Busy Week In Des Moines

Two good gun bills came up for debate this week in the Iowa House of Representatives.  One was a proposed “Stand Your Ground Law” and the other would add a right to keep and bear arms provision to the state constitution.  Both were passed out of committee as watered down versions but the full house was allowed to vote on the original strongly-worded versions of both.

Not having the votes to stop the bills, House Democrats walked out in protest. Fellow over-worked blogger stranded in iowa chronicles the statehouse soap opera in more depth here.  After their hissy fit Democrats returned and graciously allowed the legislative sausage press to resume operation.  Both pro-gun bills passed in the House largely along party lines.

The “Stand Your Ground Law,” House File 2215, “provides that a person may use reasonable force, including deadly force, if it is reasonable to believe such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another” and that “a person who is not engaged in an illegal activity has no duty to retreat from any place where the person is lawfully present before using force.”  The bill also provides that a person who uses reasonable force would be immune from any criminal prosecution or civil action for using such force. 

Arguing against the bill Democrats fell back on the “wild, wild west” scenarios that they also said would materialize if Iowa passed the “shall issue” weapons permit law in 2010.  House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy had this to say of the brainless savages he represents: “Maybe loading groceries in the back of a car in the Walmart parking lot, you look over, somebody’s taking a sack out — boom!”  The bill’s sponsor Representative Matt Windschit countered, ““I trust Iowans.  I believe in them. Let’s give them an opportunity to defend themselves without the fear of frivolous prosecution.”

H.F. 2215 passed 60 to 38.  It now advances to the Democrat-controlled Senate where it’s future is murky.

Representatives voting FOR the bill were:

Alons Anderson Baltimore Baudler Brandenburg Byrnes Chambers Cownie De Boef Deyoe Dolecheck Drake Forristall Fry Garrett Grassley Hagenow Hager Hanusa Heaton Hein Helland Horbach Huseman Iverson Jorgensen Kaufmann Klein Koester Lofgren Lukan Massie Miller, L. Moore Olson, S. Paustian Pearson Pettengill Quirk Raecker Rasmussen Rayhons Rogers Sands Schulte Schultz Shaw Smith, J. Soderberg Sweeney Taylor, J. Tjepkes Upmeyer Van Engelenhoven Vander Linden Wagner Watts Windschitl Worthan Mr. Speaker Paulsen

Representatives voting AGAINST the bill were:

Abdul-Samad Berry Cohoon Gaines Gaskill Hall Hanson Heddens Hunter Isenhart Jacoby Kajtazovic Kearns Kelley Kressig Lensing Lykam Mascher McCarthy Miller, H. Muhlbauer Murphy Oldson Olson, R. Olson, T. Petersen Running-Marquardt Smith, M. Steckman Taylor, T. Thede Thomas Wenthe Wessel-Kroeschell Willems Winckler Wittneben Wolfe

The proposal to amend the Iowa Constitution, House Joint Resolution 2009, would add the following language to the state’s Bill of Rights:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms, as herein expressed, shall not be infringed. The right of an individual to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be infringed upon or denied. 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.

H.J.R 2009 passed 61-37.
 
Representatives voting FOR the bill were:

Alons Anderson Baltimore Baudler Brandenburg Byrnes Chambers Cownie De Boef Deyoe Dolecheck Drake Forristall Fry Garrett Grassley Hagenow Hager Hanusa Heaton Hein Helland Horbach Huseman Iverson Jorgensen Kaufmann Klein Koester Lensing Lofgren Lukan Massie Miller, L. Moore Olson, S. Paustian Pearson Pettengill Quirk Raecker Rasmussen Rayhons Rogers Sands Schulte Schultz Shaw Smith, J. Soderberg Sweeney Taylor, J. Tjepkes Upmeyer Van Engelenhoven Vander Linden Wagner Watts Windschitl Worthan Mr. Speaker Paulsen

Representatives voting AGAINST the bill were:

Abdul-Samad Berry Cohoon Gaines Gaskill Hall Hanson Heddens Hunter Isenhart Jacoby Kajtazovic Kearns Kelley Kressig Lykam MascherMuhlbauer Murphy Oldson Olson, R. Olson, T. Petersen Running-Marquardt Smith, M. Steckman Taylor, T. Thede Thomas Wenthe Wessel

Since it amends the state Constitution, the bill must pass BOTH houses of the legislature during this session AND during next years session.  It would then have to be approved by Iowa voters.
 
If you’re interested in these bills I would encourage you to sign up for the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s email alerts here.  They will send you timely updates on these and other Second Amendment issues in Iowa as well as offering an online resource to quickly and easily contact your elected officials when needed.

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2 thoughts on “Busy Week In Des Moines”

  1. One minor correction. Rep. Brian Quirk D voted FOR the constitutional amendment. So, it was *almost* along party lines. THANK YOU Rep. Quirk!

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