Iowa’s 2023 Legislative Session is a bitter pill for IFC’s volunteers and members, and for all Second Amendment advocates. This legislative session was an enormous amount of effort and a tremendous disappointment, as highlighted in our President’s Message this week. After nearly 66% of Iowans voted to approve the Freedom Amendment in November 2022, and after voting in Republican majorities in both chambers, we had great expectations. We also had important issues needing to be dealt with, one of which was protecting firearms businesses from “Woke” practices at banks, investment firms, insurance companies, freight companies, etc.
The Iowa Legislature has concluded its session for this year and is not expected to return until January. So why bring this up now? Because this bill, SF507, like the others that IFC was championing, remains important.
Put simply, ESG practices (Environmental, Social, and Governance) can prevent firearms businesses from conducting their businesses. For instance, if you own a gun store, and your insurance company suddenly informs you that they will no longer offer insurance because you operate a firearms business, you are abruptly in a very bad position. If your freight company no longer delivers goods to your store because you are in the firearms business, you are out of business. If your bank says it will no longer keep your account open because your business does not meet its accepted Environmental, Social Governance goals, you are suddenly in a very bad position. As Michael Ware of IFC pointed out in an earlier blog:
In plain English, that means big banks or others get to discriminate against you based on ESG criteria that they set because they are trying to be “woke”. The firearm industry was one of the original targets of these “woke” policies and the issue has gotten worse every year.
Senate File 507 was a bill that would have prevented the state treasurer and state pension fund managers from doing business with companies (banks, insurance companies, etc.) that penalize, or outright will not do business with, firearms-related businesses (gun stores, ammunition sellers, gear manufacturers, etc.). Unfortunately, this bill did not pass this session; instead, it was relegated to “Unfinished Business”.
The good news is that this means it can be revived next legislative session without having to go through the “funnel process” (i.e., it won’t have to be brought to the floor via the committee process). But that is the only good news.
This is a huge “back door attack” on our Second Amendment rights. It is going to be critical that our members raise their collective voices. Reach out to your legislators in the coming months before the next session begins. Impress upon them the impact that ESG practices have on your Second Amendment rights. They won’t even need to take your guns. If your local gun shops go out of business and if the freight companies won’t deliver guns, ammunition and related gear, how long will you be able to exercise your Second Amendment rights? (Reloaders rejoice as your services will be at a premium.)
It is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. IFC’s volunteer Lobbyist, and others at IFC, worked countless hours, meeting with legislators, preparing Action Alerts for our members, creating blogs and creating videos about the dangers of ESG relative to the firearms industry, in addition to working on other bills we were trying to get put through.
Second Amendment Under Attack
You need to understand that the entire Second Amendment community is under attack from every angle. The President calls to Congress daily to send him an “assault weapons ban”; the Woke movement wants to make sure that firearms businesses are closed; the ATF wants a national registry of all firearms and to have unbridled authority on all 2A matters, red flag laws are proliferating in some states (and federally), the media sensationalizes every shooting that fits the narrative (i.e., right-wing “extremists”), but notice how they quickly go silent when the perpetrator is a transgender in the making, or an undocumented resident. The media is practicing “selective speaking” which means the country is listening with “selective hearing”. Don’t think it cannot happen. Look at Washington State, California, Colorado.
To protect your Second Amendment rights, YOU are going to have to get out of your comfort zone. You are going to have to speak up, to participate. It is going to take action and engagement from everyone who values the Second Amendment—not just the organizations at the front of the line.
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