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.”


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
or —
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

House Supports Students First Safety Act

House Supports Students First Safety Act

Students First Safety Act

Students First Safety Act (HF 2586) represents a two-year effort by IFC, to address school safety in a meaningful way.  However, it has been difficult.  After days of struggle in the House, Representative Matt Windschitl gave an impassioned, and direct, speech in favor of the bill to the House. Getting the bill to the floor of the House for a vote, and then getting the votes to pass the bill to the Senate, took a lot of effort. Iowa Firearms Coalition greatly appreciates those legislators who have steadfastly worked on behalf of student safety.

The bill is now in the Senate. The Senate Education subcommittee, to which it was assigned, voted to calendar it in the Senate.

Below is the text of the recent email communication by Representative Windschitl to his constituents about HF 2586, and other bills focused on making schools safer.


Representative Windschitl’s Message to Constituents


One of the main themes House Republicans have been working on this session is school safety and security for our students and staff in educational settings. We have brought forth numerous proposals surrounding this topic and will continue working on multiple ways to accomplish this goal.

One of the bills we have advanced to the Senate for consideration allows schools flexibility to protect students by arming staff. For a staff member to qualify for this responsibility, they must undergo specific training regarding active shooters and emergency response strategy, and they must obtain a professional permit to carry that requires elevated firearm training. The training laid out in the bill is extensive and rigorous. Keep in mind this would be on a voluntary basis for schools and staff to choose if they want to use this option. No one will be forced to undergo training if they do not want to have the responsibility, and no school is required to arm staff.

Another proposal we have put forth deals with school infrastructure and creates grants for schools to utilize technology to equip schools and detect bad actors with harmful intentions. This bill creates a task force to develop school safety building codes to determine what makes school buildings safer. Currently none exist.  With new standards, school officials will be able to make sure they are doing what they can from an infrastructure standpoint to make buildings safe for students and teachers. Along that same line, the bill prevents districts from bonding to build athletic stadiums or facilities unless and until their facilities are up to date with the school safety building standards from the task force.  Safety and security should be the priority.

This bill also deals with how schools can get help or send for help if an emergency arises. Schools are allowed to have a mobile panic alert system if it can connect to emergency services and integrates with local public safety answering points. This is a mobile phone application districts can utilize. The Governor’s office previously developed a grant program for emergency radios. Many schools took advantage of that grant, but some did not.  The Governor’s office has said that they plan to re-open that grant program to make sure all schools can have access to funding for the radios. If schools do not take advantage, they will be required to use their own funds.

This bill establishes two grant programs. The first is a three-million-dollar Firearm Detection Software grant program run by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The grant program provides funds to school districts of varying sizes to help offset the cost associated with purchasing, installing, operating software that meets these requirements:

  • Designed to alert and detect district employees and first responders if there is a visible, unholstered firearm on a property owned by the school district.
  • Designed to integrate with a district’s existing security camera infrastructure.
  • Was developed in the U.S. without any of third-party data or open-source data.

The second grant program is the School Security Personnel Grants for Infrastructure, Equipment, and Training. This grant program states that if the bill is passed, it will provide school districts grants to purchase infrastructure and equipment related to employee permits to carry weapons, facilitate the training associated with employee permits to carry weapons, and to provide stipends to employees who participate in the training associated with employee permits to carry weapons. Districts who choose to enhance school security this way will have additional expenses and House Republicans want to help cover those costs to truly make schools a safer place for students and staff.

Regardless of the outcome of the Students First Safety Act in the Senate, all IFC members — indeed, all Iowans — owe Representative Windschitl their thanks for his fervent and steadfast support, as well as thanks to others who voted in favor of advancing the bill to the Senate.

If you are not a member of IFC, please join HERE and volunteer.  We have many opportunities to get involved.

Second Amendment Matters




It’s time to CALL your Senator now! Seriously. This week is the second ‘funnel week’ at the Senate, and if the priority bills that IFC is supporting, do not get action from the Senate by this Thursday – that’s it. Those bills will be dead and will get no further action during this legislative session.

