Since I’m a newly-minted member of Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) who happens to live in state Representative Lee Hein’s district, IGO Executive Director Aaron Dorr recently let me know of an about-face Hein has done on the issue of Constitutional Carry.
When campaigning for the House District 31 seat against incumbent Democrat Ray Zirkelbach, Hein filled out IGO’s candidate survey. The very first question dealt with Constitutional Carry, IGO’s pet issue. It read:
1. In 2010 the legislature passed SF2379 which took Iowa from a ‘may issue’ state, regarding permits to carry weapons, to a ‘shall issue’ state. This was an important first step. However, the REAL Right-to-Carry bill (HF2241) did not pass, falling 6 votes short in both chambers. REAL Right-to-Carry recognizes that every law abiding citizen has the right to carry a gun, openly or concealed, for any reason they want to, except to commit a crime. Thus, with no government bureaucracy or license, Iowa citizens can defend themselves and criminals who use arms are severely punished. This is the law in Vermont, Alaska and most of Montana. This concept is close to becoming law in Arizona and Wyoming as well. If passed in Iowa, this law will allow thousands of people the right to carry a firearm for self-defense who currently are required to beg government permission, pass a class and shooting test every 5 years, pay fees, and be subject to a background check like a common criminal.
Would you support House File 2241 or similar legislation, known as Vermont carry legislation, which would allow all law abiding Iowans the right to carry a weapon, either concealed or openly, without having to first beg government permission as is done in several other states?
Hein answered in the affirmative. Largely because of this promised support (and because Zirkelbach was no friend of gun owners) IGO supported Hein and spent their own money sending out mass mailings in his district urging gun owners to support him. Hein eventually defeated Zirkelbach. Now that he’s safely in office, Dorr says that Hein has told him that he will NOT support any Constitutional Carry bill.
I don’t want to give the idea that Hein is entirely bad on Second Amendment issues. In a recent email he assured me that he would vote for the Enhanced Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground bill and the bill that would have prevented gun seizures during declared emergencies. Perhaps Hein is only hearing the shrill squawking of the media and others in opposition to Constitutional Carry.
If you live in Hein’s district and support Constitutional Carry, please politely let him know that there IS support out there and that he should honor his campaign promise. His email is Lee.Hein@legis.state.ia.us and his capitol phone is 515-281-3221.