This Session, Instead of Passing a Common-Sense Extreme Risk Bill the Iowa Legislature Passed a Dangerous Preemption Bill that Would Punish Local Officials for Taking Action to Combat Gun Violence
The Iowa chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, today released the following statement after the Iowa Legislature adjourned without any action on gun safety and after passing a controversial measure that would punish local officials for taking action to combat gun violence and effectively force local government buildings to allow guns inside.
“Iowa Republicans should feel ashamed. Not only did lawmakers ignore the demands of Iowans to pass common-sense gun safety legislation, but they instead passed dangerous measures to weaken our existing gun safety laws,” said Traci Kennedy, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Making matters worse, the same lawmakers slipped in last minute provisions making it harder for Iowans to vote, in the middle of a pandemic. They must know that Iowans will be coming for their seats in November.”
“We demanded action to make our communities safer from gun violence – Iowa lawmakers responded by weakening our gun laws,” said Grace Johnson, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at Iowa State University. “Enough is enough. They didn’t do their jobs, so we’re going to vote them out in November.”
This session, the legislature passed HF 2502, punitive preemption legislation that would subject local elected officials to harsh punishments for taking action on gun violence and effectively force local government buildings to allow people to carry guns. The bill currently awaits the governor’s signature. The Iowa House refused to take up HF 2367, an extreme risk bill, despite broad support from Iowans for extreme risk laws. Additionally, the legislature passed last-minute provisions to implement new voter identification requirements for early voting.
A recent survey from Everytown found that voters in Iowa support stronger gun safety laws by a 3:1 margin and 75 percent of voters consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020.
In February, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund announced it would spend at least $60 million on the 2020 elections, including in races up and down the ballot in Iowa. As part of that investment, Everytown released two digital ads urging lawmakers to prioritize common-sense gun safety measures during the legislative session.
Earlier this year, Iowa Moms Demand Action volunteers held their annual advocacy day, with over 75 mothers and others, gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike advocating for gun sense – through email, calls, letters, and social media. Over the session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers sent nearly 800 emails to Iowa Lawmakers urging them to pass a life-saving extreme risk bill that was introduced in the House.