Iowa Police Chief Sends “No Guns Allowed” Stickers to 300 Businesses

Our man Martin Albright (amongst others) called it: gun control advocates are responding to liberalized concealed carry laws by encouraging private businesses to ban guns from their premises. Their ultimate goal: to make it so inconvenient to carry that no one will bother. Only there’s been a backlash in Texas and other states, where gun owners have boycotted businesses that ban gun-bearing patrons. Well, fair enough. But when a police chief on the public payroll sends out 300 business stickers saying “NOTICE – NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” in capital letters, with an image of a handgun covered by a circle with a line drawn through it, someone somewhere should be extremely pissed. We take you now to Marion Iowa via desmoinesregister.com . . .

“I am enclosing, at no charge to you, two stickers that I would like displayed boldly on your business entries,” Marion Police Chief Harry Daugherty [above] wrote in a letter to 300 private businesses. “Although it is not mandated, I strongly encourage you to ban weapons from your premises as it will make both our jobs easier.”

. . .

Daugherty said Monday: “[Gun rights groups] have a right to their opinion, but my way of thinking is a little different. The more guns you have out in the streets, the more chances of an accident happening.

“It’s just common sense. They’re getting handled by more people, so the percentage of accidents has to go up. They just can’t go down.”

Daugherty pointed out that the new permit law requires a training course, but it doesn’t require Iowans to prove they’re proficient in handling a gun.

“All these people are getting these weapons, and they may not know how to load them,” he said.

Daugherty said the money for the 600 stickers came not from tax dollars, but from the police department’s asset forfeiture account, which contains drug money seized at crime scenes.

Accidents? He’s kidding right? Here’s a link to Iowa’s death stats. In 2006, Iowa was home to five accidental deaths due to firearms. With one exception, that number has remained in single digits since 1993. Do I need to tell you the number of vehicular fatalities in ’06? That would be 1210.

Besides, WTF business does the chief of police have working to subvert the intent of the law? Anyone who believes in individual gun rights who thinks cops are on their side may wish to contemplate the wider implications of this story. Or not.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

25 Responses to Iowa Police Chief Sends “No Guns Allowed” Stickers to 300 Businesses

  1. avatarTTACer says:

    Who paid for the stickers and the mailing?

  2. avatarRobert Farago says:

    Last graph of block quote:

    Daugherty said the money for the 600 stickers came not from tax dollars, but from the police department’s asset forfeiture account, which contains drug money seized at crime scenes.

    • avatarWes says:

      Because if we use the money from the forfeiture fund, we don’t have to use tax dollars to make up the difference for something useful we would have bought with the forfeiture fund. Er,….

    • avatarPatriot Henry says:

      Daugherty said the money for the 600 stickers came not from tax dollars, but from the police department’s asset forfeiture account, which contains drug money seized at crime scenes.

      Well, that is an efficient way to wage a war on liberty.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      That is still “We The People’s” money, not the sheriff’s. I would submit that the money actually belongs to the people it was taken from, despite the Rhenquist court’s tortured reading of “nor shall any person be …be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.[1]

  3. avatarFred says:

    Yes, accidents will go up. That also happens when you build a new road, install more power lines, or build a house. But since no one understands risk analysis anymore, I guess that doesn’t matter…

  4. avatarporschespeed says:

    Besides, WTF business does the chief of police have working to subvert the intent of the law? Anyone who believes in individual gun rights who thinks cops are on their side may wish to contemplate the wider implications of this story. Or not.

    Police chiefs deliberately subvert the law as a matter course. We have long since crossed the bridge into the land of ‘police do whatever they want with relative impunity’. Look at the states where citizens are exercising their right to open carry. Doesn’t matter what the law is, the cops will publicly state they will arrest anyone exercising their rights under the law. Once they arrest someone, they hold them as long as possible, then the DA drops whatever BS charges the cops made up. No charges ever against LEOs for false arrest and imprisonment even though they are on tape in many instances tell news organizations that it doesn’t matter if it is legal, they will arrest you for open carry. A few people have won small settlements, but since the cops never pay those out of pocket, the misbehavior continues.

    As to the window stickers, they did the same fear campaign in MO when concealed carry passed. Only about half the businesses put the “no concealed” stickers on the door and as time dragged on, the stickers faded, then came off and the posters disappeared.

    The stickers are the last chance to try to rally the terrified of everything. 8 years on, the nonsensical notions of gunfights at the grocery store have been banished to the mythology bin. But, in 2003 the hype machine was in overdrive, and police chiefs were the ones on TV telling you to be afraid, be very afraid.

    • They always scream about the wild west-style shoot-outs that are sure to happen under concealed carry. Of course, it never materializes. Which state has fewer gun crimes per thousand, Texas or Illinois?

      Sounds like you’re a local. It was awfully good to see Schnucks change their anti-carry policy recently. I know I shop there more now that I used to.

