To paraphrase the late, great Ronald Wilson Reagan, “Well, here they go again.”
Unable to get major gun control legislation through Congress, and with a president unlikely to sign it even if they did, the antis have turned to state legislatures to try and force their agenda through.
Case in point, Iowa.
According to the Des Moines Register:
A Iowa lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it a crime for people carrying a gun to enter a building that has a sign posted banning dangerous weapons.
Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said he is sponsoring Senate File 2025 at the request of business owners in Johnson County, intending to protect Iowans who operate bars, restaurants and grocery stores. The measure has drawn opposition from Second Amendment advocates.
Leaving aside that weapons are not dangerous, people are, what The Right Honorable Senator Bolcom wants to do is criminalize otherwise protected conduct.
Bolcom has dodged the usual “common sense gun restriction” argument (hint: even Dems are beginning to figure out that’s a loser) and is instead framing it in terms of “property rights.”
“This puts the rights of those business owners on par with the rights of people who carry concealed weapons in Iowa,” Bolkcom said. “I just think it is important that the property rights of people are respected. This bill … would basically level the playing field.”
No, what this does is turn the exercise of a Constitutional right into a crime — a misdemeanor, in this case.
Of course, Bolkcom, in an act of noblesse oblige would allow police officers, correctional officers and military service members who are carrying out their duties, as well as those armed on their own property or someone who has been authorized to be armed on the property.
Well, thank you so much, Senator Bolkom, for allowing me to exercise my rights on my property.
This is a solution in search of a problem.
Property owners are already allowed to post signs prohibiting carry on their premises. If they see someone carrying in violation of their ban (and if their weapon is properly concealed how would you know anyway? Ahem) they can already ask them to leave. If they refuse, it’s trespassing, and they can be arrested — for a simple misdemeanor.
One suspects Senator Bolkom would have liked to make it a felony but didn’t think he’d get the votes.
One further suspects this thing is going nowhere fast:
Bolkcom’s bill has been assigned to a three-member Senate subcommittee, but a meeting to consider the measure has not been scheduled. Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he hadn’t had time yet to study the bill so he declined to offer an opinion on its chances of winning approval.
That said, this is far from the only state where they’re trying this sort of backdoor nonsense. Which simply means that gun owners, particularly in blue states, need to be on alert for this kind of legislation — and be active when it comes up.