Pro-Gun Groups at Odds With Each Other Over Gun Rights Bills

Mar 24, 2016

There’s division in the ranks of gun rights groups in Iowa over pro-gun bills which have gained final passage in the Iowa legislature.

A group that calls itself Iowa’s Only No Compromise Gun Lobby is criticizing the compromise bills, and blaming the NRA and the Iowa Firearms Coalition for their role in the negotiations.  

The House and Senate passed bills to legalize gun suppressors and to allow loaded guns on ATV’s and snowmobiles, but they were scaled back to win passage.   So a group known as Iowa Gunowners on its website is mocking those who voted for the bills, and making fun of the other gun groups for their role.      

That angers Missouri Valley Republican Matt Windschitl, who says he got the best deal for gunowners that he could. 

“That’s what you do with a divided government,” Windschitl said.   “You are not always going to get the marquee item that everybody wants.”  

Iowa Gunowners criticizes the Democratic Senate for not approving a bill to allow children to handle guns under adult supervision.   Another bill has stalled that would make it harder for the public to get the names of gun permit holders.

“It’s the art of the possible down here,” Windschitl said.  “You make advances where you can make them, and you continue to push on the issue.”  

On its website the no-compromise group calls the bills a “scrap of the gun rights Iowans deserve,” and they promise a vigorous campaign in the fall to defeat gun rights opponents.

The bill legalizing gun suppressors includes restrictions on their purchase.

“This is the most regulation-laden “gun-rights” bill that Iowa has passed in the modern era,” said Iowa Gunowners Executive Director Aaron Dorr on the group’s website.

He calls the NRA and the Iowa Firearms Coalition “well-meaning but woefully out-maneuvered.”

The bills to legalize suppressors and allow loaded weapons on ATV’s and snowmobiles await the governor’s signature.