IFC’s volunteer lobbyist, Richard Rogers, and other IFC Board Members have worked tirelessly on your behalf this session. The House legislators also worked very hard to get these bills passed out of the House to the Senate. For whatever reason, the Senate has yet to take action on these bills…And, again – you are reading this on Tuesday. If the Senate is not flooded with calls today and Wednesday, these bills will likely not move. As in – DEAD.

So now it is your turn to do your part. Pick up the phone and CALL YOUR SENATOR. The three Priority Bills that are subject to this Thursday’s funnel deadline are:

  • HF2586 – Students First Safety Act – Click HERE to read more about this bill.
    • The Senate Education subcommittee recommends passage, awaiting committee action.
  • HR2566 – Establishes a schedule of damages that may be assessed against political subdivisions (cities/counties, etc.) that attempt to regulate weapons in violation of the state preemption (Iowa Code 724.28)
    • This bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
  • HF2421 – An act relating to firearms by limiting civil liability of federal firearms licensees who enter into voluntary firearm ‘hold agreements’ with individuals.
    • The Senate Judiciary subcommittee recommends passage – awaiting committee action.


Too busy to call? Not comfortable calling your Senator? They are, in fact, everyday Iowans, from all walks of life, who have taken on a difficult job. They answer to their constituents who all compete for their time and have different points of view. The legislators must make decisions that they believe are in line with the people they represent. If they only hear from folks on one side of an issue (or, worse, don’t hear from anyone), then they decide without complete information. They need to hear that you support these three bills, and that you want them to vote YES in support of each of the bills.


All you need to do is call their office. Ask to speak with them, tell them that you are one of the people they represent, and ask them to get the bill moving and to vote in favor of each of these three bills. They may tell you they are not on that committee or subcommittee. If so, ask them to work with the Senators who are, and to get the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

Remember, they are busy. They are not going to engage you in a long discussion about the details of the bill. Your job is to just ask them to move these three bills forward and vote in favor of them. Truly, it is not hard. Over time, you will begin to build a relationship with them which makes things easier for everyone involved.

You may reach a staffer if your Senator is not available. In that case, just relay the same message to the staffer and ask that they convey it to the Senator.


IFC makes it easy for you. Not only do Board members do the ‘heavy lifting’ with the legislature, but IFC also provides tools to help you. Here are a couple of them:

The IFC-PAC page has a “Bill Tracker Monitor List” which lists the bills currently in play and provides a summary of the bill for your information.

    • Note: You will see other bills listed on the Bill Tracker Monitor List, in addition to the three we are focusing on now, and those bills are also important. You may personally care more about some of those other bills. However, these three bills are time-sensitive, since they will “die on the vine” this week if they aren’t moved forward.

The Iowa Firearms Coalition page also has a Take Action option.  From there you can get to the Action Center. At the Action Center, you can find current action items to send an email to your legislators, the Governor, and others. You can also sign up to receive email alerts for future action items.  You need to become familiar with these tools and this process if we are to be successful at getting important legislation passed.  It takes all of us.


IFC is your state gun rights organization.  Gun rights are under attack in nearly every state, and certainly at a federal level.  We HAVE to advocate and educate legislators and policy makers if we want to continue to enjoy our Second Amendment rights.  There are things going on right now in this country that just a few years ago, were unthinkable.  Don’t let our gun rights become one of the casualties. It could happen here, as it has in other countries.

I talk to members at Gun Shows and IFC events throughout the year and am always asked about legislation we are working on. Everyone has their favorite thing they would like to see changed. But to get these things accomplished takes engagement by everyone IFC represents. We are all volunteers and we are asking you to help us, help you.

If you do nothing, you may get nothing. Let’s get on the phone and get the Senate to take action on these bills!

Second Amendment Matters

Students First Safety Act PASSES the House!

Students First Safety Act PASSES the House!

Students First Safety Act PASSES Iowa House!

