Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell
Iowa Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (above right) thinks providing security for gun-free zones is too expensive. (courtesy
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Iowa has a state preemption law that prevents local governments from . . .

…regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state.

But according to the state’s attorney general, the preemption law doesn’t prohibit counties, cities and towns from banning firearms from public buildings like city halls, courthouses and municipal buildings. A number of Iowa cities and towns have those prohibitions.

Now, though, a bill has passed the Iowa House on a party-line vote that would force localities to ensure that facilities where it’s illegal to carry a gun are actually gun-free.

The bill would mandate that cities and towns with these laws install metal detectors or post armed security guards to ensure that law-abiding gun owners and employees aren’t the only people who are disarmed by the bans.

According to the Des Moines Register . . .

Republican House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl said the proposal “balances both the public safety aspect as well as the individual liberties and individual fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

It would also make cities put their (taxpayers’) money where their rights-abrogating mouths are and take some minimal steps to ensure that criminals aren’t the only people packing in designated “gun-free” zones.

But the locals who have created the no-go zones aren’t happy with the move.

Groups representing cities and counties oppose the bill because of the giant cost of hiring guards or installing equipment at city halls, libraries, courthouses and other public buildings where guns aren’t allowed.

“This statewide mandate is an assault on local control and it is an insult to our local elected officials,” said Democratic Rep. Timothy Kacena, a retired firefighter from Sioux City.


Just to be clear, the cities and counties are only too happy to enact carry prohibitions and put up signs with red slashes though pistol silhouettes. That costs them almost nothing.

Practically speaking, though, only law-abiding citizens will observe those gun bans. Criminals will happily ignore them and carry anyway. The laws leave employees and others in these facilities defenseless, but do nothing to ensure the bad guys are disarmed.

What the cities and counties are creating, then, are target-rich environments — think Virginia Beach — where citizens and employees are prevented from defending themselves while potential shooters face no obstacles to getting a gun into a “gun-free”  building.

Now that the state legislature wants municipalities to provide some basic security for these buildings, anti-gun legislators and locals are squealing like stuck pigs.

From KIWA radio . . .

Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat from Ames, says it would cost more than 400-thousand dollars to staff metal detectors and have armed security at the Story County courthouse.

“This is an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.The constitutional right to own a firearm comes with important responsibility regarding community safety and therefore it must come with conditions.” 

Apparently the affordable option of simply eliminating some or all of these arbitrary gun bans hasn’t occurred to Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell.

Being an elected official comes with some important responsibilities, Madame Representative. One of those is ensuring that public employees and citizens are adequately protected — or have the right to protect themselves — while they’re working and transacting business in public facilities.



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  1. I like that Idea but unfortunately most elected officials would be all too happy to raise taxes to pay for it…..

    • Similar legislation was passed in Kansas. All of the gun control folks freaked out. The only thing that happened was the city buildings took down the ugly no gun signs. It has been great! I have only had cause to go to one city council meeting (over some new zoning issues). I took the opportunity to go armed (concealed), which I would have anyways even if the signs were still up. It’s amazing how some idiots feel safer with those little signs up. LOL.

      • Where I’m at they only have signs in the law building which houses the courts, sheriff’s dept, jail & the DA but they do have metal detectors with 3 armed security people which are retired deputy’s. So all in all we have no issues but we do have a new democ-rat Governor which has at least 1 more legislative session to go……Holding my breath for that!

      • Since criminals who have no firearms permits and concealed carry folks with permits all carry, the gun-free zone signs are a joke. Criminals aren’t going to give up their firearms willingly so why should law abiding citizens be forced to give up theirs when they have not committed any crime?

        • Could not agree more! That is exactly my point. Unless there are guards and metal detectors, I go armed.

  2. “This is an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.The constitutional right to own a firearm comes with important responsibility regarding community safety and therefore it must come with conditions.”

    Using your legislative and law enforcement powers to disarm people and render them defenseless, comes with responsibilities also. Most of importantly you need to assume the responsibility for their defense. You own it.

