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Thread: Iowa Firearms Coalition - Preemption Alert, December 31, 2010

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    Iowa Firearms Coalition - Preemption Alert, December 31, 2010

    Iowa Firearms Coalition
    Preemption Alert
    December 31, 2010

    And so it begins.

    Word is coming from many different sources – most notably the Des Moines Register – that what we worked so hard to accomplish in 2010, set to take effect in less than 24 hours, is being attacked in many communities by local ordinances that seek to disarm citizens in buildings that are owned by the public.

    Backed, of course, by anti-gun zealot Attorney General Tom Miller.

    According to an article in the December 31 edition of The Register:

    “The letters went to public officials - a state legislator and a county attorney - who had questioned whether such bans were permitted under the new law taking effect Saturday. One of the letters answering "yes" was copied to all 99 county attorneys.”

    Washington County has been a focal point for much of this activity over the past couple of days. This is not totally surprising, since Washington County was not a county that freely issued permits under the old system. One of our members contacted the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and was told that it would be considered trespassing to carry a firearm on any county road, although state roads would be fine.

    This is interesting, because Iowa Code 716.7, paragraph 4, clearly states:

    “The term "trespass" does not mean the entering upon the right-of-way of a public road or highway.”

    Publicly owned roads, buildings, and other property are owned by the citizens whose tax money is used to build and maintain those properties!

    The simple facts of the matter are these:

    First, the “opinion” issued by AG Miller and his office is just that. An opinion. In the “opinions” that are issued by him and his office, the common thread seems to be that “Home Rule” will override state law. This is wrong! The twenty-fifth Amendment to the Iowa Constitution states:

    "Municipal home rule. SECTION 38A. Municipal corporations are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the General Assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the General Assembly."

    The thirty-seventh Amendment to the Iowa Constitution states:

    Counties home rule. Sec. 39A. Counties or joint county-municipal corporation governments are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly. The general assembly may provide for the creation and dissolution of joint county-municipal corporation governments. The general assembly may provide for the establishment of charters in county or joint-municipal corporation governments.

    If the power or authority of a county conflicts with the power and authority of a municipal corporation, the power and authority exercised by a municipal corporation shall prevail within its jurisdiction.

    The proposition or rule of law that a county or joint county-municipal corporation government possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.

    What part of these two amendments is the AG's office not able to read and understand? More importantly, what part of these two amendments are cities and counties not able to read and understand?

    This is on top of the two sections of Section 724 which further make it illegal to pass any law that overrides state law. From 724.7:

    All permits so issued shall be for a period of five years and shall be valid throughout the state except where the possession or carrying of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.

    And, Section 724.28:

    A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state. An ordinance regulating firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5, 1990, is void.

    Based on all of this information, it should be fairly clear to even the most casual reader of this alert that all of these attempts to pass local ordinances are absolutely illegal.

    Secondly, we need action. IFC is still in the process of reviewing legal action with a local group of attorneys and the NRA. That is not something that will happen quickly, but it is being worked on. IFC and the NRA will be introducing legislation in the 2011 session that will even more clearly state that localities can NOT enforce any local ordinance that overrides state law.

    This is good, but we need YOU. Grass roots starts at the local level, not at the State Capitol. YOU need to be the ones who pay attention to what is happening in your counties, towns, and cities. When you find out that any of them are placing an anti-gun or anti-carry ordinance on the agenda for public discussion, YOU need to be there! Along with as many other like-minded individuals as you can possibly gather. YOU need to take the information I provided earlier (the home rule amendments and the two sections of Section 724) to the meeting and make sure everyone clearly understands that local ordinances would violate state law, regardless of whatever flawed opinion is issued by AG Miller and his office.

    IFC has leaders in all areas of the state who can assist with this. Nobody should feel like they are going to do this alone; all you have to do is ask.

    Third, we still need your support. If you have not yet joined IFC for 2011, please consider doing so today. None of what we are going to do can be done without the financial support of our members. And if you have joined for 2011, thank you! If you wish to make an additional donation to the group, you may do so at any time.

    We did not get to where we are today without hard work and dedication. We are not going to back down from these attacks without a fight. I have been in contact with several people today, and I can say with confidence that these are battles that the localities might start, and even occasionally win here and there - but the overall war to stand on your rights will not be won by them. It will be won by us, if we are all willing to stand together and support one another.

    In less than 12 hours from when I publish this alert, Iowa's laws on firearms will fundamentally change. Sheriffs will no longer be able to randomly decide who can carry a firearm in public. Even in those counties that have traditionally been “green,” there was still always the ability for a Sheriff to deny an application or revoke a permit for any reason whatsoever. Regardless of any other change to the law, that is the single most important change that came out of the 2010 session – and it is a change that all of you can, and will, benefit from.

    Happy New Year!


    Reference: 2003 AG Opinion stating that state preemption statute should be construed narrowly:

    See attached AG letter dated Dec 2010:
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Mike; 01-02-2011 at 10:13 AM.

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    Simply put: The Attorney General of Iowa is a Anti-Gun Zealot.

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