Meeting Public Comments

Meeting informations are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: RM 19
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Traci Kennedy [Iowa Moms Demand Action]
Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony to this subcommittee, and for your consideration of these comments. My name is Traci Kennedy, and I am a proud Iowa resident and the Chapter Leader of the Iowa Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement working for commonsense public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment while also protecting Americans from gun violence.Im writing today to urge you not to advance House Study Bill 646, which would allow individuals to travel our states highways with loaded, unsecured firearms. Iowas current standard, which requires that firearms be unloaded and secure when in a car, is reasonable and commonsense and has helped keep our highways safe from gun violence. Two studies from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found that drivers who have a gun in their car were more likely to engage in aggressive behavior. I know it feels like this kind of violence would not happen in our state, but it is important to acknowledge that we are not immune. Less than 6 months ago, there were two violent road rage incidents in the news in a span of as many days: Iowa City Police sought the publics help in identifying a man who fired a gun in the air during a road rage incident, and Cedar Rapids Police investigated shots fired in a parking lot after a road rage incident.Unfortunately, headlines from across the country bear this pattern out. Incidents of road rage have been steadily increasing. The number of road rage injuries and deaths have been increasing every year since 2018. In 20162019, roughly onethird of road rage incidents involving a gun resulted in injury or death. In 202021, over half of these incidents did. In 2021, a person has been shot and either injured or killed in a road rage incident, on average, every 20 hours. I am deeply concerned that if this law passes, incidents like these will only increase. Our current standard is sensible and helps to prevent everyday confrontations from turning deadly. For the sake of public safety in our state, I encourage you to reject this proposal.Thank you.
Sarah Ott [City of Davenport]
The City of Davenport is in support of House Study Bill 633 and the amendment to Iowa Code 123 that would allow municipalities to effectively and efficiently deal with alcohol establishments where a reoccurring public safety nuisance exists. This amendment would allow Cities to bring a case before the local district court when they believe a public safety nuisance exists in order to abate the nuisance. This amendment reserves the definition of a public safety nuisance for egregious public safety offenses such as unlawfully discharging a firearm or use of another offensive weapon, assault of another person with a dangerous weapon, or being the scene of a riot on three or more dates within a 12month period. Nuisances are typically handled by the local court system in all other capacities and this will bring parity to the process when a public safety nuisance occurs at an alcohol establishment. This amendment would allow for a local judicial forum to address the public safety nuisance and allow for the court to order a wider variety of remedies tailored to the specific nuisance issue that is driving the public safety problem. The City of Davenport recognizes that there are concerns from the Restaurant Association about this amendment applying to food establishments. The City acknowledges this public safety nuisances rarely, if ever, stem from food establishments and after hearing these concerns, this amendment excludes restaurants and instead applies only to pure alcohol (bar) establishments. As an example for the need of this amendment, from 20172019 the City of Davenport dealt with one particular alcohol establishment in Downtown Davenport that was causing clear public safety nuisance issues, such as repeated large fights and shots fired incident. These incidents were harming the safety of the businesses in the immediate vicinity of the establishment and putting a strain on limited public safety resources. During this three year time period, there were 2,131 calls for service and extra patrols to this particular liquor establishment. This prolific volume of calls for service put a strain on public safety resources, often diverting needed resources from other parts of the City to address reoccurring violent behavior at this particular establishment. Due to the high level of criminal activity and strain on police resources, the City of Davenport City Council twice voted to deny the annual renewal of the liquor license to the alcohol establishment that was causing the public safety nuisance issues. However, despite denial of their annual renewal by the City Council, the ABD still renewed their license. In December 2019, after a shooting occurred between two patrons of the alcohol establishment that hit a nearby business and narrowly missed a patron of that business, the establishment was closed not because ABD suspended their license, but because the landlord ceased their lease. Had this amendment been in place at the time, the City of Davenport and local district courts could have been able to deal with this grave nuisance at a local level to address this violent behavior rapidly as opposed allowing the nuisance to continue for three years. We appreciate the consideration of this amendment to Iowa Code 123 and hope that this subcommittee will vote to approve this language.