Gun Rights Proponents Force Des Moines City Council To Back Down

When you think of gun control, Des Moines, Iowa isn’t the name that comes to mind. New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago, all those names are likely to be mentioned, but Des Moines?

However, the city was considering a couple of gun control measures. In particular, a ban on bump stocks–which are already banned, but whatever floats the legislators’ boat–and magazine capacity restrictions.

What local officials weren’t counting on was stiff opposition from gun rights advocates.

The Des Moines City Council decided not to adopt any restrictions on firearm accessories Monday night after hearing stiff opposition from area gun owners and several council members.

After the council said it would consider gun-accessory restrictions, opposition mounted, including from a state lawmaker who said he would sponsor legislation next year to negate the local action.

On Monday, gun owners, about 10 of them, came to the City Council chambers to protest. But by then, five members of the seven-member council had sponsored a resolution to “delay” action on the gun-attachment restrictions.

The proposed ordinance would have banned the possession of high-capacity magazines and “trigger activators” that enable guns to fire at a higher rate.

Some council members wanted to do more than simply delay adoption of any limits.

“This is something the city of Des Moines should not even be tackling,” Ward 4 Councilman Joe Gatto said. “… This is a problem up at the Capitol and in our federal government, and until they change, we can’t (do anything). No matter what we would pass tonight, it would be changed in six months.”

The unanimous council decision Monday came six weeks after the council voted unanimously to look into the restrictions on large magazines and bump-stocks.

The council delayed two proposed ordinances, which were nearly identical, that would ban the possession of magazines equipped to hold more than 10 bullets. Owners of such magazines would have 90 days to destroy or dispose of them or take them out of the city.

The second ordinance would have banned bump stocks, but also things like binary triggers and any other “trigger activator.”

While this is big for Des Moines, it’s also big for gun rights as a whole.

Six weeks ago, the city council here thought it could pass local gun control. It didn’t think it’d get much opposition. Sure, it’d get some, but there’s always some. Cities are more progressive in their politics than rural areas, so the council figured it could get away with this.

It didn’t.

What this means, though, is that the days of gun control proponents running roughshod over our Second Amendment rights is over. A year ago, this would have passed, and the city council members would have felt secure in their reelection bids. They might have been right, too.

Now, they’ve been brought up cold. They know it’s bad news if they push this, so they’re backing off. They can’t afford to anger that many constituents and they know it.

Gun owners are done being docile and silent. Many were shamed into being quiet following Parkland, but they also saw where that got them. Now, they’re speaking up, and it’s paying off.

Good job, Des Moines gun rights advocates.