IOWA HOUSE: Thomas Gerhold, March 22, 2021

Thomas Gerhold

Hello District 75 from the State Capitol!

I hope you all are able to enjoy a little bit of the spring weather we’re having! It’s nice to see the winter weather over-with for the most part and spring flowers popping up! The Iowa House continued debating bills this last week, with some of them making big improvements on our rights as United States citizens.

House File 744 builds on a campus free speech bill passed several years ago. Several people in the legislature have been contacted about abuses of a student’s right to free speech at universities and even in K-12 schools. A prime example was a University of Iowa College of Dentistry student Michael Brase, where the Regents violated the student’s right to practice free speech. The Dean of the College of Dentistry apologized to Brase and an Iowa House Government Oversite Committee for these actions. Any faculty member who knowingly and intentionally violates a student’s right to free speech may face termination depending on the facts.

We also passed HF802, which prohibits gender or race-based stereotyping in training and curriculum. This prohibits divisive concepts in training or curriculum that rely on race or gender-based stereotypes as fact, also known as critical race theory. This bill does not ban or limit diversity training or black history!

House File 621 places the blame for crimes committed with firearms rightfully where they belong – on the perpetrator and not on the firearm or ammunition manufacturer. The firearm and/or ammo do not commit crimes, it is the person committing the offense.

The second bill we passed to uphold your constitutional rights was HF 756, the Firearms Omnibus Bill. This bill removes the requirement that a person must have a state issued permit to carry or purchase a firearm. If you don’t have either a permit to purchase or carry and want to buy a firearm, the buyer will have a background check each time, not just every 5 years when purchasing or renewing a permit to purchase or carry. This will assuredly increase the number of background checks of firearm purchases.

If a person is selling a firearm privately, the seller must be sure the buyer is completely legal to purchase. If the seller knowingly sells to someone prohibited from purchasing, the seller will be charged with a Class D felony! The seller can always go to a licensed dealer to run a background check on the buyer to be completely safe.

To ensure Iowans will have access to natural gas & propane, the Iowa House passed HF555. This will ensure consumers in the future will not be prohibited from buying propane & natural gas. Unfortunately, there are jurisdictions on the east and west coasts that are pushing for renewable energy production only. While solar and wind energy production are getting more efficient, they are unable to provide power non-interruptible 24 hours/day/365 days a year.

Have a safe and healthy week!

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