HF2586, the Students First Safety Act, passes Iowa House!  Yesterday, the Iowa House passed the Students First Safety Act (now HF2586) with 61% affirmative vote, sending the bill to the Senate for action.  (Look HERE to see how your Representative voted on the bill in the House.) Today, the bill was  assigned to the 19-member Senate Education Committee for review and action.

HF2586 provides important additional safety measures and protection for students in Iowa schools.  The recent shooting in Perry, Iowa painfully demonstrates that nowhere is immune from evil.  We must do everything in our power to protect our school children.  Read the full text of the bill HERE.

IFC wishes to thank the 61 House members who voted in favor of this bill to provide additional tools to protect Iowa’s students.


Iowa House passes the Students First Safety Act

WHO: The Iowa Firearms Coalition and the Iowa House

WHAT: The Students First Safety Act passes the Iowa House

WHERE: Iowa State Capitol Building

WHY: To increase school safety 

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – The Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) is pleased the Iowa House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to pass the “Students First Safety Act,” HF 2586. 

The bill, which allows for specially trained armed staff to carry firearms on school grounds, passed on Wednesday with 61 legislators voting in support of the pro-school safety legislation.  

“Allowing for those who love their children enough to protect them is a win for school safety and all of Iowa’s students,” said IFC President Dave Funk. “IFC is grateful to have partnered with lawmakers on moving this bill of critical importance forward and we look forward to working with the Senate and Governor Kim Reynolds to make it law.” 

While state and federal law currently allow for Iowa school districts to arm school staff, in practice, insurance companies have denied coverage to districts that have attempted to do this.  

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. 

Under this new legislation, school staff and school districts that comply with the training requirements will receive qualified immunity from civil or criminal damages should they need to stop a threat. This language is designed to allow school districts who protect their students the ability to maintain insurance coverage.  

“In the wake of the recent act of evil at Perry High School, it’s clear no school district, large or small, is immune from being a target by someone who wishes to commit an act of evil,” said Funk. “The Students First Safety Act will force a would-be attacker to think twice before attempting to harm our kids, and should they still move forward with their plans, they’ll be stopped and lives will be saved.” 

IFC is calling on Iowans to contact their state Senator and demand they pass HF 2586 immediately. 

The full bill can found here: Iowa Legislature – BillBook 

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:
John McLaughlin, IFC Chair

Register Now for NRA-ILA Legislative Updates

Register Now for NRA-ILA Legislative Updates

Register Now for NRA-ILA Legislative Updates

Iowa Firearms Coalition members know that IFC has done a great job over the years at keeping its members aware of legislation in Iowa that affects the Second Amendment. IFC also has presented a robust slate of proposed legislation for the Iowa Legislature every year and follows all 2A bills. We have been successful in expanding Iowans’ 2A rights and also keeping bad bills from passing. This often tedious work takes a lot of hours and dedication, in every legislative session – and even between sessions.

But what about federal legislation and court cases? That is where the NRA-ILA (National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action) comes in. The reality is that if enough adverse 2A legislation is passed at a federal level, even Iowans – with our significant Second Amendment advances this past dozen years – will be adversely impacted.

What Happens on the NRA-ILA Calls?

Every year, the NRA-ILA schedules a series of calls, per region of the country, that interested people can sign up for to hear about pending court cases and federal legislation (and some state legislation) within their region. These calls are generally one hour in length and include a summary of the bills underway and an attorney’s legal analysis of the potential impact, as well as legal strategies. I have found these once-a-month calls to be very insightful.

Here is your invitation to Register Now for the upcoming NRA-ILA calls:

It’s a New Year – a huge election year – and the battle for our Second Amendment rights is more important than ever! Make plans now to attend an NRA-ILA Grassroots Webinar on January 17th, at 7:00 p.m. EST, focused on critical legal updates regarding your Second Amendment rights, and featuring NRA-ILA Director of Litigation Counsel, Mike Jean. Be sure to RSVP below for the webinar link:


The fight to protect our rights at all levels hinges on active patriots who remain educated on important Second Amendment issues. Your NRA-ILA team looks forward to sharing important updates on the battle to protect the Second Amendment in the courts, hearing your questions, as well as providing the grassroots tools you need to make your voice heard.

