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IowaCarry.org holds rally in Estherville

By Staff | Oct 6, 2009

Robert Burris, membership director of IowaCarry.org; John Reed, lead moderator; Roger Burdette, government affairs; Steve Hensyel, board of directors and Larry Walders, IowaCarry.org Emmet County coordinator, were among those promoting consistent right-to-carry laws in Library Square Saturday in Estherville. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

State and local representatives of IowaCarry.org held a rally Saturday in Library Square to promote the right to carry handguns throughout Iowa.

John Reed, Iowa Carry lead moderator from Winterset, explained that a Supreme Court decision that struck down a Washington, D.C., law prohibiting persons from having a gun in their homes for protection was not binding on other states. However, Reed said the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Chicago case that through the 14th Amendment would make the Second Amendment binding on states.

IowaCarry.org, founded to establish Iowa laws addressing permits to carry concealed weapons, wants to change the state law that county sheriff’s “may issue” concealed weapon permits to “shall issue.”

Iowa, said Reed, is “still stuck in basically what was Jim Crow laws.” He said 1978 legislation left to the local sheriff’s discretion the policy for issuing concealed weapon permits.

According to IowaCarry.org, Emmet County is one of a number of Iowa counties where carry rights are denied. By comparison, Kossuth County is a “may issue” county and Palo Alto, Dickinson and Clay Counties are “shall issue” counties as far as local sheriffs’ policies are concerned.

“We want the same things the sheriff wants,” Reed said, that criminals and mentally unstable individuals should not have the right to carry. “Candidly, it’s federal law anyway,” Reed said.

Reed acknowledged that right-to-carry advocates face a long battle if they choose to fight their case through the courts.

“Doing it through the courts is not going to be a quick win,” Reed said. “We could very well see 10, maybe 20 years of litigation before this thing is back to where it ought to be. Do we as free people have the right to defend ourselves and the means to defend ourselves or not.”