Page Last Modified: Jul 1, 2017 @ 12:44 pm

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Note: The processes listed below apply to the majority of people. If you are active-duty military, honorably discharged military, law enforcement, or retired law enforcement, the processes below may be slightly different (easier) when applying for a concealed carry permit.

 

Types of Concealed Carry Permits

1) Professional (Resident or Non-Resident)

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years old to apply
  • Issued to residents of Iowa or U.S. citizens
  • Valid for 5 years
  • Costs $50 (+$Training Course)
  • Only issued to persons employed in the following professions, if the person’s position in that profession reasonably justifies that person going armed:
    • Private investigation business or private security business licensed under Iowa Code, Chapter 80A
    • Peace officer
    • Correctional officer
    • Security guard
    • Bank messenger
    • Person transporting property of a value requiring security
    • Police work

2) Nonprofessional (Resident or Non-Resident)

  • Must be a minimum of 21 years old to apply
  • Issued to residents of Iowa or U.S. citizens
  • Valid for 5 years
  • Costs $50 (+$Training Course)

Note: Any resident or non-resident that is at least 21 years old and legally possesses a handgun may open carry outside of any city. No permit is required in this case.

Is it Required to Carry Concealed?

No – you may open carry or carry concealed with a concealed carry permit.

May Issue or Shall Issue?

Iowa is a shall issue state, meaning the law states that they shall issue a permit if you meet all requirements.

Process to Apply

Residents – Nonprofessional Permit

To get a nonprofessional concealed carry permit as an Iowa resident, you are required to apply to the sheriff in your county of residence.

  1. Complete a firearms training course. Check with your local sheriff’s office to ensure the course you take is accepted. The following courses are generally accepted:
    • Any National Rifle Association handgun safety training course.
    • Any handgun safety training course offered by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, private or public institution or organization, or firearms training school, that utilizes instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or certain other firearms training certifying bodies (such as the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy).
    • Any handgun safety training course offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement or security enforcement agency approved by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
    • Any small arms training taken while having served in the U.S. armed forces as evidenced by any of the following:
      • For personnel released or retired from active duty, possession of an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
      • For personnel on active duty or serving in one of the national guard or reserve components of the armed forces of the U.S., possession of a certificate of completion of basic training with a service record of successful completion of small arms training and qualification.
      • Completion of a law enforcement agency firearms training course that qualifies a peace officer to carry a firearm in the normal course of the peace officer’s duties.
  2. Go to sheriff’s office in your county of residence to complete the application in person. Some offices will require you to print the application (from here) and complete it at home before going to the office. Bring the following items to the sheriff’s office:
    • A copy of the certificate that proves you completed an approved training course. Or, if you were honorably discharged, a copy of your DD 214 form.
    • Your Iowa state issued I.D. or driver’s license.
    • Application fee: $50.
  3. The sheriff’s office will then run a criminal background check on you.

After these steps are completed, the Iowa Department of Public Safety is legally required to process your application and issue/deny a license in 30 days or less. All denials may be appealed.

Residents – Professional Permit

The application procedure for getting a professional or a nonprofessional concealed carry permit is essentially the same. However, to get a professional concealed carry permit, you will apply through the Iowa Department of Public Safety – contact them here for location details. There is also an additional section to be filled out by your employer if you qualify for the professional permit – see the section Types of Concealed Carry Permits above to see if you qualify.

Non-residents

Qualifying for a non-resident concealed carry permit isn’t easy. To qualify for a professional permit, you must need to be armed as part of your employment. To qualify for a nonprofessional permit, you must have a viable threat to yourself or your family, or you must be employed in the administration of criminal justice.

To get either a professional or a nonprofessional concealed carry permit as a non-resident, you are required to apply to the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The application procedure for getting a professional or a nonprofessional concealed carry permit is essentially the same. There is one additional section to be filled out by your employer if you qualify for the professional permit – see the section Types of Concealed Carry Permits above to see if you qualify.