    • Well, it “costs them almost nothing,” yo post the signs seems it will cost little to remove them!

    • yep!

      but there are ohhh so many Levels of “freaked out”
      yelling and shouting
      sniveling in a corner with crayons
      curled up in a ball
      running around like mad shouting obscene words


    • I would think the biggest “bang for the buck” (escuzzi for the pun) for saving as many lives as possible would be to stop the government-sanctioned murder of our society’s unborn babies. But what do I know, right?…

      • Haz, I agree 100 percent that abortion is murder. I don’t like that it happens, but it is legal. For the Faithful, one day they will have to stand tall before the man (G) and answer for their deeds.

        We agree?

        Now, unfortunately, being a geek makes me pragmatic. If no abortion happens, we now have 400,000 + babies being born with no good prospects for adoption into a loving home. Kids that likely have very poor chances of eventually voting Conservative.

        That’s a problem with very real consequences down the line for us mortals currently here.

        So, as much as I hate it, what happens now (unborn murder) helps maintain a precarious political balance.

        After all, they eventually will pay for their sins, right? They’re not getting away with anything when it’s all said and done…

        • Geoff,

          I agree that most of the children would not grow up to be conservatives. We have that situation today with a high percentage of children growing up today in all homes, good or bad, are not conservatives. The education system does one thing very well. That is turning out well indoctrinated socialists. Those demographics are our downfall.

          The left will take control of the government by 2028 if not before, by voting themselves in power. The youth, illegals, felons, voter fraud, and outright buying elections.

          Be Prepared !

        • You are assuming that people would make the same decisions knowing there is going to be 18 years of repercussions instead of a couple hundred bucks for their actions

  3. “This statewide mandate is an assault on local control and it is an insult to our local elected officials…”

    Only the ones who deserve to be insulted – those who have instituted these idiotic “gun free” zones in the first place.

    • the states would seem reluctant to surrender control to local entities…which would just create a chaotic patchwork of gun laws…always a bad idea…

  4. Now add making the jurisdiction liable if a criminal kills someone in a “gun free zone”.

  5. “This statewide mandate is an assault on local control and it is an insult to our local elected officials,”

    The mandate is in response to their assault on individual control and it is exactly as insulting to local elected officials as they deserve.

  6. I like it but I think businesses that declare them selves to be ‘gun free’ should have to have a posted policy of how they are doing more than putting a sign up to ensure your safety.

    • “I like it but I think businesses that declare them selves to be ‘gun free’ should have to have a posted policy of how they are doing more than putting a sign up to ensure your safety”.

      If this law passes and makes it beyond the courts, it’ll do just that. Personally, after carrying everywhere, every day now for 6-plus years, I still would rather depend on myself for my own protection in a normal, non-war or military situation than on some metal detector or rent-a-cop. I rarely go into buildings where carry is “forbidden” if they are state or federal property, and especially if there is some sort of metal detector one must pass through. In IA, however, carrying in a private business where there is signage is only an issue if someone discovers you are carrying, asks/tells you to leave and you do not. Otherwise, what’s the big deal? Concealed is out of sight, isn’t it?

      We (Iowa) also have a bill in the hopper that will allow parents to drive onto school property to pick up their rugrats even with their concealed piece. That one, if passed, will certainly be challenged but as far as I’m concerned, one sitting in their vehicle is sitting in their domicile, just like being at home. Now, if they choose to get out and/or go into the building, that’ll be a different story. Personally, I’d make Jr walk to/from school anyway. That, or ride the bus. And in all reality, there must be thousands of parents breaking the law every day who are not being “caught”.

  7. “This statewide mandate is an assault on local control and it is an insult to our local elected officials…”
    What nerve! Those creating “gun free zones” are assaulting every citizens ability to protect and defend themselves while insulting the constitution. They seem to think nothing about the oath they took to uphold and defend the Constitution. The POTG are the ones being assaulted and insulted by all the foolish and dangerous laws, rules and regulations and now they think they are being assaulted and insulted, priceless……

  8. I don’t necessarily have a problem with “gun free zones”. The caveat being that there must be some way of ensuring that criminals can’t just ignore them. Look at Disneyland, major sporting events, or court facilities; they are all gun free, but all have security as you enter. If security cannot be provided, citizens should have the right to legally provide their own in the form of a firearm.

