To the Editor:
In the Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary…you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Like gun owners across Iowa, I am watching the gun control debate in Congress as Joe Biden’s handlers work to attack the Second Amendment. While Biden can’t get the votes to pass his agenda through the Senate, that’s not stopping his Executive Orders. Biden’s first order will criminalize popular pistol braces, used by upwards of 40 million Americans to stabilize firearms, making them easier to shoot well, especially for the disabled. His second order will require registration of popular “80% lowers,” homemade firearms. These Executive Orders could make felons out of tens of thousands of gun owners here in Iowa, all while never having been voted on by a single member of Congress. This is the government our founding fathers warned us about.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) is making its way through the Iowa Legislature (H.F. 2303/S.F. 2002). SAPA says that Iowa peace officers must enforce laws when it comes to firearms, while making it clear to the White House that they cannot simply order our state’s law enforcement community to enforce Executive Orders, as if we have a king in the Whitehouse.
The main controversy in the bill, is the up to $50,000 civil fine which may be levied on agencies, not individual officers. Many laws have no remedy. Some have civil remedies and others criminal charges. This middle of the road approach is necessary to incentivize the political appointees who run many law enforcement agencies to follow the law. Rank and file officers broadly support SAPA because it means they can’t be put in a position where they have to choose between enforcing unconstitutional Executive Orders or losing their employment.
John Werden is the Carroll County Attorney, the past President of the Iowa County Attorney’s Association, and a lifelong gun owner.
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