"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy." John Adams (1780)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Achtung Baker


Sorry, I know this didn't show up worth a hoot. I tried to make it clearer. You can see it better here on Facebook. It's probably a sign from the computer gods that you should "like" Cold Hard Cashner on Facebook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Iowa's Omnibus Gun Bill Needs Help



The Omnibus Gun Bill (HF527/SF425) passed with overwhelming support in the Iowa House but appears to now be languishing in the Democrat-controlled Iowa Senate. Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC), one of the state's leading pro-gun groups, has been counting votes in the State Senate and believes the bill would pass easily, if only it would be released for a vote by the Senate's anti-gun leadership.

In addition to legalizing silencers in the state (for those who undergo the requisite federal procedures), the Omnibus Gun Bill would also:
  • Update Iowa’s concealed carry law to move the retraining requirement to every 10 years instead of every 5.
  • Simplify the concealed carry permit renewal process and allow a 60 day window to renew.
  • Exempt military veterans from having to get training before applying for a Permit to Carry.
  • Remove the “permit to acquire” mandate for handgun purchases (FBI NICS program would still be used for purchases).
  • Clarifies that online training is acceptable for a concealed carry permit.
  • Remove the age restriction on minors shooting while supervised by a parent or guardian.
  • Make it illegal to share any identifying information about any of Iowa’s concealed carry permit holders.
  • Make all permits across Iowa uniform in appearance.
Not only have the NRA and IFC endorsed the bill, but the Iowa Peace Officers Association, Iowa Police Chiefs Association, and the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association as well. Despite this wide-ranging support, the bill now risks being sabotaged by a very small handful of anti-gun State Senators.

What can you do to help?  IFC is urging everyone to take the following three simple steps (in their words):

Petition

If you haven't already, please sign and share our petition calling on the Senate leadership to stop playing games and bring SF425 to a vote.

The anti-gun crowd has submitted a petition to block the Omnibus Gun Bill. They got a paltry 1,600 signatures. We're betting we can top that pretty easily. Please take 30 second to sign and share this!!

Email

Contact your Senator, and the Senate leadership. Tell them you want to see SF425 brought to a vote AS IS. It's time for a vote! Keep your messages brief, respectful and on point. Here's a great example of an email to the Senate leadership. Send your emails to:mike.gronstal@legis.iowa.govsteve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov, pam.jochum@legis.iowa.govjoe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov, &
your Senator.


Don't have your Senator's email address? Not sure who your Senator is? Find who represents you and their contact info using our Legislative Action Center.

Call

NOTE: The Senate switchboard is only operational while the Senate is in session. The next time you can call and leave a message will be when the Senate returns to work on Monday at 1 p.m.

When you call the Senate switchboard - 515-281-3371 - on Monday leave a message for the Senate leadership: "Listen to the people of Iowa. Listen to Iowa law enforcement. Bring SF425 to a vote AS IS." Ask that the message is delivered to Senators Gronstal, Sodders, Jochum and Bolkcom.




Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pro-Freedom Bills In Des Moines- Feb. 2015

Iowa State House; Des Moines, Iowa; June 30, 2013.JPG


There are some good bills floating around in the Iowa legislature this year that could use our support.

Gun Rights Bills

First up are four pro-gun owner bills and the synopsis for each one provided by the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC).

House File 45 - Emergency Powers This bill guarantees that Iowan's Second Amendment rights remain intact during times of public emergencies, when the ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones is needed most. In short it would keep Hurricane Katrina style confiscations from happening here in Iowa.

House File 59 - Preemption Clarification
HF59 amends IA Code 724.28 which says local municipalities and governing bodies shall not preempt or supersede state firearms law. Iowa has had a preemption law for almost 25 years, but every year many local municipalities continue to try to work around this law and illegally in fringe on Iowan's rights. This bill would strengthen the current code and provide citizen's rights greater protections from over zealous governing bodies.

House File 92 - Stand Your Ground
This legislation would remove a person's "duty to retreat" from an attacker in any location.  This would allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present.  This legislation would also expressly enhance the protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used.

