STATEHOUSE GUNS: ‘Capitol Is Very Safe’

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Governor Branstad says he disagrees with the reason two Iowa lawmakers are often armed while working at the statehouse.

State Senators Brad Zaun and Joni Ernst both have conceal-carry permits and both say they’ve taken their gun to work with them.

The statehouse has signs that clearly state a no-gun policy.

Zaun says his decision to carry a gun is in part because of lax security at the statehouse.

Governor Branstad disagrees.

“I believe the Capitol is very safe and I think that the Department of Public Safety does a great job of securing the Capitol,” Gov. Branstad said.

As part of the executive branch, Governor Branstad says it isn’t his role to dictate weapons policy to the legislative branch.

Branstad also says after becoming governor he had the metal detectors removed from the Terrace Hill governor’s mansion.


  • JPenny

    It would seem that something must be done about those who blatantly disregard the law. Consider Mr. Zaun here. He has had a well publicized case of domestic violence and now carries a gun into the statehouse? If a guy cannot control himself from smacking around his girl, how can I feel safe with him carrying a gun around? When we elect these guys, does that mean they are exempt from following the laws we’ve established? Sounds like it is time for Statehouse security to step up and enforce the law!

  • Brian

    Actually, government employees are exempt from the firearms ban at the statehouse. So Brad Zaun and Joni Ernst weren’t really violating any rules.

  • RS

    Just another example of law makers and law enforcement people thinking they are above the law. NEWS BREAK- YOU ARE NOT, It is time the people of Iowa stand togeather and DEMAND that the rules of the Capitol be followed by everyone and enforced. We do not need a bunch of ding bats like Zaun and the pig lady running around OUR house armed. Makes you wonder who voted for these jokers in the first place. I encourage everyone to contact the governors offfice at ( and demand this problem be addressed not smoothed over.

  • Lisa

    Normally I would agree that the Statehouse is safe, trust security, yadda yadda. That changed the last time I visited Governor Branstad’s office. I got into the security line and was almost to the front before I realized that I still had my pepper spray in my coat pocket. Total accident. It was about 30 degrees below zero wind chill and I didn’t want to walk back to my car, so I put it in the little tray before going through the metal detector, knowing full well it would be confiscated. The security guards didn’t even look at the tray. I walked through the metal detector, and they handed my pepper spray back to me, talking to each other distractedly the entire time. Granted, pepper spray isn’t life threatening, but it could cause a lot of disruption. I didn’t want to say anything, thinking I would get detained or something, but I felt a lot less safe knowing anybody could get through with mace or something more dangerous. I had my picture taken with the Governor, and I will always remember that I had pepper spray in my pocket.

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