What Does Iowa’s New Weapon Permit Law HF756 Mean For You?
Governor Reynolds signed HF756 into law on April 2, 2021. The law removes the requirement for a permit to acquire or a permit to carry in order to purchase a handgun or carry a firearm in public places subject to certain limitations. Iowans may still obtain a Permit to Acquire Pistols and Revolvers or a Nonprofessional Permit to Carry Weapons by applying through the sheriff’s office in their county of residence.
Beginning July 1, 2021, a person in Iowa attempting to purchase a handgun through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) without presenting a permit to acquire or a permit to carry will be required to undergo a check through the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for each purchase.
Reasons why Iowans may still consider obtaining an Iowa permit to carry:
- Allows Iowans to carry in states with permit reciprocity while traveling.
- May prevent potential delays resulting from a delayed NICS check when purchasing from a FFL.
- May clarify any questions an individual has regarding their eligibility to carry or possess firearms.
- May prevent legal issues associated with a person coming within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a public, parochial, or private school without a state issued permit in violation of the Gun Free School Zones Act, 18 USC § 921(a)(25) and 18 USC § 922(q)(2).
When the new law goes into effect, will I need a permit to acquire or carry in order to purchase a handgun from a FFL?
No. Effective July 1, 2021, a permit will no longer be required to purchase handguns in the State of Iowa. It is possible that a FFL may choose to require a permit in order to complete the sale, but it will not be a state requirement.
When the new law goes into effect, will I need a permit in order to carry a handgun?
No. Effective July 1, 2021, a permit to carry will not be required in order to carry handguns in the State of Iowa as long as the individual is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from carrying or possessing a firearm and abides by all other provisions in the new law. You may still consider a carry permit in order to prevent legal issues associated with a person coming within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a public, parochial, or private school without a state issued permit in violation of the Gun Free School Zones Act, 18 USC § 921(a)(25), and 18 USC § 922(q)(2).
I’m not sure if I’m prohibited from possessing or carrying a firearm due to something in my past. How do I determine if I’m eligible?
A person who is unsure if they are eligible to possess a firearm should seek legal advice from an attorney. They may also choose to complete the application process for a permit to acquire or a permit to carry through their local sheriff’s office. The issuance of either one of these permits would indicate a person can lawfully possess or carry a firearm in the State of Iowa.
Will a private person need to see a permit when selling or transferring a firearm to another private person?
No. After July 1, 2021, a person will not be required to see a permit when selling a firearm to another private person. However, a person commits a Class D Felony if they transfer a firearm to someone they know or reasonably should know is prohibited from possessing a firearm. If you are unsure of a person’s eligibility to possess a firearm, you may choose to require the recipient to produce a state-issued permit prior to any transfer.
Will the new law change how I get a permit to acquire or a permit to carry?
No. There will be no change in the method by which a person applies for a permit to acquire or a permit to carry. Individuals should contact their local sheriff’s office to determine the method by which to apply for either permit.
If I don’t need a permit to carry in Iowa, will I be able to carry in another state without a permit?
Each state has its own laws regarding the ability to carry weapons in their state. We encourage people to contact the state(s) where they will be traveling and become familiar with that state’s respective weapon laws. An Iowa permit to carry may suffice in states that currently allow permit reciprocity.
Can I acquire a handgun if I’m under 21 years old?
A person needs to be at least 21 years old in order to acquire a handgun or obtain a Nonprofessional Permit to Carry Weapons in Iowa. There are certain exemptions for a person who is 18, 19 or 20 years old and in possession of a Professional Permit to Carry Weapons while working in an occupation that requires the carrying of a firearm.