House File 99 - Repeal the Youth Shooting Ban 
Currently anyone under the age of 14 is strictly prohibited from holding or shooting a handgun in Iowa - regardless of whether or not that minor is under parental supervision. HF99 would amend the state code to allow a person under 14 to lawfully shoot a handgun, with proper supervision, as long as their parent, guardian, or spouse who is 21 years of age or older has provided consent.

IFC maintains an Legislative Action Center site where you can send a pre-written message to your Iowa representatives urging them to support these bills.

Contraband Bills

If polls are right, about 38% of you reading these words have tried marijuana. Most of you did NOT end up living in a van down by the river or murdering your parents with a pitchfork as pot alarmists would have everyone believe. And although fireworks have been illegal in Iowa since the 1930's, many Iowans bootleg them in and light them off.

There are three bills that seek to lessen the nanny state's grasp on these relatively harmless, yet illegal activities. Reducing penalties for pot would free up jail space for violent bad guys, saving the state money. Legalizing fireworks would supply the state with an additional source of tax revenue.

Reduces marijuana possession penalties involving up to 28.5 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to six-months in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a simple misdemeanor punishable by a $300 fine. 

 Reduces marijuana possession penalties involving up to 5 grams of cannabis. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 1 in favor of this legislation, which now moves on to the full Senate for debate.

You can go to the NORML website to send a pre-written message of support for these bills to your Iowa legislators here.

This would legalize certain retail fireworks for purchase by Iowa consumers.

Freedom of Movement

This bill would raise the speed limit to 75 on some of Iowa's rural interstate highways.

This bill would prevent Iowa counties and cities from adopting ordinances barring 19- and 20-year-old adults from bars. This would most notably shoot down Iowa City's 21-ordinance. I wrote about why denying these legal adults their rights to liberty, peaceable assembly and pursuit of happiness was fundamentally wrong here.

Be sure to let your Iowa State Representative or Senator know how you feel about any of these potential  laws above.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Starting Year 5 of 'Shall Issue,' Iowa has More Guns, Less Crime



USP40Firing.jpg
As Iowa begins its fifth year as a "shall-issue" state it's a good time to reflect on the fact that we now have a record number of law-abiding Iowans carrying firearms in public and lower violent crime rates than we did five years ago.


Iowa's shall-issue weapons permit law was signed into law by then-Governor Chet Culver (D) on April 29th, 2010. It went into effect on January 1st, 2011. The new law tweaked the civilian permit to carry weapons in several ways, but most importantly it required sheriffs to issue permits to Iowans who passed a criminal background check and met several other criteria. Prior to this, sheriffs could arbitrarily deny permits for any reason known only to themselves, essentially leaving Iowa with 99 different permit laws and the potential for personal discrimination.


So where do we stand now?


A recent Fox News article notes that in 2010, before the new law, Iowa had not quite 40,000 permits to carry in force. Last year the number hit 220,000, five and half times what it was in 2010. That means about 7% of Iowa's population currently has a permit to carry. With all those folks toting guns, what about all those predictions of increased carry causing "havoc and mayhem?"


Well, if Iowa has descended into bloody turmoil it sure isn't reflected in our violent crime rates. According to FBI statistics in 2008 and 2009 Iowa averaged about 284 violent crimes per 100,000 population. In 2010, when the shall issue was signed, our violent crime rate was at 268.5 crimes. In 2011, the first full year the law was in force, the crime rate fell to 255.6. In 2012 it rose a bit to 265.6. Then in 2013 (the latest year I could find stats for) it fell again to 260.9.



I don't if every hill and valley in these numbers can be ascribed to Iowa's permit law, but the fact remains that their are many more lawful guns on the street and violent crime rates are lower than before the law went to effect. At any rate it proves that more law-abiding gun owners carrying in public does NOT cause Old West shootouts and chaos as we were warned. This experience puts us inline with most of the other 40 states who have seen crime rates drop after passing shall issue laws.


Most of the critiques of the law I see nowadays don't rely on predictions of bloodbaths by deranged permit holders over fender benders but just on the fact that the idea of other Iowans carrying concealed weapons makes the critic feel "icky." (Here's one recent example.) Not the best argument to deny a constitutional right.


All in all I think we would have to rule Iowa's shall issue a success. Iowa's law-abiding gun owners have proven themselves to be a responsible lot. Now, about Constitutional Carry...

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