Everytown Ad: Iowa GOP ‘Weakens’ Gun Laws With Preemption Bill

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
Posted 6/24/2020

Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.

3 Comments on "Everytown Ad: Iowa GOP ‘Weakens’ Gun Laws With Preemption Bill"

  • August 14, 2020

    The Honorable Joni Ernst

    United States Senator

    210 Walnut St Ste 733

    Des Moines, IA 50309


    I have seen a number of your commercials outlining your expertise in making supply lines work in Iraq. Where were you when Jared Kushner took charge of what he called “our supplies” meaning that he and his five friends would handle the supply line distribution of PPE? What happened with the Kushner group is up for debate. What is not up for debate is health care workers being given large garbage bags for PPE. What is not up for debate is that health care workers were told to use face masks as long as a week. What is not up for debate is that you and your tight-fisted Republican colleagues showed no interest in the PPE failures even though the health care workers were risking their lives for us for the “hoax”. This is absolutely disgraceful. Some died, 922 as of this date!! You have been in the Senate halls six years and should have addressed this issue at the outset considering your claim of expertise in supply lines. You failed, people died!!

    Last night the Davenport Police Department arrested a group of gang members called the “Low Riders.” This problem got so far out of hand over time that federal statutes are being used in bringing this carnage to an end. One issue in this carnage is at your door step—the confiscation of over 100 guns!! From Iowa Starting Line: “Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is a national darling of the NRA’s effort to eliminate any and all meaningful gun safety laws that might keep children like those at Parkland, Florida from getting blown to pieces on a regular school day. Ernst received over $3.1 million in financial support from the NRA, the seventh-most of any senator, according to an analysis of campaign spending last October. Money from the gun rights organization poured into Iowa to help her get past the finish line in her race for Senate against Bruce Braley in 2014.

    The NRA got what they paid for with Ernst, who then voted last February to stop a new rule that would have kept the mentally ill from obtaining guns through the background check system. Ernst voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 40, which sought to overturn a recent decision for the National Instant Criminal History Background Check System that would have kept people who considerable mental health issues from obtaining weapons. Both the House and Senate passed the resolution, and President Donald Trump signed it in February 2017. The new rule would have added about 75,000 people to the background check list that have been otherwise deemed unfit to handle their own finances due to mental illness. Ernst preferred to guns into the hands of people who had such serious mental health issues that they couldn’t even legally handle their own personal finances.”

    I saw your response to a question from a constituent in a public meeting after the Parkland shooting. Your response was to the effect that we needed more counselors. My thought was “how pathetic.” Then I found your long-term ties to the NRA now facing enormous corruption charges with four officers drawing over 60 million dollars from the NRA for personal use. The NRA is so corrupt that even Oliver North could not tolerate the corruption and his tenure as the head of NRA was short. However, his testimony about the corruption in the NRA will be extensive when I talks with the New York state attorney general.

    The NRA, for years, has abused false claims about Second Amendment protections in spite of the fact that there has not been any significant effort to reduce protections of the Second Amendment in my life time. The NRA has milked donors for money to buy votes of members of Congress. The NRA has facilitated new markets for gun manufacturers. Our country is flooded with guns. They bought your vote for 3.1 million dollars. Senator, this contribution was nothing short of a bribe. You and your colleagues, for millions of dollars, have given the NRA a blank check. We now see the gun purchases your votes have supported in state capitols where people open carry long guns into legislative chambers where legislators wear bullet proof protection. Your disguised level of dishonesty is overwhelming.






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