Iowa’s 86th General Assembly opened on Monday January 12. There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance whenever a new session begins. Lawmakers taking oaths, the Governor’s state of the state address, as well as a lot of interviews and glad handing. It’s all great, but the Iowa Firearms Coalition has discovered what may be the most overlooked, and best thing about the 2015 legislative session.

There are multiple gavels used in the Iowa House of Representatives, and it seems they each have a different message inscribed upon them. So far this year we know of at least two different gavels being used — keep in mind as of this point we’re only in Day 3 of the 2015 legislative session. The gavels read:

“Live free or die”

The popular post-Revolutionary War quote, and New Hampshire state motto adorns the gavel used on the first day of the session. Attributed to General John Stark, the fact that members of Iowa’s House of Representatives adopted his words gives us hope that at least some of our lawmakers recognize and value the freedoms we enjoy.

“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”

This phrase should sound familiar to all Iowans. It’s our state motto, and it adorns our state flag as well as the state seal. The phase was officially adopted by the state in 1847 and makes it clear that Iowa’s citizens place an extremely high importance on our liberties and our rights.

Tell your legislators you expect your 2nd Amendment rights protected & enhanced in 2015 — IFC Legislative Action Center

The Iowa Firearms Coalition, and our thousands of members have high hopes for a successful legislative session in 2015. We’re in the midst of filing several pro-2nd Amendment bills. These are pieces of potential legislation that will both protect and enhance the 2nd Amendment rights of Iowa’s 3 million residents. IFC members most definitely prize our liberties and freedoms. And everyday we work maintain our natural rights. But all too often we see legislators passing laws that slowly erode our freedoms. Seeing these mottos inscribed on the Iowa House of Representatives’ gavels gives us a glimmer of hope that at least some lawmakers in our great state still recognize that Iowan’s should be free to live their lives without burdensome laws and regulations.

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.