Gun laws in Iowa govern the possession, sale, transfer, and usage of firearms and ammunition in the state. In 2011, Iowa became a “Shall Issue” state and issues concealed carry permits so residents can carry guns with them all around the state. Iowa honors every other state’s permits but if you are a resident you cannot carry unless you have an Iowa state permit. You need to apply for and have a Permit To Acquire (PTA) before purchasing a gun in Iowa. These are supplied by the local sheriff’s office, and when applying, you will need to undergo a background check and fingerprinting. You need to have a PTA when purchasing from a dealer or a private seller. You can get one in a little as three days, and they are good for five years. The only exception to needing one is when purchasing an antique handgun made before 1898. If you already have an Iowa Permit To Carry (PTC), it can be used to buy a gun in place of the PTA. Both are good for five years. All automatic weapons are illegal in Iowa.
Iowa’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.
The states that honor an Iowa gun permit for residents are:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The states that honor an Iowa gun permit for non-residents are:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Iowa honors permits from these states and territories:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety issues concealed carry permits. Applications are processed through local county sheriff’s offices. It takes about 30 days to process for you to receive your license. There is no law requiring you to notify an officer if you are carrying in Iowa. You do not have to observe any “no weapons” signs either. If you have a permit, you can conceal carry in your vehicle. If you do not, the gun must be unloaded and locked in a case in the trunk of your car. Although open carry is legal in Iowa with a permit, it is not common. You can take your firearms into restaurants and bars that serve alcohol. You may also conceal or open carry in state parks and wildlife preserves.
Iowa is a “Shall Issue” state, and they offer two types of permits, non-professional and professional. The non-professional license is for residents, and the profession is for non-residents and security guards. You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a professional permit and 21 for a non-professional. You cannot have any felony convictions or pending charges against you. You must also complete a firearms training course. You cannot be convicted of any violent offenses or have any outstanding warrants. You must also qualify based on federal regulations.
Iowa is different than most states as it is a “partial point of sale” state where county sheriff’s and the Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPS) performs background checks for PTAs and concealed carry permits. Gun dealers contact the FBI directly and use the NCIS system for long gun purchases. County sheriffs perform background checks when residents apply for their Permit To Acquire (PTA) before they can visit a gun dealership and purchase a firearm.
|Permit type||Fees when getting a new permit||Renewal||Current license amendment||Fingerprint scan fee||Fee for firearm classes||Additional state fees|
|Permit to acquire handguns||Varies by county (generally $5-$11)||Fee not specified in statutes|
|Permit to carry handguns||$50.00||$25.00||$89.00||Duplicate: $25.00|
Sheriff’s Offices that offer wallet size permit cards typically charge an additional fee (generally $5.00) to defray the cost of producing the permit cards.
|State parks||Weapons Free Zones|
|State and national forests||Public or private schools, colleges|
|Road side rest areas||School bus|
|All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden||Casino|
|Iowa state fairgrounds|
|Campus of the three state universities|
|State buildings on the capitol complex|
|Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law|
|Monday – Friday:||9:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Address:||Department of Public Safety Building|
215 East 7th Street, 4th Floor
|City:||Des Moines, IA 50319|
|Phone:||(515) 725-6230 |
302 East Iowa Street Greenfield, Iowa 50849
901 Davis Ave, Corning, IA 50841
877 Hwy 9, Waukon, IA 52172
1125 W. Van Buren St. Centerville, IA 52544
318 Leroy St. Ste. 4 Audubon, IA 50025
113 E 3rd St, Vinton, IA 52349
225 E 6th Street, Waterloo, Iowa 50703
1019 W Mamie Eisenhower Ave, Boone, IA 50036