Suppressor Legislation Quieting Pro-Gun Groups?

Last week the Iowa Senate passed House File 2279, a bill to authorize Iowans to possess suppressors, catching us up with the super majority of the rest of the states in the country that have already authorized this simple concept.

Suppressors do much to quiet the noise that your firearm makes – making it easier to enjoy a fun day at the range.

The suppressor legislation that will soon become law here in Iowa will also do much to quiet the noise from the establishment gun lobby as well – making it easier for radical gun grabbers like Senator Mike Gronstal and Steve Sodders to enjoy a more peaceful reelection season later on this year.

That’s right, anti-gunners in both the Iowa House and Senate will be laughing at these gun groups all the way to their swearing-in ceremony in the legislature next January should they win their re-elections this Fall.

That’s because they have done a masterful job of making most gun organizations in Iowa do what they do every two years: sing the praises of the most anti-gun legislators in Iowa for giving them a scrap of the gun rights Iowans deserve while killing the more substantive bills that impacts far more Iowans like Stand-Your-Ground law (SF137) and Constitutional Carry (SF400.)

Understand what Senator Gronstal and Sodders have done here.

This is the most regulation laden “gun-rights” bill that Iowa has passed in the modern era, but incumbent Senators will have some in the gun rights movement here in Iowa praising them for being pro-gun when everyone in Des Moines knows that is just not true.

It’s a joke.

Understand this, to own a suppressor in Iowa, even after this law takes effect, per ATF rules, a law abiding Iowan will have to:

• Locate a Class 3 dealer in the state who will handle the transfer;

• Complete and submit to the ATF their Form 4 card;

• Submit a copy of your fingerprints to the ATF;

• Submit a copy of your passport photo to the ATF;

• Have your county sheriff sign the rear of the Form 4’s attesting that you do not possess a criminal record and are not wanted;

• Pay a ‘transfer tax’ fee of $200;

• Then actually purchase the suppressor.

So while we support this bill’s passage and while it’ll be fun to shoot a suppressed weapon for those few Iowans who can afford the hassle and cost of going through this entire process, it’ll benefit only a small portion of gun owners in Iowa.

In exchange, Senate Democratic leadership knows that the establishment gun lobby and their associated groups will have to hang their heads in guilty silence at election time since they ‘got their bill passed’ — it’s how the game is played here in Des Moines.

These backroom deals have always made me sick.

Last month, longtime Democratic strong-hold West Virginia passed Constitutional Carry into law.

Last year, Maine’s Democratic Governor signed Constitutional Carry into law.

Anti-gun legislators all over the country are on the run — fighting for their political lives. Nationwide, the last 5 years have seen some of the biggest explosions of state-level gun rights improvements that gun activists have ever seen!

Yet here in Iowa, naïve organizations, desperate for a win, have fallen right into Senator Gronstal’s painfully obvious plan yet again.

He simply blockades the substantive bills that Iowans need like Constitutional Carry legislation and Stand-Your-Ground law, pass a minute gun bill in the process, and gets these simple-minded organizations to sing his praises!

Meanwhile, you can go to jail for a self-defense shooting in a parking lot, as Iowa doesn’t have Stand-Your-Ground.

Meanwhile, you can go to jail for teaching your children to shoot a handgun because Iowa makes it a crime unless they are 14.

Meanwhile, you can go to jail for buying handguns without a government issued permit because Iowa is one of a few states that still has a permit to purchase handguns.

Meanwhile, you can go to jail for carrying a handgun for self-defense without a permission slip from the government, because Iowa refuses to pass Constitutional Carry law.

I could go on.

The point is, while it’s fine to pass HF 2279 — it’s not nearly enough — and gun clubs in Iowa should NOT be praising anti-gunners who vote for this obvious ploy.

Put another way, if you walked onto a car lot to buy a new pickup for your farm, and offered the dealer $49,750 for a truck marked $50,000 — that dealer would take your money and you’d be laughed at by all of his colleagues for thinking you ‘got a great deal.’

That’s exactly what’s happening in Des Moines, only its Senate Democrats laughing at these group as they fall for the ruse they are trying to get away with.

But there’s just one problem with Senator Gronstal’s plan, and that’s you — the members of Iowa Gun Owners!

You see, you’re the ONLY reason that HF2279 will become law here in the first place.

