Gun Bill Moves in the Iowa House

Dear Fellow Patriot,                    February 27, 2014                  
Moments ago the Iowa House voted 82-16 to pass HF2381, a bill to allow law abiding Iowans the means to purchase and use suppressors on firearms.

While this bill came up for a vote too quickly for IGO to get an email out, we were able to communicate with tens of thousands of you via Facebook and your calls and your emails made a huge difference in determining the outcome of this vote.

(If you’re not following IGO on Facebook and would like to, just go here and “Like” our page. This will give you moment by moment updates on the 2nd Amendment fight here in Iowa.)

This bill now goes to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. We need you to immediately contact your State Senator and urge them to support the bill. You can find your State Senator’s email address by following this link.

At the same time, please take a moment to email Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) and urge him to move this bill to the Floor for a vote. His email address is [email protected].

Thank you for all of your activism and hard work in defense of your 2nd Amendment rights!

I’m sure you’ll agree, directly or indirectly, IGO members are clearly driving the pro-gun agenda here in Iowa – as you have been going back to the passage of ‘Shall Issue’ legislation in 2010.

The General Assembly has no choice but to keep passing gun bills because you never let up – and they know they have to do something or face angry voters at election time.

But this is only half of the story and we’d be remiss if we didn’t give you the other half.

The truth is that the Iowa House and Senate are working overtime to kill the substantial gun bills that have been brought before them for the last few years – and this year is no different

Stand-Your-Ground legislation, HF2113, which would protect you from being wrongfully arrested after being forced to defend yourself from a criminal attacker is being held up in the very same House Judiciary Committee that moved this suppressor bill.

Many of you know the story of Jay Lewis, the man so many of you personally helped once he was released from prison here in Des Moines last year.

Mr. Lewis was attacked by multiple attackers with dozens of criminal convictions, he warned them to stay back, and they continued to menace him forcing him to shoot one of them in the shoulder.

Despite telling the suspects 11 times to get back, as documented in the 911 audio tape, he spent 112 days languishing in prison waiting for his day in court until a jury of his peers found him innocent.

Mr. Lewis, nor you or I, are any safer from wrongful prosecution or civil suits as a result of this vote today.

Constitutional Carry, HF2284, which would simply allow any law abiding Iowan who can legally own a handgun to carry a handgun for self-defense without needing government permission, hasn’t even been assigned to a sub-committee this year.

This simple concept is law already in states like Vermont, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Wyoming and more.

These states, incidentally, are some of the safest in America because criminals everywhere know if they attack someone in these states they are very likely going to be shot for their trouble!

Many members of the House have told you and me that they support this legislation during election time. Dozens of these legislators, including virtually the entire House leadership team, have pledged in writing to support this legislation on their candidate surveys from previous elections.

Yet when the elections are over and they are safely back in Des Moines, they assign these bills to handpicked committees where they know they can lock down these bills without ever voting on them.

They are afraid of voting on them because they know that many of their co-workers would vote no and they know that Iowa Gun Owners’ members across the state would be made aware of these votes and they are terrified of what that may mean at election time as they may lose their majority control.

My office line rings almost daily with a concerned Iowan on the other end who wants to carry a defensive weapon but can’t afford the fees involved or who doesn’t want the government to add them to a list somewhere for obtaining a permit.

These people are no safer today because of the passage of today’s bill.

In fact, since suppressors can run as high as $2,000 or more and the permits and fees cost an additional couple hundred dollars, it’s obvious that this bill will benefit only a small percentage of gun owners here in Iowa.

Suppressors are fun, aid in preventing hearing loss, and make you a better neighbor by muffling the noise while shooting on your property.

But suppressor legislation isn’t going to make the next Jay Lewis feel any better sitting in jail for 4 months because some anti-gun county prosecutor wants to go on a politically motivated witch hunt.

Worse still, all of the anti-gun legislators in the Capitol will now be rushing out to tell you, their voters, how pro-gun they are, full well knowing that they are anti-gun.

The votes are there to demonstrate that – but now they can use this much smaller vote as “proof” to their voters of their “pro-gun votes.”

These actions only make it harder for us to pass the substantive bills that Iowans need by allowing voters to be fooled at election time. These are political cover bills, plain and simple, as evidenced by the final vote count of 82-16.

So after you’ve taken a moment to email your State Senator and Senator Gronstal, take a moment to email your legislator in the House.

Thank him or her if they voted yes on HF2381 – but make sure they know that you’re watching to see what they do with the real issues confronting gun owners in Iowa.

Tell them that you know that the House has the power to move legislation whenever they want and that “funnel deadlines” are no problem for leadership – and that you expect them to use all of these procedural tools to protect you and your gun rights.

Feel free to use the suggested email below.

Thank you for your activism and hard work this session – keep it up!

For Freedom,

Aaron Dorr
Executive Director

P.S. Moments ago the Iowa House passed a bill to allow you to possess a suppressor here in Iowa with an 82-16 vote. Please contact your Senator and urge him/her to vote yes on this bill if it comes up for a vote.

This bill was passed for one reason: the politicians in the House are feeling the heat of your calls and emails and they know that they have not delivered on their promises to support your gun rights since the last election.

So while the House is working behind the scenes to kill Constitutional Carry legislation (HF2284) and Stand-Your-Ground legislation (HF2113) they are offering up this bill to attempt to get gun owners to support them without question in the fall elections.

Please take a moment to contact your Representative, using the suggested email below if you wish, and thank them for their vote if they voted correctly today – but remind them that you are closely watching what they do with HF2284 and HF2113 and that you expect action on these bills this year!


Dear Representative,

Thank you for your vote in support of HF2381 – a bill that would allow me to possess a suppressor after going through a series of applications.

At the same time, please know that the majority of Iowa gun owners are simply not going to be able to utilize this option due to the high costs associated with buying a suppressor and paying for all of the fees that are involved.

What does affect me, directly, is Iowa’s lack of a Stand-Your-Ground law which leaves me totally vulnerable to criminal and civil actions in the event that I’m forced to defend myself or my family with a firearm!

HF2113 would solve all of this and I strongly encourage you to take immediate action on this legislation.

Constitutional Carry legislation, law in multiple states already, has also been introduced here in Iowa (HF2284). This would enable many Iowans to be armed in the event of a criminal attack without having their name added to a government list like so many criminals.

I understand that these bills may or may not pass in the Senate – all I’m asking is that YOU vote for it – so that I know where you stand on these critical pieces of legislation.

Finally, please urge your leadership to use all the procedural tools they have available, including re-drafting these bills as ‘leadership bills’ if necessary, to move this legislation along.

I’ll be watching to see what you do with these bills.