Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lee Hein Backpedaling On Constitutional Carry?

Since I'm a newly-minted member of Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) who happens to live in state Representative Lee Hein's district, IGO Executive Director Aaron Dorr recently let me know of an about-face Hein has done on the issue of Constitutional Carry. 

When campaigning for the House District 31 seat against incumbent Democrat Ray Zirkelbach, Hein filled out IGO's candidate survey.  The very first question dealt with Constitutional Carry, IGO's pet issue.  It read: 
1. In 2010 the legislature passed SF2379 which took Iowa from a 'may issue' state, regarding permits to carry weapons, to a 'shall issue' state. This was an important first step. However, the REAL Right-to-Carry bill (HF2241) did not pass, falling 6 votes short in both chambers.  REAL Right-to-Carry recognizes that every law abiding citizen has the right to carry a gun, openly or concealed, for any reason they want to, except to commit a crime. Thus, with no government bureaucracy or license, Iowa citizens can defend themselves and criminals who use arms are severely punished. This is the law in Vermont, Alaska and most of Montana. This concept is close to becoming law in Arizona and Wyoming as well. If passed in Iowa, this law will allow thousands of people the right to carry a firearm for self-defense who currently are required to beg government permission, pass a class and shooting test every 5 years, pay fees, and be subject to a background check like a common criminal.

Would you support House File 2241 or similar legislation, known as Vermont carry legislation, which would allow all law abiding Iowans the right to carry a weapon, either concealed or openly, without having to first beg government permission as is done in several other states?
Hein answered in the affirmative.  Largely because of this promised support (and because Zirkelbach was no friend of gun owners) IGO supported Hein and spent their own money sending out mass mailings in his district urging gun owners to support him.  Hein eventually defeated Zirkelbach.  Now that he's safely in office, Dorr says that Hein has told him that he will NOT support any Constitutional Carry bill.

I don't want to give the idea that Hein is entirely bad on Second Amendment issues.  In a recent email he assured me that he would vote for the Enhanced Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground bill and the bill that would have prevented gun seizures during declared emergencies.  Perhaps Hein is only hearing the shrill squawking of the media and others in opposition to Constitutional Carry. 

If you live in Hein's district and support Constitutional Carry, please politely let him know that there IS support out there and that he should honor his campaign promise.  His email is and his capitol phone is 515-281-3221.


  1. Castle Doctrine and Confiscation prevention bills failed to pass the funnel on Friday. It's safe for a politician to state they support them. Although, to be fair, you may have received the email before then.

    Aaron's stance has been that those politicians who back pedal lied on the survey or are lying now. Strong words that are refreshing to hear.

    Those who are in office need to understand that they are there at our (the voter's) whim. Screw up and you're out. Lie and your career is over. At least that's how it should be.

    No incumbents - vote them all out.

  2. I got the Caste Doctrine and Confiscation bill email the Monday before the funnel deadline.

    I just got an email from Hein explaining his nuanced position on Constitutional Carry. I'll give it another read to see if can figure it out and probably write something up when I get some time.

  3. It's safe for a candidate to say they support anything. There is a difference though, between TALK and ACTION.

    Saying you support something vs actually taking action to SUPPORT something are two different things. Hein has no record of taking any action to support gun rights. A survey response or a campaign promise means nothing.

    Perhaps politicians do not understand what "Support" means?

    Support doesn't just mean voting for something.

    Support means taking the action needed to draft a Bill, or sign-on as sponsor of a Bill, actively work to convince other Representatives to pass the Bill through Committee and bring it to a debate and vote on the House and Senate floors. Then voting for it!

    “Support” to most politicians means they might vote for a Bill if it happens to come up, and they like the language of the final Bill. On a rating scale of A to F, Hein did nothing to support or oppose gun rights, so he should be graded no higher than a C.


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