  1. Complete a firearms training course. Check with Iowa Department of Public Safety to ensure the course you take is accepted. The following courses are generally accepted:
    • Any National Rifle Association handgun safety training course.
    • Any handgun safety training course offered by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, private or public institution or organization, or firearms training school, that utilizes instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or certain other firearms training certifying bodies (such as the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy).
    • Any handgun safety training course offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement or security enforcement agency approved by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
    • Any small arms training taken while having served in the U.S. armed forces as evidenced by any of the following:
      • For personnel released or retired from active duty, possession of an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
      • For personnel on active duty or serving in one of the national guard or reserve components of the armed forces of the U.S., possession of a certificate of completion of basic training with a service record of successful completion of small arms training and qualification.
      • Completion of a law enforcement agency firearms training course that qualifies a peace officer to carry a firearm in the normal course of the peace officer’s duties.
  2. Contact the Iowa Department of Public Safety by phone or email here. Find out where they want you to send your completed application – their mailing address is listed here.
  3. Print the application from here and complete it. Send the completed application with the following items wherever you are instructed in step 2:
    • A copy of the certificate that proves you completed an approved training course. Or, if you were honorably discharged, a copy of your DD 214 form.
    • Your state issued I.D. or driver’s license.
    • Application fee: $50.
  4. The Iowa Department of Public Safety will then run a criminal background check on you.

After these steps are completed, the Iowa Department of Public Safety is legally required to process your application and issue/deny a license in 30 days or less. All denials may be appealed.

Reasons an Applicant Won’t Be Approved

Your application is almost guaranteed to be denied if you meet any of the following conditions:

  1. You are illegally in the United States.
  2. You’ve been convicted of a felony.
  3. You are currently being indicted for a felony.
  4. You’ve been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence.
  5. You were adjudicated for a felony as a juvenile.
  6. You’ve been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term greater than 1 year.
  7. You’ve been convicted of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor under Iowa Code Chapter 708 within the last 3 years.
  8. You are subject to a restraining or other similar court order.
  9. You are a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, or are determined to be of unsound mind.
  10. You have a mental illness.
  11. You have received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution, or similar treatment facility for any reason.
  12. You are a fugitive from justice.
  13. You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
  14. You are subject to a firearms seizure order.

Location Restrictions for Carrying

It is unlawful to carry a handgun, even if you have a concealed carry permit, in the following locations:

  • Federal buildings.
  • Courthouses.
  • Federal prisons.
  • Indian reservations.
  • Post offices.
  • Military bases.
  • School grounds, including colleges and universities.
  • School events and functions.
  • School buses.
  • Casinos.
  • On the state fair grounds.
  • At the state game refuge.
  • Anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. You cannot carry a firearm if you consume any alcohol.
  • Passed the security checkpoint at airports.
  • Anywhere a town or city passes an ordinance to ban firearms or carrying. If this is the case, a city or town building will post “no carry” or “no guns” signs.

Transporting a Handgun Through & Throughout IA

With a Concealed Carry Permit

If you have an IA or IA recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a handgun in a vehicle while it is loaded and on your person.

Without a Concealed Carry Permit

If you do not possess an IA or IA recognized concealed carry permit, you must follow these guidelines when transporting a handgun in a vehicle through (from another state into IA) and throughout (within IA) the state:

  1. You must legally possess the firearm.
  2. The firearm must be unloaded.
  3. The firearm must be in a closed and fastened container.
  4. The firearm cannot be readily accessible to anyone in the vehicle.

Additional Notes About IA Handgun Law

Does IA Law Incorporate Stand Your Ground?

Yes.

The Stand Your Ground law permits you to use force, and not retreat, when faced with a threat. Stand Your Ground protects your use of force, even deadly force, when used to protect yourself or others if you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death. To be protected under Stand Your Ground, you must be in a place where you have the lawful right to be.

Does IA Law Incorporate the Castle Doctrine?

Yes.

The Castle Doctrine is similar to Stand Your Ground. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force (even deadly force), and not retreat, when you’re in your own home. This again assumes you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death on yourself or others in your home.

This ‘castle’ is sometimes broadened to cover you when you’re in your yard, car, etc. Each state’s Castle Doctrine law is written differently – consult your state’s law to confirm if your state extends the meaning of a ‘castle’ to cover more than just your home.

Reciprocity – What State Permits Does IA Recognize?

ALL. IA honors every other states’ concealed carry permits so long as the permit was issued to someone 21 years of age or older.

Reciprocity – Where is the IA Permit Recognized?

The IA concealed weapons license is recognized in the following states:

IA Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity

Page Updates

  • July 1, 2017 – IA now has laws that incorporate stand your ground. Additional Notes about IA Handgun Law section changed to reflect this new law.
  • July 1, 2017 – State buildings on the capital complex removed from Location Restrictions for Carrying section. People with concealed carry permits may now carry at the Capitol and on the surrounding grounds.

 

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