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Iowa Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs

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To possess firearms in Iowa, you must apply for a pistol permit.

However, there are requirements for the application, and to understand this, you must be familiar with Iowa pistol permit laws.

Iowa Gun Permit Summary

Iowa has a shall-issue policy for the possession of firearms, and the local sheriff’s office in a county is in charge of the application.

Iowa also issues purchase permits for buying firearms in the state.

How To Get A Gun Permit In Iowa

Iowa gun permit is available for both residents and non-residents of the state as long as they meet the age requirement and can legally possess a firearm.

Iowa is a licensed open carry state.

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Iowa Gun Laws

Iowa permits the open carry of firearms for anybody who is eighteen years old or more and still has legal rights to use weapons.

The state also prohibits the possession of offensive firearms or assault weapons such as machine guns and semi-automatic firearms.

The only exception to this are firearms used for professional sporting events.

Iowa sees the possession of prohibited firearms as a felony act, and anybody that is culpable will face prosecution.

Iowa Pistol Permit Requirements

Some of Iowa gun permit requirements you must meet before you possess firearms in the state includes the following:

  • If you are applying for a professional permit, you must meet the minimum age requirement of eighteen years.
  • If you are applying for a non-professional permit, you must meet the age requirement of twenty-one years old.
  • You must complete a gun training course.
  • You must not be an addict of alcohol or any other dangerous substance.
  • You must not have a pending law charge in your name.
  • You must not be a convict of a felony against the state.
  • You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant from any law enforcement agency in your name.
  • You must not have a court order that prevents you from the possession or transportation of a firearm.
  • You must not be convicted for a misdemeanor or any offense, even if it does not involve the use of firearms for more than one year, regardless of whether you get the sentence reduced. This also includes probation.
  • You must not be involved in the use of a firearm dangerously and unlawfully to threaten someone's life.
  • You must meet all federal law requirements for the application of a pistol permit.

Different Types Of Gun Permits In Iowa

A summary of firearms permits purchase in Iowa includes the following:

  • State permit to purchase long guns: Iowa does not issue a state permit to buy long guns.
  • State permits to purchase handguns: Iowa does not issue a state permit to buy guns.
  • State permit to open carry: Iowa is a licensed state that issues permits for open carry.
  • State permits to conceal carry long guns: Iowa does not issue a state permit to conceal handguns.
  • State permits to conceal carry handguns: Iowa issues a pistol permit to conceal carry guns in the state.

Gun Permits Application And Renewal Law In Iowa?

The process to apply for Iowa gun permit includes the following:

Complete Firearm Training

This is the first stage of the application process. Without training from a licensed instructor, you cannot proceed with the application.

Get Your Application Form

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 nonresident, visit the Department of Public Safety for your application.

Application Process

For this stage, you need to provide the following documents:

  • A photocopied certificate from your completed firearm training.
  • State’s driver’s license.
  • A completed application form and your payment fee.

Take these documents to your sheriff’s office, or the department for public safety.

Get Approval Notification

You will get at approval notification mail if your application is granted.

Iowa CCW permit is only valid for five years. Therefore, you will have to renew your license if you still intend to conceal carry in Iowa.

To renew, you have a grace of thirty days before and after your permit

expires. If this elapses, you will have to get a new permit fee.

The permit renewal process includes the following:

Download Renewal Form

Download the renewal application form from your local sheriff website or visit the sheriff’s office to collect it.

Submit The Application Form

After filling the form, submit in person to the sheriff’s office. You must submit the completed form alongside a means of identification.

You will also pay the renewal fee.

Get Notification

You will receive an approval notification by mail.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Gun License In Iowa?

Iowa charges twenty dollars for a pistol permit in the state, and fifteen dollars for renewal permits.

However, this may come with extra cost due to other processing fees, and fingerprints.

Gun Permit Reciprocity With Iowa

Iowa has the following reciprocity with other states in the country.

States That Recognizes Iowa Pistol Permit

These states will honor Iowa gun permits and allow the possession of firearms for Iowa permit holders within their territory. They include:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Puerto Rico

States That Have Restricted Reciprocity With Iowa

These states accept Iowa pistol permits, but holders must meet specific requirements before they possess firearms. They include:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

States That Have Permitless Carry Policy

These states have permitless carry policy for firearms, and they do not require any license for open or concealed carry within their territory. They include:

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

FAQs About Gun Permits In Iowa

Some of the most frequently asked questions about pistol permit in Iowa include the following:

Does Iowa Issue Pistol Permit For Concealed Carry?

Yes. In Iowa, you can only conceal carry with a pistol permit.

What Is The Validity Period For Pistol Permit In Iowa?

Iowa gun permit is valid for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal permit.

Can Non-Residents Apply For Iowa Pistol Permit?

