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.