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Iowa Firearms Coalition paid a visit downtown to Court Avenue in hopes of finding out what exactly the City of Des Moines and the Court Avenue District Association are doing.

The new Court Avenue Entertainment Zone was announced to the media about three weeks ago. The press release said that weapons would be banned from the area. However, Des Moines is prohibited by state law (Iowa Code 724.28) from issuing such a ban. Private businesses are not allowed to enforce their own rules on public streets and sidewalks, so IFC immediately contacted the Des Moines City Manager, City Attorney’s office, Des Moines Police Department, President of the Court Avenue District Association and others who were involved.

According to IFC, it seemed the DMPD had reservations similar to IFC’s regarding the announced intentions. IFC’s involvement early in the situation has likely led to improved implementation.

The group also said the security protocols being employed “remain somewhat sketchy.”

“The Court Avenue businesses have a city permit to close the streets to traffic for the purposes of allowing them to expand their table service and entertainment onto the streets and sidewalks, but does this give them authority to limit who can be admitted to those still public spaces,” IFC asked.

Check out the video by Richard Rogers involving the situation. Also, make sure to like Iowa Firearms Coalition on Facebook!

In the video, Rogers is told by security at the gate that the city said nobody with guns is allowed into the area, regardless of if they have a permit to carry.

The supervisor said if someone is carrying a firearm and they are legally allowed to carry a firearm, they have no problem with that individual going in. However, the supervisor said if you start drinking with the permit, it is invalid.

The supervisor said he is an avid Second Amendment supporter. He said if someone is coming into drink and have a good time, they’ll ask that they return the firearm to the vehicle. If someone is coming in with a weapon and not drinking, they will allow the individual in but flag the ID to let the bars know that the individual is carrying a weapon.

Beginning July 1, a permit to carry will no longer be required in Iowa, which will certainly complicate things for this particular entertainment district.

Author: Jacob Hall