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Iowa: Demand Action in Des Moines on Pending Pro-Gun Legislation

Friday, February 14, 2014

The opportunity to advance your firearms freedoms in Des Moines during the 2014 legislative session will slip away if state legislators fail to understand how important Second Amendment rights are to Iowans and they fail to act soon.  Many of you have called and written your state legislators at our request, expressed your support and engaged them in discussions.  Your calls and e-mails make the difference – so keep up the efforts!  Your state legislators need to hear from you before your rights pay the price for partisan politics and gridlock again this session.  With significant legislative deadlines approaching next week, the time for action is now on state legislation to advance your firearms freedoms.  Contact your state Senator and Representative today and express your strong support for a state constitutional protection of your Right to Keep and Bear Arms and for the legalization of firearm sound suppressors.  To contact your state Representative, call (515) 281-3221 and to contact your state Senator, call (515) 281-3371.

Iowa is one of only six states that does not have a state constitutional protection for your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  The NRA and its members support only a strong amendment and its meaningful protections to defend and restore your rights.  Hold your state legislators accountable – let them know you will not settle for weak language and that passage of this measure shouldn’t be determined by how low the standards of protections for a fundamental right can be made.  All proposed restrictions to any of your fundamental rights should be subject to a standard that ensures the strongest possible safeguard of your rights.  Quite simply, your fundamental Right to Keep and Bear Arms is no exception.  House Joint Resolution 4, sponsored by state Representative Matt Windschitl (R-17), was considered in a House Judiciary Subcommittee yesterday, but is still in need of your support if it is to stay alive this session and come before the House Judiciary Committee before next week’s committee deadline.  Please respectfully urge your state legislators to stand up for your rights and the rights of all Iowans by supporting a strong Right to Keep and Bear Arms constitutional amendment as currently written in HJR 4.

The NRA has been working with both chambers of the state legislature to pass a bill to make civilian ownership of suppressors legal under Iowa law.  However, despite overwhelming demand and support from Iowans on this issue, it has yet to see real movement in either chamber.  House File 384 – with proposed NRA-supported amendments – has been a vehicle for this improvement for firearms owners, shooters, and sportsmen.  Contact members of the House Judiciary Committee, express your support for this issue, and request a hearing on HF 384 before next week’s deadlines pass!

Firearm suppressors, also referred to as "silencers,” are currently illegal to own under Iowa law, with limited exceptions, even though they are legal to own under federal law and in 39 states.  While they do not eliminate the sound of a firearm, suppressors do reduce the muzzle report of the gun much in the same way that a muffler reduces exhaust noise from a car or truck.  The benefits associated with suppressor use include increased accuracy due to reduced recoil and muzzle blast, protection from hearing damage and reduced noise pollution.  Noise complaints are being used more frequently as an excuse to close shooting ranges, informal shooting areas, and hunting lands throughout the country.  Increased use of suppressors will help to eliminate many of these complaints and protect hunting and shooting areas well into the future.  Suppressors are an effective means of reducing hearing loss among shooters.  The facts are clear.  Iowans deserve the freedom to choose and use these beneficial safety devices.

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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.