In the wake of the Iowa Legislature’s abbreviated 2020 session, a nationwide gun safety advocacy organization launched a digital ad aimed at lawmakers who voted to restrict local governments from enacting gun control measures in their own communities.
House File 2502, awaiting Gov. Kim Reynolds’ signature, prohibits cities and counties from enforcing restrictions that go further than state law on using firearms at shooting ranges and carrying weapons on school grounds, at county courthouses and businesses. The bill states certain restrictions only can be imposed on people seeking to carry firearms into a public building that screens for weapons and has armed guards.
Beginning July 1, the bill prohibits local governments from enacting an ordinance, motion, resolution or amendment to regulate the storage of weapons or ammunition and states that “any individual adversely affected” by a city or county policy regulating firearms “may take legal action to seek damages that have resulted out of the violation.”
HF 2502 passed the Senate 32-17 on June 3 and the House 52-44 on Feb. 27.
In response, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is out with a new ad criticizing lawmakers for passing legislation “that weakens existing gun safety laws.”
Everytown already released two digital ads this year calling on Iowa lawmakers to “pass common-sense gun laws in 2020 or be voted out of office.”
The new ad buy “is the first investment marking Everytown’s commitment to holding Iowa state Republicans accountable at the ballot box this November for failing to act on gun safety during the legislative session,” Everytown said in a press release.
Traci Kennedy, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action, called on Reynolds to veto the “punitive preemption legislation.”
“At a time when Iowans are demanding leadership on not one but three crises — gun violence, racism, and coronavirus — lawmakers have instead prioritized gun lobby priorities over common-sense gun safety legislation,” Kennedy said in a statement. “We have no choice but to hold them accountable in November.”
Republicans currently control the governor’s office, House of Representatives and Senate in Iowa. Reynolds, elected in 2018, is not up for reelection until 2022. And in the Legislature, Republicans outnumber Democrats 53-47 in the House and 32-18 in the Senate.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Victory Fund will spend at least $60 million on races up and down the ballot, including those in Iowa, in 2020.
“Everytown and Moms Demand Action will be deploying our grassroots power and substantial financial investments to deliver a gun sense majority legislature in Iowa — the same way we did in Virginia in 2019,” said Charlie Kelly, senior political advisor at Everytown for Gun Safety.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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