    • “…….Disneyland, major sporting events, or court facilities; they are all gun free, but all have security as you enter…….”
      News flash. That “security” is NOT 100% effective. I accidentally carried my back-up and 1 spare mag into a Rangers game at Globe Life park last season. Went right thru the security checkpoint without any alarms.

      • No you didn’t. In 2015 they added walk through metal detectors at every entry point.

        • The HELL I didn’t.
          The sensitivity must have been turned down low enough to NOT have picked up the firearm, or the detector was not functioning correctly.
          I never stated there was no metal detector.

        • Well, ‘metal detector’, if the detector doesn’t trigger on a pocket with loose change and a set of keys in it, it damn sure won’t trigger on an NAA mini-revolver.

          Thanks for the tip on what to carry in that stadium, dumbass!!! 😉

        • Rangers are starting this season in a new stadium, new security hardware, proceed at your OWN risk dumbass.

      • James, if you indeed did “accidentally” carry your gun into a venue, then you weren’t aware of your condition of carry. If you become so complacent that you completely forget you have your gun on your person, then your S/A is in severe need of improvement.

        • I agree 100%
          I removed my main firearm and secured it in my vehicle. I had only been carrying a back-up for a few days prior to that trip to the ballpark and TOTALLY forgot about it.
          Make no mistake, I am NOT proud I did this. I pointed it out to the 3 other people I went there with AFTER we had left Globe Life Park, and we’re walking back to my vehicle.

        • working the night shift at a security checkpoint allowed me the opportunity to “experiment”….yes, there are ways to beat it depending on the pre-set levels of sensitivity…something like a mini in my shoe sometimes got through…certainly past someone just wanding you…but most things usually get detected by a magnetometer…placing a weapon in what you normally pass through the X-ray is somewhat more problematical…but we were routinely tested to see what might get past us…nothing is foolproof, but it’s usually not worth the risk…

      • Not much is 100% effective, but the mere presence of actual security would deter a lot of wackjobs.

        • The security certainly keeps the weapons out and the venue safe. There is no way a criminal or felon will INTENTIONALLY attempt to walk thru with a firearm and NOT expect to be caught.
          I just happened to have gone thru a less then ideal detector with a small firearm, totally by chance.

        • Ed Zachary. For evidence, please refer to the number of mass shootings where the shooter had to pass one by one through security.

    • You assume that security actually works……that’s pretty naive given how badly we know TSA and others actually work.

  9. if you don’t enforce, then why have it?
    sue the heck out of places when you get shot in a “gun free zone”…see how fast they go away..l.

  10. “This is an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.The constitutional right to own a firearm comes with important responsibility regarding community safety and therefore it must come with conditions.”

    It already does. It’s illegal to draw a gun and shoot you.

  11. Every single courthouse in the State of California has a metal detector and a deputy sheriff/marshal (or three) to man it. If Trinity County, with a population of 13,000 souls can afford it, I’d bet Ames, with its huge college campus, can afford it as well.

    • Yes. I’ve been called up on jury duty a great many times and always have to go through the detectors with armed guards. Not a tiny California town, but not very big either.

      This is not only a creative legislative solution, but it actually makes sense too. Remember the names of those complaining Dems, because you will know their hypocrisy with certainty. Those folks want your tax dollars in their pockets, not in the pockets of armed guards.

    • LOL, I’ve had to enter a courthouse (of behalf of others, not because of a situation involving me, thank God) numerous times here in Los Angeles. The entrances are equipped and manned like the TSA, with half a dozen deputies within arm’s reach of the detectors just inside the entrance doors. And those deputies aren’t bored…they’re ready.

