Your Vote is More Important than ever this Election Year
The Iowa General Assembly adjourned last month, once again with disappointing results for gun owners and Second Amendment advocates across the state. With the legislative session concluded and the election season upon us, it is time to remember that every vote cast at the ballot box in every district by pro-gun voters makes the difference – because every state legislator’s vote counts, on the House or Senate floor and on every committee. For years in Iowa, committee chairmanship assignments and leadership positions in the Senate have allowed a small anti-gun group of legislators to block every necessary pro-gun improvement from a vote on the Senate floor, and likely enactment.
As reported by the NRA-ILA here, the state House has consistently passed strong pro-gun reforms, including Castle Doctrine, carry permit holder privacy and more – many with strong bipartisan support. In 2014, House File 2381 (legalizing civilian ownership of firearm sound suppressors) also passed in the House with a strong bipartisan vote of 83-16. But once again, despite forward momentum and the dedication of the NRA and our members, Iowa Firearms Coalition and individual state Representatives and Senators, HF 2381 failed to pass in the state Senate under its current democratic leadership.
HF 2381 was denied a subcommittee hearing by Senator Thomas Courtney (D-44) and a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee by Chairman Robert Hogg (D-33) before the legislative deadline.
The effect your e-mails and calls had on state legislators during this process was apparent, and kept our efforts alive long past the committee deadlines. While HF 2381 failed due to anti-gun state legislators who ignored the voices of those who elected them, the NRA refused to give up and worked hard behind the scenes. This led to the House leadership and dedicated state Representatives and Senators working with the NRA to make a new path for the legislation as the language of HF 2381 was passed in the House in the end of session Standing Appropriations Bill, House File 2473, as amendment H-8315.
However, the same anti-gun voices in the Senate made every effort to derail any and all attempts by pro-gun advocates, and pressured the Senate leadership to end any negotiations on the language. In the end, Senate Democrats offered an amendment (S-5196) to the Standing Appropriation Bill which, among other things, stripped out the pro-gun language.
In the late hours of the final days of the legislative session, the Senate voted 26-21 along party lines to accept this amendment- proving that Iowa elections in 2014 are more important than ever to improve chances in the future for passage of urgently needed common-sense, pro-gun reforms. Remember to go to the polls and vote in both the primary and the general elections this year – be sure to see and use the ratings of candidates in your area at www.NRAPVF.org. Your voice can make the difference and bring the change that Iowans need!