Yes, Iowa pistol permit is available to residents and non-residents of the state legally liable to make use of a firearm.

How Can I Change The Name And Address On My Iowa Pistol Permit?

For any change on your Iowa gun permit, make sure that you contact the sheriff’s office of your local county.

What Can I Do If I Lost My Iowa Permit Or It Gets Stolen?

Report the missing permit to your local county office as soon as you realize that you have lost it.

How Soon Can I Apply For Iowa Pistol Permit After Moving To The State?

As soon as you establish residency in Iowa, you can apply for the pistol permit.

Can I Make Use Of Iowa Pistol Permit After Moving To Another State In The Country?

Your Iowa pistol permit expires as soon as you establish residency in another state. However, you can reapply for a non-resident license.

Do I Need An Iowa Pistol Permit To Open Carry In The State?

Yes, Iowa issues pistol permits for open carry in the state.

It is a licensed carry state and people that meet the age requirement and are not legally prohibited from making use of firearms open carry in the state.

How Many Type Of Pistol Permit Does Iowa Issue?

Iowa issues two types of pistol permit, official and unofficial permits.

Just as the name implies, unofficial permits are for unofficial reasons, and only those who are eighteen or more can apply for it.

Official permits are those issued for employment purposes or government reasons, and only those that are twenty-one years old or more can apply.

What Is The Minimum Age Requirement To Apply For Iowa Pistol Permit?

Eighteen years old unofficial permits and twenty-one years old for official permits.

Do I need A Permit To Purchase Firearms In Iowa?

Yes. Iowa only allows people that have purchase permits to buy firearms in the state.

Does My Iowa Pistol Permit Exempt Me From Completing A Criminal Record Background Check Before Buying Firearms In The State?

No. You must complete a criminal record background check by obtaining a purchase permit.

Federally licensed dealers and private dealers must only sell firearms to anyone that has completed a criminal record check.

Do I Need An Iowa Pistol Permit To Possess Firearms In My Private Property?

No, there is no requirement to own a permit before you can possess firearms in private properties, vehicles, or workplaces.

Do I Need To Complete A Firearm Training Before Applying For Iowa Pistol Permit?

Yes, it is compulsory to undergo firearm training before you apply for the Iowa pistol permit.

The training must meet the state requirements and be overseen by a state-certified instructor.

What Is The Processing Period For Firearm Permits In Iowa?

Iowa will complete the processing of a pistol permit is not more than ninety days after the application.

Does Iowa Have Ammunition And Firearm Restrictions?

Yes, Iowa prohibits the use of assault weapons in the state, such as machine guns and semi-automatic firearms.

The only exceptions to this are law enforcement officers of the state, and those using it for professional sporting activities.

Is Iowa A Preemption Gun Law State?

Yes. The state government has all authority to regulate the use of firearms in the state.

However, local residents can control the discharge of firearms, and regulation in off-limits places within a municipality.

Can I Possess Firearms While Hunting In The State?

Iowa gun statutes do not prohibit the possession of firearms for hunting. However, it is illegal to make use of such guns to take games in the state.

What Is The Age Requirement To Possess Firearms In Iowa?

You must be at least eighteen years old to possess firearms in Iowa.

Relevant Gun Permit Laws And Legislature In Iowa

Iowa gun laws relating to its pistol permit that holders must know before application includes the following:

Possession Of Firearms In Private Vehicles

Iowa permits the possession of firearms in personally owned vehicles, or the car of another person provided he or she gives consent. But this is only for Iowa pistol permit holders.

Possession Of Firearms In Roadside Areas

Iowa gun statutes allow the possession of firearms in roadside areas of the state for only permit holders.

Possession Of Firearms In Restaurant And Bar Areas

Iowa permits the possession of firearms for licensees in restaurant and bar areas. The only exception is if there is a post restricting such, or if a person is under the influence of alcohol.

Possession Of Firearms In Hotels

The management of a hotel has the right to prohibit the possession of firearms within the premises.

Iowa gun law allows hotels to enact their policies against the possession of firearms.

Possession Of Firearms In Workplace Parking Lots

In Iowa, gun laws state that employers are not allowed to prohibit the possession of firearms in a private car for permit holders, as long as the gun is well hidden away from public view.

Firearm Training Requirement In Iowa

A recognized CCW training is required in Iowa before you can apply for a permit.

You must prove that you are knowledgeable in handling firearms by completing any of the following training:

  • A National Rifle Association firearm safety program.
  • A training class overseen by a licensed instructor in the state is open to everyone.
  • A training course organized by security personnel has been certified by the Department of Public Safety.
  • Any form of training organized by the United States Armed Forces while serving as an officer.
  • A training course organized by the law enforcement agency.
  • A handgun training that is licensed by the Iowa National Resource Commission for hunter education.

Each of these training must include a live-wire session.

It is essential 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.

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