THANK YOU BROWNELLS!

THANK YOU BROWNELLS!

THANK YOU BROWNELLS!

Thank you Brownells, indeed! Second Amendment supporters should be thankful that Brownells is such a champion of 2A issues. We had the opportunity to again experience this first-hand last Saturday, when a team from IFC attended GunCon at Brownells. This is the third year Brownells has hosted media influencers from around the country to hold live-streamed panel discussions on various 2A topics, showcase a variety of quality guns and gear available on site from many different vendors, and provide a forum for both national gun rights organizations and Iowa’s own Iowa Firearms Coalition, to meet with people.

[Photos and comments about GunCon were contributed by all IFC team members.]

The Panelists & Sessions

Typical of Brownells and The Gun Collective, the event was a huge success and very well attended.  Doors opened at 10 a.m.  Our team arrived at 8 a.m. to set up, and there were already lines of people waiting outside the entry doors. Audience members were able to ask questions of the panelists, and those tuned into the live stream could also submit questions to be answered. Check out this link, and scroll down to see a list of featured panelists and the vendors at GunCon. Our own IFC volunteer Lobbyist, Richard Rogers (pictured in the red shirt, above) participated in panel discussions. Richard has a vast knowledge of the history of 2A legislative and case law developments, both nationally and in Iowa, and we were proud to have him represent IFC.

 

IFC TRUSTED PARTNERS

In addition to Brownells, two other IFC Trusted Partners were at the event also.  Trusted Partners add value for our members by offering discounted prices on goods or services, when purchasing them with a discount code through IFC’s website. In fact, you can more than pay for your annual membership fee by purchasing discounted goods through our Trusted Partners — buying quality goods that you would have purchased anyway. Vice President and volunteer, Billy Wilson, made sure to thank our partners, on behalf of our members.

 

Old Friends

But it was not all serious discussion!  Stephen Willeford, representing Gun Owners of America (GOA), had some fun with their photo board and props. GOA was in the booth next to ours.  Other 2A rights organizations represented were FRAC and the Second Amendment Foundation. Stephen (pictured on the right in this photo) is best known as “The Barefoot Defender” in the Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas a few years ago.  IFC invited Mr. Willeford to speak to our members at the 2A Lobby Day a couple of years ago, and again at the IFC-PAC Supper that evening. The events of that day had a profound effect on Mr. Willeford and his impactful story is raw still.

Speaking of 2A Lobby Day–our Lobby Day event in 2025 will be held on February 18th, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Iowa Capitol, as always. The keynote speaker is Iowa native, Jeff Struecker, known from Black Hawk Down. You won’t want to miss this event.  We’ll let you know when tickets go on sale.

Takeaways

Talking with the IFC team after the event, the things that most impressed us were:

  • There were people from everywhere! We talked with folks from Denver, from Florida, from Nebraska, Missouri, and certainly from Illinois!  (Kansas State Rifle Association had their big annual meeting on the same day as GunCon this year, so we didn’t run into many from Kansas this year.) Eric Hansen, our Events Coordinator, said that the folks from Illinois all told him the same thing: they are looking at options for moving across the river. Illinois gun laws are driving them to greener pastures – like Iowa!
  • People were willing to drive six to ten hours to attend the event. It is important to them and the event offers something for everyone. The benefit of learning from the various panelists firsthand was a big draw for attendees.
    • There were all kinds of people at the event. People of all ages and backgrounds; people with varying degrees of firearms experience and different interests. Although still a predominantly male crowd, there were many women in attendance and they were not just companions along for the ride! The involvement of women with guns was a frequent topic mentioned by the panelists.
  • The folks who stopped by our booth — and there were MANY! — were very appreciative of the work done by IFC since its inception. The degree of interaction with them, the length of discussions, and the concerns they have about protecting gun rights, were impressive.

 

What Next?

All in all, it was a great day! Getting to interact with hundreds of people from all walks of life, with common concerns and interests, was rejuvenating! As you can see, we are growing our presence and outreach, and we could really use your talent. We are an All-Volunteer organization. Volunteer and discover all the fun you are missing! The folks at IFC are great to work with and very helpful.

Also, if you are not yet a member of IFC, or if your shooting friends are not members, what are you waiting for? One of the appalling statistics I heard from the 2A Rights panel was that over 126,000 Iowa gun owners are NOT registered to vote! And, looking at gun owners nationally, over 9 million gun owners are not registered to vote. That does not bode well in terms of protecting our interests.

