Earlier this morning, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed Stand-Your-Ground legislation (HF 517) into law!
Portions of this bill take effect immediately, like your ability to teach your children to shoot a handgun and the confidentiality of your permit.
Most will take effect on July 1.
All of it has happened because of you, and I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done to help us cross over the finish line!
This came at a huge price, for one Iowan, in particular.
Gun owners would do well to remember Jay R. Lewis, whose horrible mistreatment at the hands of Polk Co. Attorney John Sarcone was the driving force behind our 6-year fight to enact Stand-Your-Ground law!
Lewis, a former federal law enforcement officer, was driving home from work in Des Moines when he was rammed off the road by a car load of intoxicated young people — looking for a fight.
As the two men in the car rushed Lewis, still in his vehicle, they began pounding on the window in an attempt to violently assault Lewis.
Lewis displayed his handgun, and the men retreated as Lewis drove into the nearby parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived.
As he called 911, the two men, who knew Lewis was armed, came at him again and forced Lewis to shoot the nearest one after he begged them –- ELEVEN TIMES — to leave him alone!
(Jay Lewis (L), with IGO’s Aaron Dorr (R) in the Iowa Capitol in March of 2012 as Iowa Gun Owners worked to pass Stand-Your-Ground legislation.)
Lewis went on to be arrested and charged with multiple felonies and spent 112 days in jail until he was cleared by a jury in just 90 minutes of deliberations.
In that time, however, Lewis lost everything he had including his job, apartment, his belongings, everything.
Generous Iowa Gun Owners members helped Lewis back onto his feet and he even came to the Capitol with us to urge then Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal to stop blocking the bill!
But it wasn’t enough in 2012.
It took decisive action from mobilized gun owners in the elections of 2014 and 2016, who removed a total of seven senators who opposed the bill, to make this a reality.
We’ve lost touch of Mr. Lewis in the intervening years, but gun owners statewide should take pride in knowing that the story of Jay Lewis will not be repeated in our state with the passage of HF 517!
Thank you so much for making this possible with your relentless calls and emails into the legislature for years!
Thank you for giving us the resources we need to run the shock and awe style exposure programs that we’ve done for four election seasons in a row –- resulting in over 35 incumbents being removed from office!
And thank you to all of our volunteers who’ve worked gun shows and gone door-to-door with us in towns all over the state at election time getting the word out!
This is your victory!
The Second Amendment fight in Iowa will now be turning to the fight to pass Constitutional Carry — the issue on which IGO was founded in 2009.
Constitutional Carry has been making massive strides across the country over the last couple of years.
So far in 2017, New Hampshire and North Dakota have enacted this legislation while Missouri, Idaho, West Virginia and Mississippi did the same just last year.
With neighboring Missouri and nearby Kansas already having this law, and with it on the move in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and more — it’s time Iowa catch up with the times.
That fight begins immediately.
Iowa Gun Owners
P.S. Earlier this morning, Stand-Your-Ground legislation was signed into law by Governor Branstad, ending a years-long fight to protect Iowans who are forced to defend themselves!
While parts of the bill take effect immediately, most of it goes into effect in July.
This is your victory, and I can’t thank you enough for all of the help you’ve provided over the years to get us here!
The fight for the Second Amendment in Iowa now moves on to Constitutional Carry, and we’ll have much more on that in the weeks ahead.