The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
Iowa is a lenient state when it comes to issuing permits for concealed carry and purchasing firearms.
As long as you meet all necessary requirements, you will get your permits. Therefore, the state is a shall-issue state.
Iowa is also one of those states that will issue both residents and non-residents permits. It has very flexible reciprocity unlike other states.
There is really a lot to learn about CCW in Iowa, and if you intend to conceal carry in the state for any reason, you have to get familiar with all state’s law.
To conceal carry in Iowa, you need the state’s Permit to Carry Weapon (PCW). This PCW represents Iowa’s CCW permit.
Gun permits in Iowa are of two types, the professional and nonprofessional permit.
A non-professional permit is for people that are at least twenty-one years old. If you are eighteen years old but less than twenty-one, you will only get a professional permit.
Before you can get a concealed carry Iowa permit, you need to meet all requirements provided by the state’s gun law.
Iowa CCW permit reciprocity allows the state to respect permits from every other state in the country.
So, as a non-resident in Iowa, you can conceal carry as long as you have a permit for your gun.
Other aspects of Iowa reciprocity include the following:
Regardless of whether a state accepts Iowa’s CCW permit or not, you are still required to handle your weapon in accordance with the state laws.
Therefore, as a non-resident of a state, you have to understand the gun laws of the state if you must conceal carry within its territory.
Regulation of the usage of guns is taken very seriously in Iowa. Even with an Iowa concealed carry permit, you cannot be with your gun in some places.
Iowa law states this clearly, and these places are regarded as off-limits.
The federal government has a law enforcement officer safety act that allows both active and retired law enforcement officers to carry a firearm.
This law means that officers of any law enforcement agency can conceal carry in any state including Iowa, regardless of the state’s gun laws or CCW permit requirements.
In Iowa, retired law enforcement officers have to qualify before they are allowed to conceal carry within the state. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy allows any licensed police instructor to train retired officers.
Only retired officers that qualify and pass the training will be allowed to conceal carry within the territory of Iowa.
Buying and selling firearms in Iowa are guided by very strict laws. Violating them could lead to issues as serious as jail terms.
Before you purchase a gun in Iowa, you need to have Iowa concealed carry permit to purchase or acquire. However, there is no gun registration for Iowa CCW
Other things you should know include:
A background check is necessary before you purchase a gun in Iowa.
A permit to acquire already proves that you have a clean background check because a NICS assessment must have been completed before a permit is issued to you.
The exceptions to getting a permit include the transfer of firearms to family members, both nuclear and extended.
However, the person receiving the firearm must meet all requirements for obtaining the Iowa CCW permit.
If a firearm will be sold without a permit, then the licensed seller must oversee the buyer’s background check before a sale is completed.
If your Permit to acquire is new, then a waiting period of three days is required to purchase a firearm in Iowa.
However, subsequent purchases will not require a waiting period for a duration of five years when the CCW permit expires.
Before dealing with guns, you must be at least twenty-one years old.
An exception to this is when a person under the age of twenty-one uses a gun for only a lawful reason. In this case, the person must be at least eighteen years old.
The person must also be under the supervision of someone within the legal age of twenty-one, and written consent from a parent or guardian must be provided.
Another important gun law you must pay attention to is the handling of a gun by a minor. A minor in this case is defined as someone who is less than fourteen years old.
If the guardian or parent of the minor is at least twenty-one years old, and they allow the minor to possess a firearm, they shall be duly responsible for all injuries and damages caused by the minor while handling the gun.
You need either a Permit to Acquire a Pistol, or a Permit to Carry Weapons before you can purchase a firearm from a private dealer or a federally licensed dealer in Iowa.
As earlier stated, the only exception is for a transfer between family members.
The permit application process will be carried out at the municipality level, and this differs from county to county.
Some counties in Iowa accepts online applications only, while others require applications by mail. You can also submit the required paperwork in the Sheriff’s office.
Make sure that you check the sheriff’s website to understand how to go about your permit application.
The document you have to provide before getting a permit to acquire is an Iowa issued driver’s license or a valid ID from the state (This comes with a fee).
The process of approval includes a NICS background check. The period to complete this differs from municipality to municipality.
However, after your permit has been issued to you, you cannot make use of it for a period of three days.
For Iowa concealed carry permit application, you must satisfy all CCW requirements of the state. They include the following:
Now that you know the requirements you have to meet for Iowa concealed carry permit application, let’s go through the application process.
There are four stages you have to go through to get your Iowa CCW permit.
An Iowa concealed carry class must be completed, and this is the first stage of the application process.
Without training from a licensed instructor you cannot proceed.
Depending on your county, you can either download Iowa concealed carry permit application online or visit the sheriff’s office to pick it up.
If you are non-resident, visit the Department of Public Safety for your application
For this stage, you need to provide the following documents:
Take these documents to your sheriff’s office, or the department for public safety.
You will get at approval notification mail if your application is granted.
Iowa CCW permit is only valid for a period of five years. Therefore, you will definitely have to renew your permit if you still intend to conceal carry Iowa.
To renew, you have a grace of thirty days before and after your permit expires. If this elapses, you will be charged a new permit fee.
The renewal process includes the following:
Download the renewal application form from your local sheriff website, or you visit the sheriff’s office to collect it.
After filling the form, submit in person to the sheriff’s office. The completed form must be submitted alongside a means of identification.
You will also pay the renewal fee.
You will receive an approval notification by mail.
Iowa refers to the castle doctrine as a stand your ground policy.
This means that you are not obliged to retreat if you deem it fit that a required force is needed to protect and defend yourself or another from an illegal break-in on your premises.
Castle doctrine in Iowa covers the following places:
For castle doctrine in Iowa, you have civil immunity as long as the force you used for self-defense and protection of your property is reasonable in accordance with the law.
A recognized CCW training is required in Iowa before you can conceal carry.
You must prove that you are knowledgable in handling firearms by completing Iowa concealed carry class in any of this format:
Each of these training must include a live-wire session.
It is important that the training you enroll for has a permit from Iowa state. If this is not the case, any certificate you get from such training is invalid.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Iowa CCW
For Iowa permit application, the fees are as follow:
It usually takes thirty days.
Iowa issues both residents and non-residents permit.