Our Second Amendment rights are under serious attack. For heaven’s sake: JOIN IFC & VOTE!

Second Amendment Matters

 

Not Just For the Guys

Not Just For the Guys

Not Just For the Guys

Not just for the guys…I was fortunate that IFC sent me to the NRA Annual Meeting this year, in Dallas, about three weeks ago. Although I have been a Life Member of NRA for many years, it was the first time I had attended the NRAAM. Registration to the event is free, if you are an NRA member. Also, most of the seminars and educational sessions were free to attend as well. I highly recommend that you go.  Next year’s event will be in Atlanta, Georgia (a little closer to home), on April 24-27th.  Hotels are available to book now: https://www.nraam.org/.

Just a quick word about logistics. I have attended many large conferences in my life and the organization for this event was stellar. It is obvious that the NRA has invested heavily in their annual flagship event. Everything from the shuttle buses to the hotels, to the on-site assistance available, signage, sticking to the schedule…it was all handled superbly.  Kudos to the NRAAM personnel.

14 Acres of Guns & Gear – It’s True!

Because I had heard about the “14 Acres of Guns & Gear”, I wore my hiking boots — and was very glad I did!  The first thing that strikes you is the sheer enormity – the scale – of the event.  The famous “Wall of Guns” had drool-worthy classics on display. Every conceivable vendor was on hand to show you their latest guns, gear and gadgets. There was an entire aisle devoted to safari and US-based hunting trips.  Ammunition and gun manufacturers competed for your ear, each one seemingly one-upping the other.  There were trainers for every shooting sport, and hands-on displays for dry fire systems. Booths featured specialized targets, home defense, and self-defense. Sales staff were on hand to share their product knowledge, and strategies for use. Suppressors, scopes, RDS, weapon mounted lights, tactical lights, slings and cases…on and on.  Literally there was just about everything firearms-related available!

IFC Trusted Partner On Deck

While in the Exhibit Hall, I stopped to chat with the good folks at Firearms Legal Protection, one of IFC’s Trusted Partners and they obliged with a photo.  Always good to see friends when away from home. Check out their services at the link above.

 

Women & Guns

And women — women were everywhere.  Women are the fastest-growing demographic for new shooters and first-time firearms purchasers in the country, and they are an enthusiastic bunch!  Shoot Like A Girl was there with their semi-trailer where you could shoot any of the guns they had on hand, free of charge. Vendors and trainers are finely attuned to this sustained, multi-year trend in new firearms purchasers. Consequently, they are adopting and adapting marketing, training strategies and even changes in manufacturing, to accommodate this huge new influx of women gun owners. Sorry guys.  The world of guns and shooting is no longer a ‘good old boys club’.  There are an awful lot of women who have a passion for various shooting sports and disciplines and they are pretty impressive. And relentless! More on that later.

The Seminars

Apart from the several exhibit halls devoted to toys that could break even Elon Musk’s bank account, there were multiple tracks of educational and training seminars, also available at no charge.  My only complaint was that — despite going ’round the sun many, many times in my life, I have yet to figure out how to be in two places at one time. Choices were difficult even though some sessions were offered more than once. This is a link to the 99 sessions offered during the three days, just to give you a sense of the many opportunities.

I attended two sessions offered by John Correia/Active Self Protection (“Lessons Learned From Analyzing 50,000 Gunfights” and “Top 5 Myths Concealed Carriers Believe, Revealed”). John walked us through his analysis of many situations captured on video. He emphasized the importance of making Good, Sane, Sober, Moral and Prudent decisions.

I also attended two sessions offered by Lt. Col. Ed Monk/Last Resort Training (Considerations for Armed Responders to Active Shooter Attacks”).  These were provocative sessions designed to get you thinking seriously about “what if”.  Mr. Monk described what a person might encounter, what to do (and not do), as well as tactics for how to be effective and survive in such a situation. Very sobering stuff.

(Photo is of three IFC Life Members (from left: myself, Presenter Ed Monk, Dave and Todd)

NRA Clubs & Associations

However, the first session I attended, was the “NRA Clubs & Associations Workshop”.  Our very own Dave Funk, President of IFC, was one of the two featured presenters, and he did an excellent job.  He discussed the multi-faceted social media approach we used in 2022 to ensure the passage of Iowa’s Freedom Amendment.  This was the Constitutional Amendment that added language to the Iowa State Constitution to protect Iowan’s Second Amendment rights from infringement.  (Prior to that amendment, Iowa was one of only six states that did not have such language in our Constitution.  To remind you of the company we were in, the other states were California, New Jersey, Illinois, etc.  You get the drift.)

