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What are the Gun Laws in Iowa?

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The National Rifle Association Kicks Off Its Annual Meeting In Louisville
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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change. Refer to the links below to check the current laws.

Quick Reference:

Child Access Prevention Law? Partial
Juvenile Possession Law? Yes.
Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law? Yes

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.
Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? Yes.
  • Registration of handguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No.
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.

Purchase:

  • No state permit is required to purchase a rifle or shotgun.

  • A permit is required to purchase a handgun.

  • The permit to purchase may be used to purchase more than one handgun.

  • The permit is required for non-dealer purchases as well as purchases from

  • a dealer.

  • A permit is not required for antique handguns, handguns not capable of being readily restored to a firing condition, a handgun designated a collector's item by the Commissioner of Public Safety, transfers between relatives within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, or by a holder of a handgun carrying permit.

  • A permit to purchase a handgun is obtained by applying to the sheriff of the county of the applicant's residence.

  • The sheriff may request two completed fingerprint cards.

  • The applicant shall also display an I.D. card, name, date of birth, sex, residence address, and brief description and colored photograph, or other identification as specified by the Department of Public Safety.

  • The permit shall be issued to the applicant immediately upon completion of the application. A record check is conducted. The permit becomes valid three days after issuance and is good for one year.


An annual permit to purchase a handgun shall not be issued unless the person:
  • Is twenty-one years old or older.

  • Has never been convicted of a felony.

  • Is not addicted to alcohol or a controlled substance.

  • Has no history of repeated acts of violence.

  • Can be reasonably determined that the applicant does not constitute a danger to any person.

  • Has never been convicted of of serious crimes including but not limited to - hazing, stalking, disarming a police officer, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, and many types of assaults.

  • Has never been adjudged mentally incompetent.

  • It is unlawful to sell, loan, give, or make available a rifle, shotgun or ammunition to a person under 18. An exception allows a parent, guardian or spouse who is 18 or older, or another with the express consent of the minor's parent, guardian, spouse.

  • It is unlawful to sell, loan, give, or make available a handgun or handgun ammunition to a person under 21.
Exceptions include:
  • For 18, 19, or 20 year olds to possess a firearm if they are military, police, corrections, or security guard when such duty requires the possession of a weapon.
  • For 18,19, or 20-year olds while the person receives instruction in the proper use of firearms from an instructor who is 21 years of age or older.

  • For a person age 14 but less than 21, a parent or guardian or spouse who is 21 years of age or older may allow the person to possess a pistol or revolver or their ammunition for any lawful purpose while under the direct supervision of the parent or guardian or spouse who is 21 years of age or older.
  • A person age 14 but less than 21 may possess a pistol or revolver or their ammunition while receiving instruction in the proper use from an instructor 21 years of age or older, with the consent of a parent, guardian or spouse who is 21 e years of age or older.

Possession:

  • No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

  • Persons under 21 cannot possess handguns or handgun ammunition, except under the conditions listed above (see - purchase).

  • It is a felony to go armed with, carry, or transport a firearm, whether concealed or not, on the grounds of any public or nonpublic school.

  • Loaded firearms must be secured from minors under 14.
Carrying

It is unlawful to carry a handgun or any loaded firearm within the limits of any city. It is unlawful to carry a handgun or other firearm concealed on or about one's person or to knowingly transport a handgun in a vehicle.

  • Possessors of a valid permit to carry a handgun whose conduct is within the limits of that permit.

  • Carrying in one's own dwelling, place of business, or on land owned or possessed by the person.

  • Peace officers, correctional officers, members of the armed forces and National Guard, or persons in the service of the United States when carrying weapons in connection with their duties.

  • A person who for any lawful purpose carries an unloaded handgun inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package which is too large to be concealed on the person.
  • A person who carries or transports for lawful purposes an unloaded pistol or revolver in a vehicle inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package which is too large to be concealed on the person or inside a cargo or luggage compartment where the pistol or revolver will not be readily accessible to any person.

  • A person lawfully engaged in target practice on a range designed for that purpose or while actually engaged in lawful hunting. It is unlawful to have or carry any rifle, shotgun or any other gun (except a handgun as detailed above) in or on a vehicle on a public highway, unless the gun is taken down or totally contained in a securely fastened case, and its barrels and magazines are unloaded.

  • It is unlawful for a person to carry any dangerous weapon on or about his person without a permit.

Permits

Permits to carry a weapon come in two forms – professional and nonprofessional. Professional permits are valid for 12 months. Nonprofessional permits are valid for a definite period as established by the issuing officer, with a maximum of 12 months.

To obtain a professional or nonprofessional permit, an applicant must be:

  • At least 18.

  • Have never been convicted of a felony.

  • Not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance.

  • Have no history of repeated acts of violence.

  • Reasonably determined by the issuing officer that the applicant does not constitute a danger to any person.
The applicant shall display an identification card that bears a distinguishing number assigned to the cardholder, personal identifying information, a brief description and colored photograph.

New applicants are fingerprinted by some licensing authorities. The applicant must successfully complete an approved firearms instruction course.

A person armed with a handgun concealed upon the person must have in the person's immediate possession their concealed carry permit.

Miscellaneous

Persons found guilty of a forcible felony and who represented that he or she was in the immediate possession or control of a firearm, displayed a firearm in a threatening manner, or were armed with a firearm, shall serve a minimum of five years of the sentence imposed by law and shall not be eligible for parole until such minimum sentence has been served.

See Also: National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action

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