      Just yesterday, in Santa Clarita located nearby me in northern L.A. County, a man literally walked up to deputies in the Sheriff Station parking lot with a handgun, in broad daylight. Right there where the local Sheriff Station and Courthouse are located. Didn’t end well for the man.

      • Reads like suicide by cop. Not much details though, did he lift and point the gun? Swing it around? Any security video in that parking lot?

        I do sympathize with police in a suicide by cop situation.

  12. Had my eyes dilated (eye exam) earlier this afternoon…I swear that I first read her name as Beth Weasel – Kroeschell. Anywho, it fits perfectly.

    It’s getting harder to tell when a Democrat is knowingly toeing the Party line and when they are just plain stupid. It appears that Rep. Weasel is the latter of the two choices.

    • “It’s getting harder to tell when a Democrat is knowingly toeing the Party line and when they are just plain stupid.”

      There is a difference? 😉

  13. There is no such thing as a gun free zone. There are certainly “Disarmed Citizens Who Wouldn’t Hurt Nobody Zones”.

    But bad people will take guns anyplace they damned well feel like.

    Especially knowing that the law abiding folks are disarmed.

  14. Ha ha! I love it! Basically taking one of the antis own tactics (i.e. financial burden schemes like mandatory liability coverage proposals, etc.) and using it against them. Superb!

  15. That’s the problem with Ames – it’s full of liberals. I’ve heard Iowa City is even worse though.

  16. “This is an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.The constitutional right to own a firearm comes with important responsibility regarding community safety and therefore it must come with conditions.”

    Yes, and that condition is that the right shall not be infringed upon by the government. That’s literally the condition.

  17. Turd in a salad bowl. ,,,, So we found our comfort zone,,, and this is why I like this combat course more then others,,. We got to find “Our” comfort zone, no changes were made in grip or stance, presentation, reload technique.. It was a how you do you and how do you get from there to here doing you.. Quite enjoyable, one phase was new to me. We were first ask to shoot twelve soda bottles filled with coloured water from any position we wanted between 21 ft to 1foot starting at 10 and 1/2 ft as fast as you could,.. Everyone to the letter, damn the splash, advanced on the bottles. It’s here where the instructor pointed out what he calls “retreating assault” . It took awhile to break old habits but after a couple dozen mags I got the knack of hitting the bottles while walking backwards. my stumbling point was the reloadsJust another little thing in the never ending hag of little things.

    • Oh the pop bottles were side by side on a 4 tier ladder top shelf was at four feet. ,,,,,,,fck a glock,1911 rules ,,lol

  18. No article yet on Biden bringing Beto on stage and saying he’d be the face of gun control in his administration.

    I was looking forward to reading all the great comments sure to follow that one.

    Step it up!

  19. For big counties, you separate the criminal from the administrative, such as the clerk, treasurer, assessor. Armed (and vigilant) deputies with a metal detector to get in, and armed deputies in the court rooms. The “Taj Mahal” courthouse in Golden Co was built that way. It is built as a big arc, maybe 5 stories tall, and has courts on one side (with an underground tunnel to the jail) and administrative on the other. You have pretty good security on the one side, and little on the other. And separate elevator banks, with the only way to get between is through the first floor lobby, with the metal detectors and sheriff dept deputies.

    The small town we live in in MT takes a different approach. The Justice of the Peace (essentially the lower court that does arraignments, hears misdemeanors, etc) has a very good firearms training school. His school teaches the full range, from basic handgun through combat shotgun and carbine classes. Almost everyone in working in the courthouse has a carry permit, and most got it taking his classes. He has estimated that at any time, better than half the people working there are either armed, or within reach of a gun. There is a metal detector in the courtroom, but not for his office. I have visited him there armed. Many do. But I wouldn’t try drawing against him. At first it seemed a bit weird. But then you get used to it, and forget that there are that many guns in the courthouse.

  20. The cities should be required to pay armed security to safely store firearms of gun owners in guarded lock boxes in order to reduce incidents of stolen guns from vehicles.

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