The pressure was as high as I’ve ever seen it at the Capitol yesterday as politicians of both political parties were scrambling to figure out what to do with all the calls and emails they’ve been receiving from IGO members in their districts.
Their fear was palatable.
One legislator with a questionable record on the 2nd Amendment who is facing a primary this June, whined, “I never knew how angry gun owners in my district could get or how many of them were involved with Iowa Gun Owners. I’ll vote right today. Will you make sure all those people know where I stand?”
That legislator wasn’t the only legislator who previously sneered and said they would never support Constitutional Carry legislation who approached us yesterday, nervously, and said that they had had a sudden change of heart in the last week after your calls and emails.
The lesson is clear: all the bluster and hype seems to evaporate when a legislator is suddenly confronted with angry, mobilized gun owners in their districts – especially in an election year.
That being said, we’re going to have to wait a little longer to find out which legislators are pro-gun and which ones are not as the Speaker of the House, Kraig Paulsen, yesterday used a procedural rule to bury Constitutional Carry legislation yet again and kept it from coming up for a vote for a little while longer.
That’s right, the Republican leadership in the House are apparently more worried about keeping their establishment pals and their friends at the Des Moines Register happy than they are worried about defending the 2nd Amendment here in Iowa.
Just prior to Rep. Tom Shaw standing to invoke House rules to place Constitutional Carry onto the debate calendar there was a flurry of activity in the “House Well” from a variety of members of the House leadership team as they plotted how to shut your gun rights down.
It’s absolutely outrageous – the incredible lengths the Republican leadership in the House went to in order to smash Constitutional Carry legislation!
In counting the votes that we had secured yesterday in support of Constitutional Carry legislation (unofficially, before the time came to vote) one thing became immediately apparent: the yes votes were virtually all rank and file legislators who were doing what was in the best interest of the 2nd Amendment supporters in their district. Period.
They weren’t scheming about how to best advance themselves in the Capitol.
You see, the word was out, if you want to keep your committee chairmanship or remain an assistant majority leader like Rep. Windschitl above, or if you want to become a member of this leadership clique in the future – you better show your party loyalty when it counts!
Of course, the spin out of Des Moines is that “these are the rules.” But that’s just a cheap excuse to be used at the whim of leadership.
There was no better example of this than just twenty minutes before Rep. Shaw spoke, as the House was debating another piece of legislation.
A legislator objected to the bill claiming that it didn’t come through the appropriate committee and that it shouldn’t advance in its current form – something we’ve been hearing about our gun bills.
Rather than kill the bill, or sandbag it in committee, the Speaker put the House ‘at ease,’ and IMMEDIATELY convened the House Ways and Means Committee in a committee room while the rest of the House was on standby.
The committee met and approved the bill and pushed it out of the committee all in the space of about 15 minutes. The bill then moved back onto the House floor where it was promptly voted on and passed out of the House.
You see, committees, timetables, procedure – all of this is something that Leadership gets to use to advance the bills that they want or, in this case, to kill the bills they don’t want.
They could have done the exact same thing with Constitutional Carry legislation yesterday – but the House Leadership team chose to kill it.
So don’t believe these lies.
At the end of the day, this was just a gross power play by a small group of legislators who are holding the rest of their pro-gun caucus hostage to their politics of personal destruction and ego.
The good news is that this was one step in this process and multiple options remain for obtaining a vote on Constitutional Carry legislation this session. We’ll be reporting to you on those options shortly.
We are determined to make these legislators vote on Constitutional Carry legislation before they adjourn so that you and I know who’s with us and who’s against us.
For now, please take a moment to email/call the Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen and demand that he stop blocking the 2nd Amendment and use his power and procedure to advance the Constitutional Carry legislation instead of killing it!
Also, make sure to email your own legislator and remind him or her that they need to vocally lead in this fight too.
They have procedural options and ways to advance bills that they need to utilize. Remind them that there is no such thing as inaction when it comes to your gun rights – they either fight for them or they don’t.
Thanks for all of your calls and emails over the last week as they clearly have a telling effect at the Capitol!
Gun owners are mobilized in ways that legislators couldn’t have dreamed possible just a few years ago and they know that they have to advance the 2nd Amendment or face the consequences at election time.
They are so afraid of voting on your gun rights, of having their anti-gun legislators exposed, that they choose to crush gun bills.
It’s that or they may lose members in the elections which may result in them losing their majority control – and that’s what they care about more than anything else.
But there are still multiple ways to obtain a vote on Constitutional Carry legislation – this was just the first step. And more than that, the legislature is clearly terrified of being on the record against your gun rights which bodes well for our rights in the future.
Today, feel free to contact Speaker Paulsen and let him know what you think of his heavy-handed attempts to kill Constitutional Carry legislation by calling him at 515-281-3521 or 319-981-3097 or by emailing his office at [email protected]iowa.gov.
Iowa Gun Owners is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, single-purpose organization dedicated to preserving
and protecting the Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms through an aggressive
grassroots program designed to mobilize public opposition to anti-gun legislation. The address for
Iowa Gun Owners is PO Box 3585, Des Moines, IA 50323. You can call us at 515-309-7858.
Our website can be located at www.IowaGunOwners.org.