Des Moines, IA — Late last night, the Iowa House made history, passing a Constitutional Carry bill for the first time in history by a vote of 60 to 37. The House had a four hour debate before the vote, with several Democrats voicing opposition to the bill.
Iowans have been pounding on the House members in recent weeks, urging them to get this bill through committee and to a floor vote. In conjunction with the state’s largest and most powerful gun rights group, Iowa Gun Owners, gun owners have sent tens of thousands of calls and emails into the Capital building.
It looks like their Republican legislators got the message — better late than never!
This Bill Gave Gun Owners More
This bill wasn’t the cut and dried version that was filed by Jeff Shipley that we reported on back in January. Instead, this bill carried several other provisions that benefit gun owners. According to an email sent out by Iowa Gun Owners last night after the vote, some of the things the bill included were:
- The elimination of the permit to purchase handguns! While a permit or NICS check is required to purchase from a dealer,Iowa would join most states in allowing for private party sales without needing government permission, as long as the intended buyer is legally allowed to own firearms.
- The strengthening of Iowa’s pre-emption laws. This bill clarifies that cities cannot restrict the carrying of firearms in city limits, provided that the carrying of that firearm is legal under existing state law.
- Making it illegal for landlords to evict an otherwise law- abiding tenant for merely possessing a firearm, if that landlord receives government assistance.
- Allowing for concealed carry in the People’s House (the Capitol building) without having to show a permit.
- Breaking the NRA’s monopoly as the only entity who can certify concealed carry instructors here in Iowa, by allowing the DPS to authorize other organizations to provide this training.
Thanks to gun owners’ constant efforts to pass Constitutional Carry, Iowa’s gun laws are getting better and better!
The Fight Moves To The Senate
After last night’s victory, this bill moves to the Iowa Senate. There, it will likely have to go through the committee process again before coming to the Senate floor for a vote. This is something that could happen very quickly — hopefully as early as next week — but only if gun owners keep up the pressure! Meanwhile, the end of the legislative session is in sight — not just in Iowa, but in states all across the country. This bill must needs to be passed by the Senate before it can land on the governor’s desk, so time is of the essence.
Of course, if the Democrats can stall it or moderate Republicans and RINOS can delay it, they will! Moderate Republicans love that tactic: “I would have LOVED to have voted for better gun rights…sadly, we ran out of time!” This way, they keep farming gun owners for votes, but never risk anything by fighting for gun rights.
We reported on February 10, 2021 when Utah’s governor signed their permitless carry bill. Just days later, Montana joined them. It would be a great thing to see Iowa and Tennessee join the ‘Constitutional Carry’ club yet this year! We’ll keep our readers updated on this bill.