The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. This post may contain references to products and services from our partners. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
Iowa gun laws encourage possession of firearms as well as open and concealed carry.
The state issues permit types to make the carrying of firearms easy for everybody that wishes to do so.
However, you must still be familiar with the laws to open carry the right way without any violations.
Iowa has two types of firearm permit in the state.
The first type of permit is the professional one for those that are at least eighteen years old and need a permit for employment. This is called the professional permit
The next type of permit is the non-professional permit, and this is for only those that are at least twenty-one years old.
Iowa has a shall-issue policy, with the application processed by the county sheriff or the commissioner for public safety in the state.
It also requires that a purchase permit be obtained for buying guns.
Firearm dealers must complete the criminal record background check, except it is a transfer between family members.
With a permit to carry, you do not need to undergo the background check before buying.
The state permits are valid for both residents and non-residents of the state. The commissioner for public safety is in charge of non-residents' application.
You must meet all the state requirements to possess firearms before the review board accepts your permit.
However, as a non-resident, you can also conceal and open carry with permits from other states in the country.
Yes. You can open carry in Iowa as long as you have the state’s permit to carry. You can use the permit for concealed carry in the state as well.
Iowa also has restrictions for the possession of firearms in specific locations; hence you might face prosecution if you open carry in these places.
Iowa is one of the permissive open carry states in the USA. This means that as long as you have your permit to carry, you can open carry.
You only need a permit if you want to open carry within city limits in the state. Off limit areas do not require permits.
Iowa also preempts local laws in the state.
Another important thing about open carry in Iowa is the type of firearms the state allows for these activities.
The state prohibits assault weapons, like machine guns and semi-automatic firearms.
Ammunitions that have chemical compositions and are likely to explode after projecting are also not allowed.
The exceptions to these are members of the United States Armed Forces, law enforcement officers, peace officers, and employees from government agencies that use firearms.
|State permit for open carry.||Yes||Yes||You must have an Iowa permit to carry firearms before you open carry in the state.|
|Firearm registrations for open carry.||No||No||There are no requirements to register firearms after buying in Iowa.|
|Assault weapon for open carry.||Yes||No||Iowa restricts bullets with chemical compositions and firearm machine guns in the state.|
|Magazine limit||No||No||There are no limits for the number of magazines that must be in an open carry firearm in Iowa.|
|License for the owner of a firearm.||Not required||Not required||You do not require any other license to own a firearm in Iowa.|
|Red flag law||No||No||Iowa does not have any red flag law to restrict the possession of firearms in the state.|
|Castle doctrine law||Yes||Yes||Iowa is a castle doctrine state with a stand your ground policy in your dwelling place, workplace, or personal vehicle.|
|Background check for private dealers||Yes||Yes||A background check is compulsory for all dealers of firearms in the state. The only exception is for the transfer of firearms from one family member to another in the state.|
|Preemption||Yes||Yes||Idaho has preemption gun law with the state government owning all the authority for firearms handling in the state. However, local areas can enact laws for buildings that they own, and regulate permit and possession of firearms within their territory.|
|Concealed carry permit.||No||Yes||Concealed carry is only possible for those that have either of the state-issued permits to conceal carry in the state.|
|Concealed carry in personal vehicle||No||Yes||You can conceal carry only handguns in your vehicle, and you must be with your firearm permit to do so.|
|Open carry in Schools||No||No||You cannot open carry in schools, colleges, universities, and other technical institutions in the state.|
You can open carry n the following places in Iowa:
Iowa prohibits open carry and possession of firearms in the following places:
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry in Iowa.
Yes. Open carry in Iowa is not possible without the state’s permit to carry weapons.
Yes. Iowa issues the same permit to carry weapons for both open and concealed carry in the state.
Open carry in Iowa is legal for people that are eighteen years old or more.
For a professional permit, you must be at least eighteen years old. For a non-professional permit, you must be at least twenty-one years old.
No. Iowa does not have a red flag policy in the state.
Yes. Non-residents can apply for an Iowa permit. But only the commissioner for public safety in the state can issue non-residents a professional carry permit.
You can also conceal and open carry in the state with permits from other states in the USA.
No, Iowa does not recognize constitutional carry in the state.
You can open carry knives according to state statutes, except for ballistic knives.
However, this depends on your county of residence because local law can regulate the open carry of such weapons in their territory.
Yes. Iowa gun law statutes define machine guns as offensive weapons, and this is unlawful in the state.
According to Iowa gun laws, machine guns are any type of firearm that, when fired, will shoot more that one ammunition without reloading or pulling a trigger.
Yes. You can only buy firearms in Iowa if you have a purchase permit.
Yes. You have to complete the background check, except you already have the state’s permit to carry.
The permit is valid for five years, after which you must apply for a renewal permit.
No. You are not under any form of obligation to inform the police that you are carrying a firearm with you.
Yes. The state will recognize castle doctrine as a means of self-defense; therefore, you can stand your ground at home, in workplaces in your vehicle.
Yes. However, you can use deadly force if you feel that an attack can cause bodily injury or imminent death.
Yes. You must enroll in a safety class, or you apply for a firearm training online, conducted by a state-approved instructor.
No. There are no requirements to register your firearm in Iowa.
Some of the relevant open carry laws in Iowa include the following:
Iowa gun law prohibits the usage of any ammunition or bullet that has a chemical composition manufactured to detonate upon shooting the firearm.
Iowa has preempted gun laws. Also, the state allows anybody affected by the gun laws to file a suit at the court.
Iowa’s attorney general also allows local areas and municipalities to regulate the use of a firearm in their territory.
Therefore, municipalities and counties can make use of home rules for concealed carry permits, open carry, and firearm possession in their building or properties.
According to Iowa gun laws, it is an assault crime to deliberately point your firearm at another person or use your firearm in such a dangerous manner that puts someone in fear or threatens their safety.
A Person guilty of this will face state prosecution.
It is a crime to handle firearms while under the influence of alcohol in Iowa. Under the influence is defined in the state statute as a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08.
This law also covers a person under any other intoxicating drug or substance controlled by the drug law enforcement agency.
In this case, a test on the person’s urine will determine if the person is under the influence or not.
It is legal to open carry while hunting in Iowa. However, the state law has provisions for firearms that are lawful for open carry in the state.
Also, you must have a permit before you open carry while hunting in the state.
But while bow hunting or during archery, you cannot open carry. In this case, you can conceal carry with firearms, and the firearm cannot be used to hunt animals during archery sessions.
Iowa has hunter harassment laws to help protect hunting activities in the state like fishing and harvesting of furs.
The law consists of the following: