Can You Carry a Firearm in Iowa? You might be suprised.

While recent changes to Iowa’s gun laws have been trumpeted and described at times as Constitutional Carry, this is simply not the case.  A closer look into the newly enacted legislation exposes a number of new traps that could catch the unaware citizen.

Under Iowa’s new gun laws, a person is prohibited from CARRYING (having a weapon on or about the individual’s person or within immediate reach in a vehicle) a dangerous weapon (which include firearms) under the following circumstances:

  1. While possessing a controlled substance.
  2. While committing another serious misdemeanor offense, or a greater offense.
  3. If addicted to the use of alcohol.
  4. If there is probable cause to believe, based upon documented specific actions of the person, where at least one of the actions occurred within two years immediately preceding the date of the permit application, that the person is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner as would endanger the person’s self or others. (Side Note – since the permit requirement has been removed, it is entirely uncertain how this prohibition will be applied by law enforcement and the courts)
  5. If the person is subject to the provisions of 724.26.  These include:
    1. Convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a felony offense.
      1. A felony offense under this section means any offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, but does not include any offense punishable by two years or less that is classified as a misdemeanor by that state law and does not involve a firearm or explosive.  In Iowa, this would include Aggravated Misdemeanor offenses involving firearms or explosives.
    2. Subject to a domestic abuse protective order.
    3. Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  6. Has within the previous three years, been convicted of any serious or aggravated misdemeanor defined in chapter 708 (ASSAULT, HARASSMENT, HAZING, STALKING, ETC.) not involving the use of a firearm or explosive.
  7. Is prohibited by federal law from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm.  Federal prohibitions include individuals who are:
    1. Unlawful USERS of or addicted to any controlled substance (YES, Marijuana is still on the controlled substance list).
    2. Adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to any mental institution (involuntary/voluntary commitments).
    3. Under indictment or convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, which involves a firearm or explosive.
    4. Fugitive from justice.
    5. Illegal alien.
    6. Dishonorably discharged from Armed Forces.
    7. Renounced citizenship.
    8. Subject to a court order for harassment, stalking or threatening an intimate partner.
    9. Convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

As you can see, while the requirement that a person obtain a permit to carry a firearm has been removed, the prohibitions on who may carry firearms are still extremely restrictive.  Contrary to some reports, Constitutional Carry does NOT exist in Iowa.