Greetings from Capitol Hill,
Firearms Legislation in the Iowa House
Various firearms bills have been proposed this year, some to strengthen Iowans freedoms, some to take them away. It’s easy to lose track of the bills with funnel quickly approaching. Below are several bills being under consideration in the House.
House Joint Resolution 3- Freedom Amendment: House Joint Resolution 3 would add firearms rights to the Iowa Constitution. The Federal Constitution has the 2nd Amendment (A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.), but Iowa’s Constitution is silent on this right. The proposed language recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms and subject any infringement on this right to a strict scrutiny review by the Courts. This amendment does not invalidate any current firearms laws, but instead preserves the right for law abiding Iowans to keep and bear arms, even if there are challenges in the federal courts. This bill has passed subcommittee in House Public Safety by a vote of (2-1).
House File 259-Family Defense Act: HF 259 proposes changes to the laws regarding where a person can carry their legally owned firearm. There are four separate changes addressed in the bill. First, a person, with a valid permit to carry, who has passed all necessary background checks, may bring their legal firearm on limited areas of school property. This includes the driveway, parking lot or sidewalk of a school. The second portion of the bill allows a person who legally possesses firearms to leave the firearm in their vehicle at work as long it is securely locked in their vehicle. This bill does not allow an employee to carry while at work if their employer prohibits firearms on the premises. The third part of this bill applies firearms laws equally across the state and prevents cities and other municipalities from enacting ordinances that differ from the state. This prevents legal confusion for law enforcement officers and legal gun owners. Language in HF 259 also protects concert goers by ensuring political subdivisions who own or operate entertainment venues provide armed security and metal detectors for all attendees if firearms are not allowed on the property. The fourth and final part of the bill limits where firearms can be in a courthouse. Firearms would be banned in courtrooms controlled by the Judicial Branch.
HF259 passed from subcommittee to the house floor for action last week (2/1).
House File 385-Constitutional Carry: HF 385 would require federally licensed firearms dealers to use the National Instant Criminal Background Checks when selling firearms unless the buyer has an optional permit to purchase or carry a weapon. If a person is prohibited from legally purchasing a firearm they can be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor. A person who privately sells a firearm must also ensure the purchaser has passed a background check with NICS. Selling a firearm to a prohibited person is a class “D” felony. HF 385 also increases penalties on people who give a false name or information in order to illegally obtain a firearm. In this case, the penalty is being raised form a class “D” to a class “C.”
Responsible Budget Plan for FY2020 Announced:
This week House Republicans announced targets for the FY20 budget. The House Budget plan for FY 2020 spends $7.668 billion, accounting for 97.45 percent of ongoing revenue. This is $9.5 million higher than Governor Reynolds’ FY 2020 budget proposal of $7.658 billion. The House budget plan increases spending .63 percent compared to the adjusted FY 2019 budget. Additionally, the budget fills all reserve accounts to the statutory requirements and leaves a healthy ending balance of $298.6 million.
Since House Republicans have been in the majority, we have brought common sense budgeting back to the Statehouse. However, the strong condition of our budget didn’t happen overnight. It took years of hard work, planning, and smart management to reach this point. In difficult budget years, we controlled growth, made tough decisions, and protected key investments—like K-12 education—from harmful cuts.
House Republicans have a strong, proven record of success when it comes to effectively managing the state’s budget. This year will be no different.
Forums this month
Please join Representative Gassman for legislative forums in District 7:
Friday, March 15—Thompson Forum, at 9 a.m.
Lake Mills Theater 216 W Main St, at 11 a.m.
Waldorf College, Forest City, at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 16—Algona Public Library, at 10 a.m.
*Please check your local paper for times*
Please contact Representative Gassman with questions @ 515-538-0117 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org