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Walk-out over, Iowa House approves gun rights amendment
Cedar Rapids Gazette ^ | February 29, 2012 | James Q. Lynch

Posted on 02/29/2012 6:51:28 PM PST by iowamark

DES MOINES – After Democrats ended a seven-hour walk-out to delay action on a proposed constitutional amendment sponsors said would ensure Iowans’ gun rights, the Iowa House approved the legislation 61-37.

“We left in protest so there could be some openness and some transparency and some sunlight drawn on what this issue (that) is very, very extreme, very extreme,” McCarthy said when he brought his caucus back after 4 p.m.

Although the vast majority of House Democrats support the United States constitutional right to bear arms, McCarthy said, “we also believe public safety is very important and there must be a balance.”

The balance would be eliminated, he said, by House Joint Resolution 2009, an amendment to the Iowa Constitution saying Iowans have a fundamental right to “acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes” that cannot be infringed upon or denied. It also prohibits mandatory licensing, registration and special taxation of firearms.

The resolution’s floor manager, Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, tried to dispel those fears.

“Now I’ve heard some people say this will somehow do away with all gun regulations we have. That’s simply false,” he said.

Iowa is one of six states that do not have specific protections in their constitutions to protect 2nd Amendment rights, he said.

“What this will do is make sure that right now and our future generations have constitutional protections in our state constitution that will not be infringed so our 2nd Amendment cannot be taken away by future judicial rulings,” Windschitl said.

Rep. Mary Wolfe, D-Clinton, said every representative probably would have supported the language in the bill as it came out of the Public Safety Committee – simply restating the last 14 words of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“We could have passed the 2nd Amendment out of this chamber over to the Senate and they would be hard-pressed not to vote ‘yes,’ too,” Wolfe said. “We would have done something big.”

However, the “extremely radical” amendment gun rights advocates added go far beyond any other state’s 2nd Amendment protection and make it unlikely the Senate will concur, she said.

“So we’re killing this bill tonight,” Wolfe said. “With that amendment, that bill is dead.”

The Senate can take its own course, but that should not stop the House from supporting Iowans 2nd Amendment rights, Windschitl said.

“If they have the courage and the have the willpower and they actually believe in Iowans 2nd Amendment rights and they think we’ve gone the wrong direction they can fix it over there,” he said.

“But today, tonight, Iowans are going to have their 2nd amend rights respected with the most precise protections possible,” he said. “Iowans deserve these protections. They want them.”

Before they get a chance to exercise any more gun rights than they have today, the resolution will have to be approved by the Senate and then again by both chambers during the next session of the Legislature then approved by a majority of Iowa voters. Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that panel isn’t interested in a “gun rights side-show.”

The final vote shows two Democrats joining the majority. However, Rep. Vicki Lensing, D-Iowa City, did not intend to vote for the bill and filed a statement to that regard with the House Chief Clerk.

The House then went on to pass HF 2215 a bill on the justifiable use of reasonable force to defend oneself, 60-38 with Rep. Brian Quirk, D-New Hampton, again voting with the GOP.

The House debate followed a day of inaction after McCarthy led his 40-member caucus out of the Capitol mid-morning to protest what he called their betrayal by the Republican majority that decided this morning to debate controversial gun rights legislation.

“We’ve been doubled-crossed,” McCarthy said.

Paulsen called that “absolutely ridiculous.” He and House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, said the bills McCarthy was upset about have been on the House debate calendar and were eligible for debate under House rules.

Democrats, he said, “believe too strongly in our Constitution and have too much respect for the legislative process to allow this misuse of power to occur unchecked.”

According to House rules, bills approved by a committee go on the “white calendar.” After three days, they may be out on the “blue calendar” and are eligible for floor debate the following day. Representatives have until 4:30 p.m. or 30 minutes after adjournment to file amendments to those bills eligible for debate the following day.

“I just don’t know what the surprise is,” Upmeyer said. She recalled that when the GOP was in the minority and Democrats were proposing labor law changes “we prepared for every bill on the calendar, every bill we genuinely cared for.”

No one could remember a previous walk-out at the Legislature. Former Senate Majority Leader Cal Hultman, a Red Oak Republican, recalled Democrats went to caucus once in the early 1980s and spent most of the day at a baseball game at Sec Taylor stadium. Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids, who was in the House until 1983, said that may have been for recreational purposes and not issue-related.

In 2007, Senate Republicans didn’t walk out, but had an overnight caucus — complete with sleeping bags – to protest the Democratic majority taking up “fair share” labor legislation.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Iowa
Des Moines Register: Iowa House passes two controversial measures on right to bear arms
""Iowa House passes House File 2215; "Reasonable force/Stand your ground" on a 60-38, mostly party-line vote.""
1 posted on 02/29/2012 6:51:33 PM PST by iowamark
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To: iowamark

Wish we would see some of this in Il. I live close enough to
see the barge lights on the Mississippi. Sometimes I feel
like I’m looking across the Berlin Wall.

2 posted on 02/29/2012 7:12:40 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: iowamark

More Dem legislators going into hiding to avoid voting.

Starting to see a trend here.

3 posted on 02/29/2012 8:07:52 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: iowamark

These “Liberals” sound like disciples of ‘Ol Bill “Sometimes Americans have too much freedom” Clinton!

If these dweebs are afraid of the people having a state constitution specified support for an unencumbered 2nd Amendment, they should get out (or be thrown out) of office immediately.

4 posted on 02/29/2012 8:10:57 PM PST by Loyal Sedition
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To: iowamark

The bill will get “Gronstalled”.

5 posted on 02/29/2012 8:12:19 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (Willard Romney, purveyor of the world's finest bullmitt. | FR Class of 1998 |)
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To: CrazyIvan
I live close enough to see the barge lights on the Mississippi.

I must confess that I dearly love that part of my State for that very reason. That river has gotten into my blood somehow. Once one spends time plying it, you're never the same. The politicians of Illinois, however, well...I can't post what I'd like to see happen to them almost regardless of Party affiliation.

6 posted on 02/29/2012 8:13:52 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Loyal Sedition; All
Although the vast majority of House Democrats support the United States constitutional right to bear arms, McCarthy said, “we also believe public safety is very important and there must be a balance.”

Translation: We support the Second Amendment as long as it is toothless and doesn't really protect any rights. All of Progressivism is based on lies and deception.

7 posted on 02/29/2012 8:14:28 PM PST by marktwain
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