Iowa Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Iowa

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.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • Yes/No – Without a Permit/License Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes – In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol Carry In Restaurants
  • Yes/No – Without a Permit/License Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 33 # of states that honor Iowa license
  • 53 # of state licenses that Iowa honors
  • 5 Years license is valid
  • 50 $ cost of the license
  • 18 Minimum age for license permit

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.

Iowa CCW Reciprocity Map

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.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Iowa Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

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.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

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 Gun Background Check

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.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

IA CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years of age for a Professional permit.
  • Must be at least 21 years of age for a Non-Professional permit.
  • You must complete a firearms training course.
  • You have no pending charges.
  • You have no felony convictions.
  • You have no outstanding arrest warrants.
  • You have not been convicted in any court within the previous three years of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor not involving a firearm or explosives for which the court could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation.
  • There is no probable cause to believe you may likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner as would endanger the person’s self or others based on your actions in the last two years.
  • Federal law requirements

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Decide on what permit you want; Non-Professional, issued by the Sheriff of the applicant’s county of residence Professional, issued by the Department of Public Safety
  2. Complete a firearms training course.
  3. Download the application under the FORMS tab or pickup from your Sheriffs office.
  4. You will need the following documents; Photocopy of firearms training certificate Drivers license Completed application form
  5. Apply in person at your local county Sheriffs office.
  6. You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

CCW Renewal

  • For a renewal applicant, Iowa law no longer requires training to occur within the previous 12 months prior of expiration. Renewal applications must be submitted no more than 30 days prior to expiration date, but no longer than 30 days after expiration date. A valid nonprofessional permit to carry expires 5 years after date of issue.
  • The renewal fee is 25$.

IA Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
Permit to acquire handgunsVaries by county (generally $5-$11)Fee not specified in statutes
Permit to carry handguns$50.00$25.00$89.00Duplicate: $25.00

NOTE:
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.

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Iowa

AllowedForbidden
State parksWeapons Free Zones
State and national forestsPublic or private schools, colleges
Road side rest areasSchool bus
VehiclePublic parks
All areas of the state not listed as ForbiddenCasino
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

Iowa CCW Contact

Iowa Bureau of Firearms

Hours

Monday – Friday:9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday:Closed
Sunday:Closed

Contact

Address:Department of Public Safety Building
215 East 7th Street, 4th Floor
City:Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone:(515) 725-6230

CCW Licensing Offices in Iowa

Adair County Sheriff Office

Office Address
302 East Iowa Street Greenfield, Iowa 50849

Phone
(641) 743-2148

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Adams County Sheriff Office

Office Address
901 Davis Ave, Corning, IA 50841

Phone
(641) 322-4444

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Allamakee County Sheriff Office

Office Address
877 Hwy 9, Waukon, IA 52172

Phone
(563) 568-4521

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Appanoose County Sheriff Office

Office Address
1125 W. Van Buren St. Centerville, IA 52544

Phone
(641) 437-7100

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Audubon County Sheriff Office

Office Address
318 Leroy St. Ste. 4 Audubon, IA 50025

Phone
(712) 563-2631

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Benton County Sheriff Office

Office Address
113 E 3rd St, Vinton, IA 52349

Phone
(319) 472-2337

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Black Hawk County Sheriff Office

Office Address
225 E 6th Street, Waterloo, Iowa 50703

Phone
(319) 291-2587

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Boone County Sheriff Office

Office Address
1019 W Mamie Eisenhower Ave, Boone, IA 50036

Phone
(515) 433-0524

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Reference Links

Counties in Iowa