Letter to the Editor | A dangerous new gun law

32 local volunteers with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense – Johnson County signed onto a letter speaking out against a recently repealed gun ordinance by City Council that now allows guns inside city buildings and buses.


Reba Zatz

Members of Moms Demand Action march during the 2019 Homecoming Parade on Oct. 18 in Downtown Iowa City.

On July 7, the Iowa City City Council repealed an ordinance, passed in 2011, which prohibited guns in city buildings and on city buses. Council members took this action with outspoken frustration, viewing the action as necessary to comply with HF 2502, a new law enacted by the Republican Legislature this spring.

HF 2502 expands Iowa’s punitive preemption law to effectively force cities and towns to allow people to carry loaded firearms inside local government buildings. Iowa City’s failure to repeal its ordinance, enacted to help ensure public safety, could have exposed the city to costly litigation.

What is particularly galling about the new law is the overwhelming opposition to it in Iowa. Certainly numerous municipalities, the Iowa League of Cities, the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association and other groups representing local government and law enforcement registered public opposition; they are, after all, charged with ensuring public safety in the face of America’s gun violence epidemic.

Beyond that, however, most Iowa voters not only support stronger gun laws (by a 3 to 1 margin!) but consider a legislative candidate’s position on gun safety very important to their vote in 2020. A recent survey by Everytown for Gun Safety shows that 75 percent of Iowa voters support enacting a red flag law, for example. Republican lawmakers set this life-saving legislation aside in favor of strengthening punishments for local officials who take action to prevent gun violence.

“Now we vote them out,” says Traci Kennedy of the State Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’ll be putting our grassroots power toward electing a gun sense majority in November.”

We encourage Iowa voters to speak out at the ballot box in 2020.


Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Volunteers

– Temple Hiatt, Holly Sanger, Michael Shaw, Linda Louko, Megan Hester, Susan Blanchard, Jayne Hansen, Anne Goughner Alberhasky, Lorraine Whittington, Jodie Barry Theobald, Kathleen Kamerick, Donna Wong-Gibbons, Tanya English, Lori Durian, Lenore Holte, Tiffany Adrain, Cecilia Norris, Melissa Ann Fath, Jacqueline Reger, Ellen Sweet, Karen Greenleaf, Jane Balvarez, Julie Kearney, Andrea Crook, Leslie Carpenter, Lori Enloe, Angie Smith, Lisa Heineman, Katie Roche, Kristin Bergman, Monica Maloney-Mitros