Gronstal and his pals have not forgotten that over the last couple of election cycles, educated and mobilized gun owners have seen fit to boot from office dozens of their former colleagues who voted against the 2nd Amendment!

Former Senators like Rich Olive, William Heckroth, Staci Appel, Becky Schmitz, Keith Kreiman and Daryl Beall weigh heavily on their minds.

Former anti-gun House members like McKinnley Bailey, Mark Kuhn, John Beard, Doris Kelley, Gene Ficken, Ray Zirkelback, Geri Huser, Eric Palmer, Larry Merek, Michael Reasoner, Paul Shomshor, Dan Muhlbauer and dozens of would-be legislators who never got into office because they were opposed to the 2nd Amendment give incumbent legislators great pause, too!

In each of these races, Iowa Gun Owners was there to educate gun owners about the voting records of these incumbents using direct mail, mass email deploys, social media, radio ads, volunteers passing out flyers house-to-house, and more!

(A portion of the direct mail that Iowa Gun Owners sent out during the 2014 election cycle, exposing anti-gun legislators to the voters in their districts.)

The ghosts of these former legislators, removed from office by gun owners like you, is the ONLY reason that Gronstal passed this bill this year.

There is an election coming and he knows that Iowa Gun Owners will be mounting an aggressive educational program in targeted districts designed to expose anti-gun legislators for killing Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law.

He also knows that his grasp on power and his ability to crush these pro-gun bills is only being maintained by a slim 2-vote majority. So they NEEDED a small gun bill to pass to campaign on later this Fall.

While this tactic may have confused and sidelined other groups in Iowa, I can assure you that, with your continued help, Iowa Gun Owners will be there this Fall to deliver the hardest-hitting election program that we’ve ever conducted!

Our gun rights deserve nothing less than the most vigorous defense possible.

Recently, at a gun show, I talked with an elderly gentleman from Polk Co. He was inquiring about the status of gun legislation in the Capitol and I was explaining where the various bills were – including suppressor legislation.

He smiled and said, “Son, what good will it do me whether I shot someone in self-defense with a suppressed pistol or not if I’m sitting in Polk Co. lockup charged with manslaughter, since we don’t have Stand-Your-Ground law yet?”

Those groups that are working to ensure that this scenario becomes a reality here in Iowa have to answer for that.

In the meantime, Iowa Gun Owners will continue to push for pro-gun legislation here in Des Moines and we are, already, preparing to hold anti-gun legislators accountable during the upcoming Primary and General election season.

If you want to ensure that we have the ammo we need to make this program a reality, please consider making your largest possible contribution today!

Hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail, well in excess of 500,000 emails, massive social media programs, radio ads like this and like this, and TV ads will be needed to make sure that Senate leadership doesn’t get away with what they’ve tried to pull off in Des Moines this year.

This program has to be even larger now, thanks to these well-meaning but woefully out-maneuvered gun clubs that have walked right into Gronstal’s plan this session.

So please consider doing your part!

We won’t back down, but we’ll only be able to run as large of a program as pro-gun Iowans enable us to run.

Please do what you can, right away!

For Freedom,

Aaron Dorr
Executive Director

P.S. Still remembering the losses that his caucus has endured at the hands of angry, mobilized gun owners over the last couple of election seasons, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal knew he had to devise a plan to provide political cover in the election season as he and his pals worked to kill Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law here in Iowa during an election year.

With only a 2-seat majority, it was essential he find a more minute gun bill to pass — hoping to stave off the attacks that groups like Iowa Gun Owners have and will continue to bring against gun grabbers at election time!

Woefully out-maneuvered gun clubs walked right into this trap this year by settling for HF 2279, the suppressor bill.

To be clear, of course this bill should be passed through the legislature to catch Iowa up with most of the rest of the country.

But the establishment gun lobby and their associated clubs in Iowa will have to be about as quiet as a suppressed .22 rifle during the upcoming election season — as they’ve made it clear they are willing to settle for this heavily regulated bill at the expense of bills that impact far more Iowans.

Even now Iowa Gun Owners is meeting with candidates and preparing to run the largest mobilization program in our history this Fall — to hold anti-gunners in Des Moines accountable for killing pro-gun legislation.

This program has to be even larger now, thanks to these well-meaning but woefully out-maneuvered gun clubs that have walked right into Gronstal’s plan this session.

We won’t back down, and we will fire every political bullet in our arsenal in the elections later this year. But I need help to make that happen. Please consider a generous contribution TODAY!