Since we’ve notified Mayor Hans Trousil and the City Council of West Burlington of its unlawful firearm ban ordinance, a number of stories have appeared in the Des Moines Register and The Hawkeye newspaper. In each instance, journalists have contacted Mayor Trousil seeking comments and he continues—even in his emails responding to Iowa’s NRA members’ concerns—to disingenuously misstate our position and display a poor understanding of Iowa’s firearm laws. As such, it is necessary to explain the facts on this issue.
Mayor Trousil claims his ordinance only bans firearms from a few municipal buildings.
A simple reading of the ordinance’s definition of “municipal building” would show that “any structure, dwelling, garage, or shelter owned, leased or otherwise occupied…and used for any municipal or public purposes by the city” is also included in the ban. These are all much broader terms than “municipal building.” If the city meant to limit its ban to only a few specific city buildings, as Mayor Trousil has claimed in the press, why didn’t it write the ordinance that way?
Mayor Trousil claims that in the absence of his ordinance an Iowan would be unable to possess a firearm in or near said municipal buildings because they are in a “weapons free zone.”
The Iowa Code provision that establishes so-called “weapons free zones” (724.4A) does not prohibit a person from carrying a firearm in accordance with a valid permit within 1,000 feet of a school or park. It merely increases the penalties for firearm-related public offenses committed within these zones. Carrying a firearm in accordance with a valid permit is obviously not an offense.
Mayor Trousil claims that the Supreme Court’s ruling in MacDonald justifies his ordinance.
While the Supreme Court indicated prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in “sensitive places” (which it stated may include “schools and government buildings”) might be permissible, it has never sanctioned broad firearms bans in or on any public “structure” whatsoever.
The current definition of “municipal building” in the ordinance is so broad that it encompasses such structures as bridges, benches, picnic pavilions, public rest stops and bathrooms, parking garages, bus stop overhangs or shelters, etc. These are hardly the sort of “sensitive places” the Supreme Court had in mind. “Sensitive” and “publicly-controlled” are not synonymous in law or in logic.
When Mayor Trousil called gun owners of
The following quote was printed in two separate Des Moines Register articles for your review:
So far, NRA is unaware of Mayor Trousil asking for a retraction—if in fact he was “misquoted.” Mayor Trousil’s recent comments in his e-mail raise further questions about his attitude toward his constituents’ mental states: “Common sense alone should tell us that weapons have no business in a setting where discussions could become heated and out of control.” Does he really think permit holders are so irrational and “out of control” that they will revert to violence over differences of opinion? Permit holders in the state of
Unfortunately, it has become clear that Mayor Trousil and the City Council of West Burlington have chosen to stand by the unlawful ordinance.
Please contact Mayor Trousil and the Mayor Hans Trousil Rod Crowner Kara Steward Therese Lees Dan West Rick Raleigh
Mayor Hans Trousil