Iowans for Gun Safety understands gun violence is a public health problem. It became a 501.c.3 in 2010 when the legislature began attempts to loosen gun restrictions in Iowa. Our logo displaying a dove was adopted because the dove is a symbol of peace and our T shirts are blaze orange because for hunters that means "don't shoot".
I4GS seeks to be evidence based and recognizes that the great majority of gun deaths in Iowa are suicides.
The leadership was originally in Des Moines but moved to Cedar Rapids in 2016 as a group formed there to support a gun buyback program. I4GS has board members in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Decorah and Dubuque.
The board has two committees: legislative and communications. The legislative committee lobbies on policy issues. The communications committee seeks to educate Iowans on related issues.
Iowans for Gun Safety has members throughout the state of Iowa. We also work in coalition with various gun violence prevention groups and individuals across Iowa.
Iowans for Gun Safety advocates at the Federal level as well. We work with States United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of 32 grassroots state groups.
Across the USA more than 33,000 people—over 90 per day— die from gunshot injuries each year. Guns contribute to about one-third of homicides and two-thirds suicides. In 2015, 44 of 68 (64%) of Iowa homicides and 186 of 415 (56%) of Iowa suicides were by gun. Iowa has among the lowest rates of gun homicides but is slightly above the national average for gun suicides (IDPH-Health and CDC Health Stats).
Iowans for Gun Safety works to preserve and to strengthen gun laws, improving Iowans’ safety and health, based on evidence that better gun laws lead to lower rates of injury and death from gun injuries.
- In 2015, we helped defeat an omnibus gun bill that would have weakened several of Iowa’s laws.
- In 2016, we took leadership to stop a bill to allow children under 14 to handle handguns, and another to allow the transferring and carrying of guns during a declared state of emergency. We also opposed a bill allowing the manufacture and sale of silencers that passed.
- In 2017 Iowans for Gun Safety was the only GVP group to publicly oppose Stand Your Ground, Children under 14, and penalized pre-emption laws, but this Omnibus Gun Bill passed (with a new majority in the Senate). We were able keep Iowa’s permit to carry system.
- We oppose adding a Gun Amendment to the Iowa Constitution in 2022 that includes “Strict Scrutiny” language.
Education and Action
Iowans for Gun Safety is a 501.c.3 organization seeking common sense solutions to gun violence. We come at the issue of gun violence from the perspective of the victims and families. We believe gun violence is a public health and safety issue, and that overcoming gun violence is compatible with lawful and responsible gun ownership.
We seek to educate the public about gun safety, the gun industry and the effects of gun violence on individuals, families, and communities.
Important areas of focus: Gun Safety & Storage, Suicide Prevention, Domestic Violence and “Stand Your Ground” issues, Reciprocity Laws, Assault Rifles, and “Strict Scrutiny” as part of an Iowa Constitution Gun Amendment. State legislative advocacy begins in January through May, and Iowans for Gun Safety has a summer statewide annual meeting.
We remember many past tragic events and honor all victims and survivors of gun violence—they are why we do the work of gun violence prevention:
- University of Iowa mass shooting (11/1/1991)
- Columbine High School in Aurora, CO (4/20/1999)
- Trayvon Martin’s shooting death in FL (2/26/2012)
- Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, CT (12/14/2012)
- Mother Emanuel AME Church in SC (6/17/2015)
- Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL (6/12/2016)
- Mandalay Bay concert, Las Vegas, NV (10/1/2017)
- MSD High School in Parkland, FL (2/14/2018)
- Tree of Life Synagogue in PA (10/27/2018)
June 2 – National Gun Violence Awareness Day—WEAR ORANGE for Chicago shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton
Iowans for Gun Safety recent highlights:
- The NE Iowa Peace and Justice Center organized the proclamation signing in Decorah.
- In Dubuque, the Center for Non-Violence showed the movie, “Newtown.”
- In Cedar Rapids members participated in a Juneteenth celebration with the African American Museum.
- Cedar Rapids and Decorah have joined in Concerts Across America to Prevent Gun Violence events
Iowans for Gun Safety: Download current brochure