Mike Gronstal, from Council Bluffs, has been the Senate Democratic Leader since 1997. First elected to office in 1982, Gronstal served one term in the Iowa House (1983-85), and is currently in his seventh term in the Senate. He is the State Democratic Leader in the Iowa Senate and has been a lifelong advocate for public education and smart politics.


We are fortunate to have Mike Gronstal represent us, our students, our schools and our profession. In the current political climate it is vital that you understand that we need YOU. Your time, your talent, and--eventually--your treasure will be needed to make sure that we reverse the trend of legislators who are willing to sell out our children for corporate tax cuts.

Protecting gun rights, keeping Iowans safe

During the 2010 session, legislators worked with the National Rifle Association, local law enforcement officials, crime victim advocates and other concerned citizens on legislation that will help keep Iowa one of the safest states to live in. The result was two bipartisan public safety measures related to gun rights.

Protecting the rights of responsible gun owners.
With overwhelming bipartisan support, we protected responsible gun owners’ 2nd Amendment rights and improved public safety by passing a new “shall issue” law endorsed by the National Rifle Association.


Iowa’s new law provides uniform standards for gun permits, while making certain that public safety is a priority. Previously, the sheriffs of Iowa’s 99 counties were the sole decision makers when it came to who got a permit to carry a weapon. That meant 99 different standards.

The new law provides uniform procedures across Iowa for issuing permits to carry weapons and purchase handguns. Now sheriffs must issue permits if applicants have the required training and are not otherwise disqualified.

Iowans can be disqualified by (among other things):
** Having committed a felony.
** Conviction for assault within the past three years.
** Conviction for domestic abuse.
** Being an illegal immigrant.
** Addiction to alcohol.
** Dishonorable discharge from the military.

Sheriffs will also be able to deny a permit if they have probable cause to believe a person will harm themselves or others. In addition, no permit is valid while a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Permits issued under the new law are valid for five years, unless a person becomes disqualified during that time. Upon renewal, a person must either provide proof of retraining or must qualify on a shooting range with a certified instructor.

There is an appeal process for those who believe they’ve been wrongfully denied a permit.

Preventing domestic abuse murders.
In a separate bipartisan measure, we enhanced protections for Iowa families by preventing convicted domestic abusers from owning or possessing firearms.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, guns are used in the majority of domestic abuse murders in Iowa. By taking guns out of the hands of abusers, we can save lives and prevent victims of abuse from being terrorized.

This new Iowa law mirrors existing federal law. It prohibits a person from possessing a firearm if they are subject to a civil domestic abuse protective order or have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

It’s important to note that no one can be disqualified from possessing a firearm until they’ve first had notice of a hearing and the opportunity to be heard. A temporary order prohibiting the possession of firearms may not be issued.


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