Iowa: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Holds Up Two NRA-Priority Gun Bills

Published by the Author on March 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm > Gun Related News > Iowa: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Holds Up Two NRA-Priority Gun Bills

Below is an NRA announcement concerning two important pro-gun bills for Iowa.  I would encourage everyone who lives, works, or is otherwise involved with Iowa to take action:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Gene Fraise (D-46), despite overwhelming support from Senate Republicans and Iowans across the state, refused to hold any hearing on either NRA-initiated HF 2215, the Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine Enhancement, or HJR 2009, a proposed right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment. In doing so, Senator Fraise has severely limited the options available to pass NRA’s legislative priorities.

Some questions have arisen on the viability of a “discharge petition” to move NRA’s bills to the calendar. A discharge petition is not an option for moving our agenda because of the procedural rules of the Senate. HF2215 and HJR2009 needed to reside within the assigned committee for fifteen days before the discharge petition was viable. Unfortunately, the fifteen days extended beyond the deadline or “legislative funnel” for both bills to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Despite this, the NRA is continuing to work with House and Senate leadership to find viable options to pass these important bills:

House File 2215, sponsored by state Representative Windschitl (R-56), passed in the state House by a 60 to 38 vote and would remove a person’s “duty to retreat” from an attacker, allowing law-abiding citizens to stand their ground and protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present. It would create a presumption that an individual who unlawfully or forcefully enters your dwelling, place of business or employment, or occupied vehicle is there to cause serious bodily injury or death, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that person. HF 2215 also would expressly enhance the protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used.

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House Joint Resolution 2009, also sponsored by Representative Windschitl, fortifies Iowa gun rights through a strong state constitutional amendment and was passed in the state House by a 61 to 37 vote. The NRA’s original language was restored on the floor, guaranteeing that:

“The right of individuals to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms for defense of life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be denied or infringed. 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.”

And finally, as previously reported, House Joint Resolution 2001 has been awaiting Senate consideration for the past month. This legislation would prevent Iowa from being the first state to impose an unfounded and comprehensive ban on use of lead ammunition. HJR 2001 has already passed in the state House by an overwhelming bipartisan 73 to 27 vote. It still faces its biggest hurdle in the state Senate. State Representatives showed the courage of their convictions and now it’s time that we make sure the state Senate does the same.

Please contact the following state Senators TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support HF2215, HJR 2001 and HJR 2009.

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Senator Michael Gronstal (D-50), Senate Majority Leader
Phone: (515) 281-4610

Senator Thomas Courtney (D-44), Senate Majority Whip
Phone: (319) 759-5334

Senator Liz Mathis (D-18)
Phone: (319) 361-1725

Senator Brian Shoenjahn (D-12)
Phone: (563) 633-4065

Senator Dennis Black (D-21)
Phone: (515) 975-8608

Senator Jeff Danielson (D-10)
Phone: (319) 231-7192

Senator Dick Dearden (D-34)
Phone: (515) 262-1203

Senator Steve Sodders (D-22), Assistant Majority Leader
Phone: (641) 483-2383

Senator Mary Jo Wilhem (D-8)
Phone: (563) 547-4156

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