Thursday, April 29th at 9:00 A M Iowa Governor Chet Culver (D) will sign SF - 2379 which will make Iowa the 41st “shall issue” permit to carry state when Chapter 724 is amended. The amendment to the law becomes effective on January 1, 2011.
For many years, Iowa sheriffs decided how or if a permit to carry would be issued and what additional restrictions they would or would not add to the permit. There were literally 99 different sets of rules across the state. Now, there will be one state law that makes the issuance of permits uniform and those with permits all have the same set of laws to follow, no matter which county they may live within or travel. Permits are valid statewide except where firearm possession or carry prohibited by state or federal law.
Iowa has two types of permits, professional and nonprofessional. The average citizen would apply to their sheriff for a nonprofessional permit. Residents of other states may not obtain a nonprofessional Iowa permit (professional permits will be issued by Iowa’s Department of Public Safety for both non-residents and residents).
Applicants for a nonprofessional permit must not be less than 21 years of age or less than 18 years of age for a professional permit.
Iowa will recognize all valid permits issued to a nonresident of Iowa by another state. It is not required the permit be issued by the permit holders state of residence. For example, a Wisconsin resident with a valid Minnesota permit to carry may lawfully carry in Iowa.
The new permit fee for a permit to carry has changed from $10.00 for a one year permit to $50.00 for a five year permit. Renewal fees were $5.00 per year and will be $25 for five years.
Permit holder records remain public although no information about the weapon(s) to be carried such as make, model, serial number or any ammunition used may be recorded. The application will require the persons name, drivers license number (or nonoperator’s ID), residence, place of birth and a statement they meet the criteria specified in sections 724.8 and 724.9. A social security number is not required. A photo ID with personal information and description is required with the application to apply.
Training is required for a new permit and for renewal. This can be accomplished by any of the following: NRA handgun safety training course, handgun safety training offered to the public by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, private or public institution or organization, or a firearms training school, instructors certified by the NRA, Iowa DPS or another states DPS, state police or similar certifying body. Completion of any handgun safety training course offered for security guard, investigators, special deputies or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement or security enforcement agency approved by Iowa department of public safety. Completion of small arms training while serving in the armed forces evidenced by an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
Active duty military or National Guard members need a certificate of completion of basic training with a service record of successful completion of small arms training and qualification.
Renewal training may be to qualify on a firing range under the supervision of an approved instructor. This shooting qualification must be within one year of renewal.
Prohibitions for a permit include but are not limited to: being less than the legal age, alcohol addiction, probable cause exists to believe based upon documented specific actions of the person (applicant), that the person (applicant) is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently or in such other manner as would endanger the persons self or others, most misdemeanor assault convictions committed within the prior three years, except those committed with a firearm or explosive, which are lifetime disqualifiers and Federal possession disqualifiers.
Drinking while armed as defined in Ch. 321J (OWI) is a no no and will automatically invalidate a permit.
Permits may also be suspended or revoked. A permit may be suspended if arrested for a disqualifying offense or is subject to proceedings that could lead to ineligibility for a permit however, if found not guilty the permit will be immediately reinstated. A permit may be revoked if the applicant provided materially false information and was not qualified for the permit. The standard of review will be clear and convincing.
Permit holders may have an annual background check conducted by the issuing officer.
A person may carry either openly or concealed.
“Weapons free zones” means the area in or on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, or in or on the real property comprising a public park. A weapons free zone shall not include that portion of a public park designated as a hunting area under section 461.42. The penalty for a person who commits a public offense involving a firearm or offensive weapon within a weapons free zone is subject to a fine twice the maximum amount which may otherwise be imposed.
There is an exception to the weapons free zone for those who have a permit to carry. A person issued a valid permit to carry may go armed with, carry or transport a firearm on the grounds of a public or nonpublic school as defined in section 280.2.
Aside from weapons free zones, section 724 does not otherwise mention that private property owners, lessees or businesses may post a sign to ban guns on their premises.
For those who are issued a permit to carry, the permit replaces Iowa’s annual permit to acquire.
Iowa does have a state preemption prohibiting a political subdivision of the state from enacting an ordinance regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of Iowa. An ordinance regulating firearms in violation of section 724.28 existing on or after April 5, 1990 is void.