      • avatarporschespeed says:

        Yup, I’m in STL. You?

        When MO was moving toward CC, I had just come back to STL from living in Phoenix for about 9 months where open carry was everywhere. I spent a lot of time explaining that the “OK Corral” scenario just doesn’t happen and pointing them to web sites that had actual data.

  5. avatarSean Chen says:

    Consider a letter writing campaign to all businesses that ban guns.

    Assemble a list of businesses that have post ANY sign that bans guns.

    Then have anyone interested send a short POLITE & COURTEOUS note or letter expressing disagreement with their policy.

    Any small business receiving over 100 short notes will likely question their policy. They can’t afford to lose the possible business. Especially in this recession.

  6. avatarRalph says:

    I’d prefer to have the chief sending out stickers rather than bullets. At least I know that the stickers will go where they’re aimed. Still, it would be nice if 300 businesses sent the stickers back.

  7. avatarMartin Albright says:

    Actually, I disagree with the tactic of boycotting the businesses. If the stickers were coming from private advocacy groups (as they were when I was in NC and saw the saem thing happening) I would agree with the boycott idea.

    In this case, though, the citizens of that city should put all their pressure on the mayor and/or city council to stop this nonsense. After all, they appointed the chief to his position, and unlike the chief, the mayor and city council members hold thier offices at the pleasure of the voters.

    Furthermore, does anyone else see the strong arm element here? The Chief of police is a tremendously powerful man in a small town (or even in a big city.) For him to use his position to advance his personal political cause is perilously close to an abuse of power (in fact, an attorney may be interested in pursuing a case here, if they can find a business owner willing to risk the wrath of the PD.) How is this different from the chief passing out “Vote Democratic” or “Vote Republican” stickers and “encouraging” businesses to post them in public?

    “It will make both of our jobs easier” – hmmm…sounds a lot like he’s saying that people who don’t post the stickers will be making his job harder. Do you want to be known as the guy who made the Chief’s job harder?

    • avatarRalph says:

      “Do you want to be known as the guy who made the Chief’s job harder?”

      If I was still practicing law, the answer would be yes.

    • avatarEric says:

      Very good points Martin. More would be accomplished by addressing the matter with the city council and Mayor, for allowing the Police Chief to exercise such a blatant abuse of power.

      It might be especially effective for a number of gun-rights activists to show up to city council meetings and express just how dissatisfied they are.

  8. avatarJavier E says:

    Just say NO. to any businesses that you feel infringes on your legal right to carry. If you go through the trouble of legally getting a carry permit and someone prohibits you from doing so don’t go to their business.

  9. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    The Chiefs worried that people don’t know how to load their guns, if they don’t load the gun then no one will get shot. I would also let the business owner know that I will never shop anywhere that bans guns.

  10. avatarMartin Albright says:

    You know what would be funny would be if the good Chief dropped by one of these businesses and the business owner then reminded the chief of the sign and asked him to leave his service weapon in his car. After all, rules is rules, right?

  11. avatarMichael P. says:

    The stickers are meaningless. If I carry concealed and a sticker is on the business I’ll choose not to do business there. If I decide to do business, I’ll carry my concealed carried weapon into the establishment. What they don’t see won’t hurt them. Unless there is something in the Iowa law (which there isn’t) establishing a sticker as an official request of the business owner that armed citizens are trespassing, this stunt will not stand judicial scrutiny (imho).

  12. Martin has the right idea. Boycott the police.

    Ban them from restaurants, stores, anywhere that the business owner takes exception to the police overstepping their legally-mandated role in the executive branch and start pretending to be legislators or jurists.

    And tie the chief’s name to it directly. “I am sorry Officer Krupke. I would love to sell you these donuts, but I cannot since your Chief does not understand what the law means. Please leave your duty and backup weapons outside if you choose to return to my establishment.”

  13. avatarScott says:

    Maybe if this sorry ass excuse for a Sheriff had a department that could control violent crime, the citizens would not feel the need to arm themselves. Regardless, if they have the proper license, they are perfectly within their legal rights to carry.

    So what happens if a business tells this dumbass Sheriff to pack sand, that they are NOT going to post his stickers. Are his deputies not going to respond to a call from that business? That in itself would be a violation of the law and gross dereliction of duty.

    I think it is time that town got themselves a NEW SHERIFF. This one is as useless as tits on a bull.

  14. avatarJason says:

    Maybe I’ll print and send out some stickers that that say “No Cops Allowed” as to prevent unwanted hostility towards the constitution and the law abiding public at large? What a tool.

  15. avatarJohn the Mailman says:

    Not surprised that the comments run the gamut from A to A considering the source.

  16. avatarDon Brookhart says:

    Iowa Senator Smith Wildman Btookhart (1920-1926) and NRA President, would roll over in his grave.

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