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RULES BROKEN: Legislators Bring Guns To Capitol

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Two Iowa State Senators admit they have brought guns into the state Capitol even though it’s against the rules.

"I do. I do have a firearm with me and I will defend myself if someone attacks me," expalined Urbandale Senator Brad Zaun (R).

State Senator Joni Ernst’s (R) campaign says she has too.

Legislators and other state employees can enter through different doors than the general public, so they don’t have to go through security and metal detectors like everyone else. But Zaun says, if he can bring a gun past security, so can other people who may have more dangerous intentions.

"It's a false sense of security and there is a flaw," Zaun said. "Listen, we recognize that there are a lot of people that are disturbed out there.  And if you're a public servant, I've gotten threats before."

Iowa State Patrol Captain Mark Logston oversees security at the Capitol.  He says the measures in place protect workers and the public. "I think with anything in life there could always be some improvements but I feel very satisfied every day that I come to work that the resources and the measures that we take are there to keep the public and employees safe," Logston said.

According to Iowa code, bringing a gun into the Capitol is a simple misdemeanor and could result in a person being banned from the building or even facing criminal charges.  But Iowa State Patrol says they are not aware of anyone being charged criminally for bringing a gun into the Capitol.


  • Rhonda

    It’s a security concern when some Iowa lawmakers feel the laws are for everyone but them! How arrogant. There should be a thorough investigation. It doesn’t sound like Iowa State Patrol Captain Mark Logston is doing his job either.

  • Harry Moyer

    Brad Zaun keeps a gun on him at all times for good reason. He’s been getting smacked around like a little girl his whole life. With his history, it just proves we can’t even keep the guns even from the mentally disturbed.

    • JoeD

      You sound like a real tough guy Harry, but you need to read the 2nd amendment. Are you talking smack because you’re short or just jealous YOU can’t pass the psychological exam to legally carry a firearm yourself?

  • Margery

    I am so ashamed of the goons who bring guns into a pubic legislative session, AND of their overseers who overlook this wildly dangerous and irresponsible behavior.

    • Samantha

      I am so ashamed of the goons who continuously roam the world wearing their rose colored glasses thinking nobody would ever maliciously shoot at school children (Sandy Hook Elementary School) candidates meeting with constituents (Gabrielle Giffords) or gun free military bases (Fort Hood)… After all, who doesn’t read and follow ALL posted rules and regulations?! (THE BAD GUYS!) You can choose to be a sitting duck if ya wanna, but I have the right to protect myself AND I WILL!

  • Josh

    Or maybe we should get rid of gun free zones all together. The only thing they do is create easy targets for people who wish to do harm. Do you people really think that a stupid sign and a law that says no guns allowed keeps bad people from doing bad things?? If you do you need to wake up and get a clue.

  • Josh

    Maybe if entire cities had gun free zones and signs then there would be no more murders…. oh wait, look at Chicago, and Washingto DC and etc.

  • Mike

    If you have a CC I see no reason to not allow the person with one to carry were they should for the most part except where law prohibits it. Although some places I think are overboard on not allowing a CC to carry within their place. That person with the CC might be your only protection if something were to happen!

  • Dawn W.

    I totally laugh at the doctors’ offices that have signs up “no guns or knives allowed”… do they really think people are going to go back to their car to “unload” a concealed weapon? So I do understand Zaun’s POV, however if the state legislator really wants that to be a gun free zone, every entrance needs a metal detector and guard team and Windows need to be closed in such a way that no one could pass something thru them ever.

  • William Denison

    Zauns a woman beater. How did he even get a permit to carry or buy a gun? If one can’t follow the rules on this matter what other rules and laws do these law makers just blow off? I’m betting many.

    • Geri

      Too bad everyone can’t follow the rules and be as perfect as you…Oh wait a minute; you are a big fat liar. Never mind. I’m glad everyone is not like you.

  • JPenny

    Nobody is above the law! Zuan helps make these laws but thinks they don’t apply to him? If in the future we don’t hear that Zaun was arrested or at least disarmed, Mark Logston of the State Patrol ought to be fired. Same goes for Joni Ernst. Hey, I’m not an anti gunner and own several. But I follow the law and don’t think these two are any better than anyone else. Install those metal detectors at the door the legislators use too! And enforce the law! Nobody is above the law!

    • JoeD

      A law is different than a rule. Stop trying to act like a 2nd amendment fan, it’s not working.

  • RJ

    This calls for an old Johnny Cash tune, (Don’t take your guns to town son, leave your guns at home)…

  • Swamp Fox

    Senator Zaun was NOT in violation of the Administrative Rule, as it was specifically written to exclude legislators and staff. The rule was adopted in early 2002 in reaction to the 9/11 attacks. The Register’s original reporting on this was poor (or intentionally slanted) and other local media has merely regurgitated their story. Look for a follow-up or correction in the Register soon.

  • Ishmale Whale

    I have not entered the State Capital since I was in grade school on a trip. I don’t want to enter a den of jackals and thieves. I assume the “common public” go through metal detectors or other scans and the “Royalty” bypasses such degrading inconveniences. Maybe if they went through the same stuff us commoners do, they would not be able to sneak in their firearms. A commoner would go to prison for that.

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