Not a Wardrobe Malfunction

But a funny thing happened mid-speech…(Only funny, because no one was hurt!) Dave Funk was presenting at a podium on the stage. Moriah Day, Executive Director of the Kansas State Rifle Association (also presenting), and NRA Board member, Dave Halbrook (pictured here), were also seated on the stage – when it collapsed!  It literally folded at the middle seam and both of those seated, suddenly were down!  They quickly recovered and left the stage.  What did ‘our’ Dave do when this occurred?  Glanced over, assessed the situation, grabbed the mic, stepped off the stage and continued his slide show presentation, unruffled, while maintenance fixed the stage. This was the first event on the first day and to say it started off with a bang is an understatement 🙂

There were several NRA Board members who attended the Clubs & Associations meeting, along with members from Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, California, Michigan,New Mexico, and others I cannot recall. The information exchange was great and I made several new contacts and brought back many useful ideas. If that had been the only session I had attended, the trip would have been worthwhile.

The “Women’s New Energy Brunch”

This was the single special event I attended. It was billed as a “unique opportunity to learn about NRA’s programs, outreach efforts and mission as relates to women”, networking, etc. It was all that and more. There were several women NRA Board members in attendance, and sponsors as well. The most beneficial part was the breakout sessions, where you could choose which topic you wanted to learn more about. For example, I am very interested in the NRA’s ‘Women on Target’ program.

The various board members each led a discussion on “their” topic/area of expertise. However, what was really revealing was the introductions among the women participants. We were each asked to briefly describe our interest and background with firearms. There were ex- and current military, law enforcement, competitive shooters of every discipline, firearms training instructors, women’s shooting group leaders, reps from national women’s shooting organizations, state gun rights reps, RSOs, gun shop owners – you name it.  As I said earlier – women were everywhere, and enthusiastic, at the NRAAM.  It was inspiring.

So, Iowa ladies – I leave you with this question: If you’re reading this, you are likely an IFC member.  Are your friends who shoot, also IFC members?  Strength in numbers — and I know you are out there! Get your friends involved.  Encourage them to join IFC. (It’s not just for the guys!) 🙂

Second Amendment Matters

P.S. – Look familiar?!!!

 

NSSF News Regarding ATF

NSSF News Regarding ATF

NSSF News Regarding ATF

News from the NSSF reveals alarming statistics about ATF’s activities.  Last week, in a blog called “This is New York“, we told you about Judge Darkeh who said “‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York.’  That Judge obviously feels that New York is exempt from the Second Amendment due to restrictive (and unconstitutional) state laws.

“Only in New York” – am I right?…Except that’s no longer true.  It is not just New York.  Several states have passed laws in defiance of the Bruen case.  I believe that lawfare is one of the many ways the current regime, backed by an unleashed and out-of-control ATF, is attempting to make our exercise of Second Amendment rights too expensive, too risky and too much trouble to participate in and enjoy.  IF we give up.

ATF’s Nefarious Activities

Another example of this effort is the ATF’s use of Zero-Tolerance to close down gun shops.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation shared this article “ATF ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Revocations Continue at Blistering Pace”, regarding the ATF’s Zero-Tolerance policy and the aggressive closure of gun shops around the country.

The campaign to shutter firearm retailers over minor clerical errors, called a “zero-tolerance” policy, is having devastating effects on small businesses and the ability for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights by freely approaching a firearm retailer for a purchase.

The number of inspections, warning letters, settlement conferences, license revocations AND the number of FFLs which “voluntarily” gave up their licenses after interaction with the ATF in order to avoid protracted and expensive investigations, have skyrocketed under the Biden’s gun-control regime.  Even those dealers which do not have any violations are “named and shamed” by the ATF, and rather than face an onslaught of threats and inspections preventing them from conducting their lawful businesses, they simply fold.  But the ATF has it backwards and upside down!

All this adds up to the ATF carrying out a politically-driven agenda to drive firearm retailers out of business rather than the ATF inspection process being used as it was designed – to assist firearm retailers to operate their lawful business in compliance with the laws and regulations governing the sale of firearms.

There are efforts afoot to rein in the ATF, however.  Our own Senator Ernst introduced a bill to do so, as described in this recent Press Release from her office.

