Yesterday afternoon the Iowa House passed Stand-Your-Ground law by a vote of 58-39!
Even better, after your calls and emails into the House leadership team, they put both criminal and civil immunity language back into this bill via a floor amendment!
Thank you so much for calling and emailing them — it made all the difference!
This means that unless there is probable cause to believe that you violated Iowa’s use of force laws, you can’t be criminally charged on the whim of an anti-gun prosecutor.
More, you’d also not be able to be civilly sued, either.
After all, it’s a small comfort to survive the dangerous encounter only to emerge destitute after a years-long civil suit.
This is the kind of protections that law abiding gun owners deserve!
This is the kind of protections that would have almost certainly kept Jay Rodney Lewis out of jail on that fateful night in West Des Moines five years ago.
But this bill didn’t pass without a cost.
You see, the original draft of this bill included Constitutional Carry legislation, which simply makes the carry permit optional for law abiding citizens.
Constitutional Carry — which is sweeping the nation right now — was removed from this bill in some kind of bizarre “goodwill gesture” to anti-gun legislators in the House.
More than that, the unconstitutional permit to purchase handguns, which was removed in the original version of this bill, was reinstated at the request of anti-gun legislators.
The same compromise was struck with pre-emption reform.
The original draft was dramatically weakened in that while cities and counties are not allowed to ban guns, the state will not be enforcing this statute should it become law!
Rather, you would be required to engage in a personal suit against the city on your own dime, to stop their attack on your Second Amendment freedoms.
While watching this debate in the House yesterday, I watched as multiple anti-gun legislators thanked House Speaker Pro-Tem Matt Windshitl for removing these sections from the bill.
(Radical anti-gun Representative Ako Abdul Samad ranting on the House floor yesterday. Of course it was Ako’s clerk who faked an anthrax scare the last time the House debated Stand-Your-Ground law, sending him to prison.)
And it made me angry.
After gun owners earned a pro-gun majority in the legislature for the first time in decades, why are we the ones that have to concede ground?
Why must we obtain government permission and put our name in a government database to carry a firearm for self-defense?
Why must we be the ones who have to fund lawsuits against out-of-control city councils who seek to limit our ability to defend our loved ones on ‘city property?’
Why must we obtain a permit to buy a handgun at all, when that pre-existing right is guaranteed to us in the United States Constitution?
I can tell you that our enemies in Des Moines almost NEVER concede ground.
The only time they did was right before an election in which they knew that Iowa Gun Owners was going to expose them for killing gun bills to everyone in their districts!
That’s what majorities do.
They further their policy objectives while they can, knowing that a majority doesn’t last forever.
And that’s what should be happening here in Iowa.
Unfortunately, the leadership in the Iowa House was unwilling to do that and they were repeatedly thanked for their willingness to make compromises on the floor yesterday.
Understand that this may be our last chance to accomplish this for some time.
Our fight to pass Stand-Your-Ground law has lasted for YEARS and required an aggressive election program where we exposed anti-gunners in their districts.
This effort — funded by thousands of IGO members statewide — is what put us in the position to pass gun bills in 2017.
But that energy and momentum has a shelf life. It’s been seven years since we passed Shall Issue law in Iowa.
We need to act now to make sure it’s not another seven years before we make the rest of these changes to Iowa’s gun laws.
That’s why we’re working with pro-gun legislators in the Senate to see what amendments can be offered up to make this bill even better before final passage.
We’ll have more on that in the coming days.
In the meantime, thank you for your activism and support of Iowa Gun Owners.
It’s grassroots gun owners like you that have us on the precipice of passing Stand-Your-Ground law here in Iowa.
Let’s see what else we can get done too, while we still can.
Now that the bill has passed the House, Michael Bloomberg will likely be rolling out a huge effort to shut this bill down.
Sadly, Constitutional Carry was taken off the table by House leadership as part of this compromise deal.
In addition, Pre-emption reform was greatly weakened and the permit to purchase was reinstated in some kind of bizarre gift to anti-gun legislators.
When given a pro-gun majority by gun owners, it makes no sense for House leadership to give up so much ground to anti-gun forces in Des Moines.
Hopefully this good bill can be made even better in the Senate — more on that later.
In the meantime, thanks for all of your activism that’s put us in the position to pass a major pro-gun bill.