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Iowa Update: House Democrats Refuse to Consider Pro-Gun Bills, Leave Capitol

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three bills important to gun owners in the Hawkeye State were expected to receive consideration today on the floor of the state House of Representatives. However, the entire Democratic House caucus left the Capitol building in an attempt to block consideration of these pro-gun bills. 

Please call and email Democratic members of the Iowa House today and urge them to return to the capitol so these bills can be considered. To find the contact information for these Representatives, click here.

House Joint Resolution 2005, now House Joint Resolution 2009, was amended in committee with weakening language, but our goal is to make sure that the committee substitute is stripped and this bill is returned to its original form.  The original language of HJR 2009, if passed, would have been the strongest and most comprehensive constitutional language of any state, guaranteeing our Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Iowa for future generations.  The original language of HJR 2005 reads:

“The right of individuals to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms for defense of life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be denied or infringed.  Mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation as a condition of the exercise of this right is prohibited, and any other restriction shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

When HJR 2009 comes up, please urge your state Representative to vote to return this bill to its original form and pass it when the final vote is taken.

The state House was also expected to vote on House File 2215, formerly House File 573. This legislation would remove a person’s “duty to retreat” from an attacker, allowing law-abiding citizens to stand their ground and protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present.  It would create a presumption that an individual who unlawfully or forcefully enters your dwelling, place of business or employment, or occupied vehicle is there to cause serious bodily injury or death, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that person.  HF 2215 also would expressly enhance the protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used. 

Finally, the state House was scheduled to consider House File 2361, formerly House File 2114. As introduced, this legislation was a strong and necessary firearm preemption reform bill that would prevent cities from passing a patchwork of gun control laws across the state.  Unfortunately, a weakening amendment that takes gun rights backwards in Iowa was adopted in committee.  Like HJR 2009, our goal is to amend this legislation on the House floor and the NRA is working tirelessly to make sure this legislation passes with the strongest possible language.

Again, please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support the orginal versions of HJR 2009, HF 2215 and HF 2361.  Please also urge your state Representative to remove the weakening language from HJR 2009 and HF 2361 before passage in the state House. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.