Iowa operates as a “Shall Issue” state with 2 types of permits available.
Residents can apply at the county level for a Non-Professional license. You must be 21 and must apply at the sheriff’s office in your county of residence. Non-residents must apply at the state level for a Professional permit. You must be 18 and apply at the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Non-residents must also demonstrate a need for a permit like frequent travel, owning a business, or having property in Iowa.
|Open Carry Permitted?||Yes|
|Carry In Vehicle?||Yes|
|Carry In State Park?||Yes|
|Carry In Restaurants?||Yes|
|No Weapon Sign Enforced?||No|
|Must Notify Officer?||No|
YES/NO – Without a Permit/License Open carry is legal in Iowa but there are restrictions and it is not common. The minimum age to open carry is 21. You will need a permit to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle and cities.
YES/NO – Without a Permit/License You must have a permit to carry a loaded firearm. If you do no have a permit then the handgun must be unloaded and inside a closed and fastened container that is too large to be concealed on the person. Or inside a cargo or luggage compartment where the handgun will not be readily accessible to any person riding in the vehicle. With a permit you can carry concealed in a vehicle.
Concealed carry of firearms is permitted in state parks.
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol “Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.
“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Iowa gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned in the law as being off limits.
Must Inform Officer on Contact By Law There is nothing in Iowa gun laws that states you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are legally required to carry the permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.