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.

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