Iowa Firearms Preemption Bill & RKBA Amendment Pass with Weakening Amendments

Iowa State Flag
Iowa State Flag

IOWA – -( Two important bills were up in the House Public Safety Committee (HPSC) today.

HJR 2005, Right to Keep and Bear Arms Constitutional Amendment and HF 2114, Iowa Firearm Preemption Act.

Both of these bills were passed through committee with weakening amendments that are unacceptable.

RKBA Amendment
Discussion in the HPSC meeting today revolved around the concept that the NRA and IFC proposed language, HJR 2005, was not acceptable and was in fact unnecessary. Legislators wanted to backpedal into a weakening amendment that more closely resembled the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. So, why would NRA and IFC push back?

Simple, because we’ve seen the overt attack on our constitutional rights and we want no room for left in the Iowa Constitution for anti-gun judicial interpretation.

44 States include state-level protection for the right to keep and bear arms.

The landmark Second Amendment cases, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S.Ct. 3020 (2010), were decided by a single vote majority.

Four U.S. Supreme Court Justices disagreed that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms, penning their own opinions that created roadmaps for the future destruction of the right.

Passage of a state constitutional provision will provide a critical defense against efforts to infringe on our rights to keep and bear arms.

Preemption Issue
Remember back to before the NRA and IFC shall issue law passed in Iowa? We had 99 counties with 99 different standards for obtaining a permit to carry. Shall issue legislation changed that to remove Sheriff discretion and allow honest, law-abiding citizens the right to carry a firearm for protection. One law for all of Iowa.

If preemption reform doesn’t take place, there will be potentially hundreds of city and county locations that honest, law-abiding citizens will be compromised if carrying a weapon. And the worst part is they may not even know it until it’s too late

Shall issue legislation made this issue clear:

Iowa Code 724.7 states:

All permits so issued shall be for a period of five years and shall be valid throughout the state except where the possession or carrying of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.

Iowa Code 724.28 states:

A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state. An ordinance regulating firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5, 1990, is void.

Legislative intent here was very clear, simple and concise. However, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller quickly provided cities and counties a work around, skirting this law, by issuing an opinion which allowed them to circumvent this law by taking the risk in implementing illegal resolutions and ordinances that threatened responsible, law-abiding citizens with criminal trespass charges.

The NRA and IFC bill, HF 2114, offers a cut and dried solution that not only spells out more clearly the legislative intent, but it also provides teeth that put cities and counties into a position to remove these illegal ordinances and resolutions off their books.

The weakening amendment added today would do virtually nothing to resolve the problem and would potentially force Iowans to deal with perhaps hundreds of city and county locations that would put them at risk of criminal charges if caught carrying a firearm, potentially unknowingly, on various public property.
If this problem doesn’t get addressed legislatively, as it should, it could cost Iowan taxpayers thousands of dollars and much wasted time in the courts to resolve.

Legislators are being persuaded to weaken the amendment mostly by pressure from government controlled entities, many of which are using your tax dollars in the process:

  • IA. State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Assn.
  • IA. Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • IA. State Police Assn.
  • IA. State Assn. of County Supervisors
  • IA. League of Cities
  • IA. County Attorneys Assn.
  • Iowans For Gun Safety
  • IA. State Assn. of Counties
  • IA. Hospital Assn.
  • League of Women Voters of IA
  • Linn County Board of Supervisors

IFC and the NRA will need your help on this fight! Pass this alert on to your friends and neighbors and ask them to support us in our fight!

Stay tuned for a targeted update to legislators and more information on this issue!

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To learn more about what we do, and what your investment has helped achieve, see our 2011 Year in Review. The organization that worked with the NRA to bring you shall issue is working hard to continue to advance firearms rights for Iowans!

Jeff Burkett
President – Iowa Firearms Coalition
NRA Endowment Member

About Iowa Firearms Coalition

The mission of the Iowa Firearms Coalition is to be THE firearms rights organization in Iowa, representing Second Amendment concerns for all firearms owners in the state. We will staunchly defend the rights of hunters and sportsmen as well as the rights of all Iowans to defend themselves and their loved ones. We seek to partner with other like-minded organizations to increase our effectiveness in accomplishing these goals. Visit:

Iowa Firearms Coalition