Biden’s ATF has had it out for gun owners since day one,” Ernst said. “For years, the Biden administration has cracked down on law-abiding gun dealers to advance its gun-grabbing agenda, even preventing small businesses from making a living. Rather than helping dealers comply with the law, Biden’s ATF has created more hurdles to legally sell guns, so it can turn around and revoke licenses for inconsequential, so-called ‘violations.’.

The fate of Senator Ernst’s bill remains to be seen, but at the least it brings the ATF’s actions into sharp and questionable focus.

NSSF’s Project ChildSafe

In other news from the NSSF, they are promoting firearms safety during National Safety Month and in advance of the upcoming June 11th Responsible Gun Owners Day, pointing out that:

Over the last two years, there have been more than 14 million first-time gun owners, many of them seeking guidance on training and safety education at firearm retailers, shooting ranges and through NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program. Firearm ownership is a right enjoyed by millions of Americans, and with that right comes the responsibility to safely handle and store firearms when they’re not in use. Project ChildSafe has a vast library of firearm safety resources available to gun owners to help prevent accidents, theft and misuse, including suicide.

The Press Release is here for your review and consideration.  IFC strongly supports responsible firearms ownership and gun safety, and we hope the links from this article are helpful to you and your families:

Top Project ChildSafe resources for firearm owners:

JOIN IFC!

You should be thankful to have such an effective organization working on your behalf.  However, there is no question that there is strength in numbers – and we need your participation!  It is just a fact that legislators listen more closely to larger groups.  There is more work to be done, as was outlined recently in this IFC blog.  Become a part of the fight.  Second Amendment challenges are everywhere and it takes all gun owners to keep our rights intact.

Membership in IFC is not expensive.  Even if you belong to a national gun rights organization, you should join IFC.  IFC is involved at a state level – and those laws affect you each and every day.  Being a member keeps you up-to-date on legislation being proposed, or passed, as well as Second Amendment developments and firearms industry news.  In addition – an ADDED BONUS to membership is the discounts offered by our Trusted Partners and Affiliates to our members.  Check it out!

Second Amendment Matters

This Is New York

This Is New York

This is New York

Click here to learn more

Well, everyone deserves a break and our illustrious President, Dave Funk, is taking one this week. I’m subbing for this week’s President’s Message and there’s some stuff to get through! Here goes…

‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York.’

Re-read that quote…

Judge Darkeh, in New York City, has no regard for the Constitution or the Bill of Rights – especially the Second Amendment!  Consequently, an ordinary guy –  a software engineer with a machine shop in his basement – is sitting in prison while real criminals get cashless bail.  Mr. Taylor got interested in gunsmithing during COVID (when New York was completely shut down), and legally ordered parts and lower receivers to begin building firearms.  He is a hobbyist.  He reportedly never even fired the firearms.  He never sold any of the firearms.  Yet today he is in one of the worst prisons in our country, while his attorney attempts to appeal the case.  His attorney estimates it will take two years of appeals to work the case up to the Supreme Court.

To fully appreciate the case, read the particulars here, in an article by Jeff Charles, entitled “NYC Man Convicted Over Gunsmithing Hobby After Judge Says 2nd Amendment ‘Doesn’t Exist in This Courtroom“.  Charles also conducted an interview of Taylor on X, which you can listen to here: Interview of Taylor.

Of course, reactions from around the 2A community are predictably and justifiably loud and angry.  mrgunsngear on YouTube posted this video with his take on the case that provides background about New York law, details about this case, and about Mr. Taylor. Listen here to Colion Noir’s outrage over this case.  And Guns & Gadgets expressed their disbelief about the case here.

 

In Other Anti-Constitutional News…

Watch this Undercover Video from James O’Keefe, featured in this article from American Thinker.  Mr. O’Keefe is having a conversation with a six-year DOD employee, called Jason Beck.  Mr. Beck has a senior position within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and routinely writes prepared responses for his bosses when they go to Capitol Hill to testify to Congress.  Specifically, his title is the ‘Associate Director, Total Force Requirements & Sourcing Policy’.  Like others currently in (unauthorized bureaucratic) ‘power’, he openly advocates to just ignore, discard, and trample upon the Constitution and American gun owners.  In particular, he tells Mr. O’Keefe in the video that gun owners should be stripped of their guns…by the National Guard…by force.  “Take them all away.”  All guns.

“The DoD employee casually noted that he “would like to do some work on the state’s monopoly on violence.” When asked what state’s monopoly on violence meant he replied, “It’s the idea that the state, meaning the country, uh, is the only sort of legitimate purveyor of violence …” Anyone else feel a chill?”