Stay tuned to your inbox for more on upcoming NRA-ILA Webinars! All NRA-ILA webinars are Webex based and can be accessed via desktop computer, smartphone, or via call-in. You can find more information on Webex at

We hope you’ll join us January 17th!

Yours in Freedom,

Nathan Cross
NRA-ILA Grassroots

Why It Matters

Second Amendment protections, both at federal and state levels, are under threat. As you know, there is enormous pressure, and a well-funded effort, to erase or reverse our Second Amendment rights. Some recent efforts include:

  • Efforts to restrict ammunition
  • Pressure on firearms manufacturers
  • ATF shutting down gun shops for minor clerical errors on Form 4473
  • Threats from insurers to discontinue liability coverage for firearms manufacturers, gun shops, and shooting ranges
  • Ever-changing and vague changes of regulations and penalties from the ATF, without approval by Congress – some of which (like the pistol brace debacle), carried a penalty of becoming a felon
  • Insurers declining to renew insurance for public schools that want to put in place a policy of arming select staff
  • Endless efforts by gun-control lobbies, to eliminate access to or outlaw certain firearms or accessories
  • Financial industries being asked to code all firearms-related purchase transactions with a special code to identify the purchaser
  • …and the list goes on.

We are lucky, indeed to live in the great free State of Iowa. However, the rights we enjoy today could easily be stripped away if the wrong people get elected. We must be vigilant. We must be active. We must be informed.

Register to join the NRA-ILA calls to help you better understand proposed legislation, the status of current court cases, and the impact of regulatory changes. Be active and get engaged!

The Connection Between NRA & IFC

In 2019, IFC earned the official designation of NRA State Organization status for its continuous efforts working on many Second Amendment issues through the years. We are the only Second Amendment organization in Iowa to hold this status. In 2020, IFC also earned the Outstanding State Association award from NRA.  This was followed in 2021 with the award of NRA’s Distinguished Advocate award which was bestowed upon Richard Rogers, IFC Board member and volunteer Lobbyist. 

Finally, in 2022, IFC was again awarded the Outstanding State Association award from NRA. 

You should be proud to be a part of such a great State Association.   

The success of the Freedom Amendment which passed in 2022, added 2A protections to Iowa’s State Constitution. This was the result of hard work by IFC volunteers, together with assistance from NRA-ILA.

NEXT WEEK: IFC’s Annual 2A Lobby Day at the Capitol and the IFC-PAC Supper!

Also, be sure to attend the 2A Lobby Day at the Capitol – NEXT WEEK! This free event is being held next Thursday, January 18th. Arrive by 9 am — there will be a shuttle service from the designated parking area at the Capitol — look for IFC flags.           

Meet our Event Sponsors and some of our Trusted Partners who will be on hand to show you what they are offering and to tell you about the discounts available only to IFC members.

The official program begins at 10:00 and concludes at noon. Our special guest speaker, Gabby Franco, is a treat to listen to and her harrowing tale of what happened in Venezuela, where citizens are no longer allowed to have firearms, is a sobering story that you will want to hear.

Lobby Day is a ‘show of force’ for our state legislators, emphasizing
just how important Second Amendment rights are to Iowans.

Also, that evening, beginning at 5:30, the annual IFC-PAC Supper will be held at the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine at 1100 Shriners Parkway, in Altoona. IFC is serving up a prime rib dinner with all the fixings, good company, information about current state legislation, and lots of fun (and some raffle prizes!). Gabby Franco will again be there, in a more intimate setting, to provide a deeper understanding of what prompted her to leave Venezuela and eventually become a US citizen. Get your tickets here!

You don’t want to miss these events.  We’ll see you there!

Second Amendment Matters