ground Carry Bill advances!
    Full Senate Debate and Vote Expected

    A short time ago the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SSB1017 by an overwhelming 12 to 2 margin!

    This is a big step forward. Not only does the School Ground Carry bill now go to the full Senate for floor debate and a vote, but it is also now “funnel proof.” Meaning it cannot fall victim to a procedural method sometimes used to kill bills via “scheduling” issues.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition thanks Senator Jason Schultz of Crawford County for authoring this valuable bill! The two votes against this bill came from Senators Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids and Janet Peterson of Des Moines.

    This bill will directly benefit tens of thousands of Iowa parents. There’s simply no reason why these loving parents and lawful citizens should have to risk becoming a felon for simply having the legal means to protect their most valuable assets — their children!

    Please help us spread the word to your co-workers, family members, and friends about the School Ground Carry Bill.

    Thank you for your ongoing support of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Please help us continue to advance bills like this and others –  become an IFC member today!


  • School Grounds Carry Bill Scheduled for Committee Vote!

    School Grounds Carry Bill
    Scheduled for Committee Vote!

    The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on Senate Study Bill 1017, the School Grounds Carry Bill, tomorrow (1/23/19) at approximately 3PM.

    Under current Iowa law parents with a valid Permit to Carry who carry while picking up or dropping off their children at Iowa schools are committing a Class D felony.

    SSB1017 would decriminalize the act of carrying while taking your son or daughter to school. Please contact the members of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee and urge them to pass SSB1017 as soon as possible.

    Make sure these elected officials understand that:

    Iowa’s Permit to Carry holders are peaceful, lawful citizens who’ve passed background checks and want nothing more than to be able to protect their most valuable assets — our children! There’s no reason we should risk felony charges for protecting our families!

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition will email you the results of tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary vote. In the meantime, please make your voice heard!

     

    Senate Judiciary Committee Members & Contact Info
    Brad.Zaun@legis.iowa.gov, dan.dawson@legis.iowa.gov, Kevin.Kinney@legis.iowa.gov, tony.bisignano@legis.iowa.gov, jake.chapman@legis.iowa.gov, julian.garrett@legis.iowa.gov, rob.hogg@legis.iowa.gov, zach.nunn@legis.iowa.gov, janet.petersen@legis.iowa.gov, jason.schultz@legis.iowa.gov, tom.shipley@legis.iowa.gov, amy.sinclair@legis.iowa.gov, annette.sweeny@legis.iowa.gov, rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov, zach.whiting@legis.iowa.gov