The article succinctly concludes with this observation:

“Disarming the citizenry is the hallmark of totalitarian rule. It is one of the first steps in enslaving a people. It goes hand-in-hand with one party rule, censorship, and “re-education camps.” If the people put up with this, they deserve to be treated like livestock.”

Don’t think they aren’t coming for your guns.  They are impeding gun rights in every possible manner, putting gun shops and manufacturers out of business with a zealous application of bureaucratic rules.  They are conducting lawfare in every court they can, to bankrupt gun owners and gun businesses into submission.  They are determined and WE are in their crosshairs.

Back to Iowa – And YOU

As few as fifteen years ago, gun laws in the State of Iowa were not necessarily very good.  We certainly did not enjoy the 2A freedoms we have today.  We had “May Issue” (carry permits), instead of “Shall Issue”.  We did not have Constitutional Carry.  We did not have the Freedom Amendment.  In fact, there have been many Second Amendment legislative victories since IFC was formed.  You should count your blessings that you live in Iowa, and not New York.  Or California.  Or Colorado.  Or Oregon.  Or Maryland.  Or Illinois.  Or Washington.  Or New Mexico…  I think you get my point.  The success in Iowa did not happen by accident!

The Iowa Firearms Coalition has been remarkably successful over the past dozen or so years, at introducing favorable legislation to enhance and protect Second Amendment rights for all gun owners in Iowa.  IFC has also been extremely effective at keeping “bad 2A bills” from passing.  Check out this updated page for a history of IFC’s legislative actions.

JOIN IFC!

You should be thankful to have such an effective organization working on your behalf.  However, there is no question that there is strength in numbers – and we need your participation!  It is just a fact that legislators listen more closely to larger groups.  There is more work to be done, as was outlined recently in this IFC blog.  Become a part of the fight.  Second Amendment challenges are everywhere and it takes all gun owners to keep our rights intact.

Membership in IFC is not expensive.  Even if you belong to a national gun rights organization, you should join IFC.  IFC is involved at a state level – and those laws affect you each and every day.  Being a member keeps you up-to-date on legislation being proposed, or passed, as well as Second Amendment developments and firearms industry news.  In addition – an ADDED BONUS to membership is the discounts offered by our Trusted Partners and Affiliates to our members.  Check it out here!

Second Amendment Matters

 

 

Law Enforcement Support

Law Enforcement Support

Law Enforcement Support for Students First Safety Act

Law Enforcement support for the Students First Safety Act was announced by Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington on Thursday, March 21st. The Sheriff asked the Senate to PASS the Students First Safety Act to increase school safety.

Warren Wethington

The Sheriff publicly called on Iowa’s State Senators to pass the Students First Safety Act, HF2586. The bill is supported by the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC).

Sheriff Wethington understands that it will take time for officers to respond in the event of a school shooting.  He says:

“It is impossible for Iowa’s peace officers to be everywhere at all times and our state’s students and staff must be better protected,” said Wethington. “I fully support the Students First Safety Act and I call on lawmakers in the Senate to pass it now. Our children can’t afford to wait any longer.”

HF2586

The Students First Safety Act, which passed the Iowa house overwhelmingly in February, will allow for specially trained armed staff to carry firearms on school grounds. The training requirements are extensive. The Cedar County Gazette published this article about the bill on February 29th. The legislation further includes provisions that provide a path forward for school districts seeking to safeguard their campuses with the ability to obtain insurance.

Two school districts in northwest Iowa had worked to implement armed staff in 2023 but cancelled plans once Des Moines-based EMC insurance notified the districts that their insurance policies would not be renewed if their plans went into effect.

IFC President Dave Funk had this to say:

“We are grateful Sheriff Wethington is taking a public stand in support of school safety. As the recent act of evil at Perry High School proved, evil can happen anywhere. The only proven way to save lives when evil strikes is to have good people who are willing and able to respond quickly.”

The Iowa Firearms Coalition, Iowa’s official NRA State Association, is a 501(c4) nonprofit and is Iowa’s only effective pro-Second Amendment rights organization.

For further comment, please contact:
Sheriff Warren Wethington
563-886-2121
or —
jmclaughlin@iowafc.org
John McLaughlin, IFC Chair

Contact Your Senator

Please contact your State Senator directly to ask them to PASS HF2586, the Students First Safety Act. To send a pre-written email, Take Action HERE. On that same page, on the right-hand side, you can enter your zip code and address to look up your Senator, if you prefer to call them.

Second Amendment Matters