As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on gun laws. Iowa gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Iowa gun laws. (Not from Iowa? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state!)

Is It Legal to Open Carry in Iowa?

Yes, both open carry and concealed carry  are legal without a permit as of July 1, 2021.  However, open carry of handguns is prohibited in the state capitol building and grounds, except by law enforcement.

Can You Carry a Gun in Your Car in Iowa?

Yes, without a permit for anyone at least 21 years old that may lawfully possess a handgun. When a motor home is parked and being used as a residence, no permit is required.

Is Iowa a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State?

Yes. Iowa is a Castle Doctrine state as well as a “stand your ground” state. There is no duty to retreat so long as a person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to defend oneself or another from any actual or imminent use of unlawful force. The law applies any place where the person lawfully has the right to be. There is civil immunity when using “reasonable force” in defense of self, property or another.

What Are the Concealed Carry Laws in Iowa?

Iowa is a shall-issue state. There are two types of permits available. A resident must be 21 years old and can apply for a non-professional permit at the Sheriff’s office in his or her county of residence. A non-resident 18 years or older can apply for a professional permit at the Department of Public Safety. He or she must also demonstrate a need for a permit, such as owning a business or property in Iowa or frequent travel to Iowa. Concealed carry permits require a firearms training course that has been state-approved. In terms of reciprocity, Iowa recognizes permits from all states and jurisdictions.

How Much Is a Gun Permit in Iowa? How Long Does It Take to Get a Permit in Iowa?

Currently the cost for a new permit is $50, and that permit is valid for 5 years. Renewals cost $25. Iowa issues permits to residents and non-residents. Applicants must complete a firearms training course that has been state-approved. Processing time is 30 days.

Do I Need a Permit to Purchase a Handgun in Iowa?

No. As of July 1, 2021, purchase permits are not required in order to acquire a pistol or revolver from a federally licensed firearms dealer. There are now several options, including obtaining a purchase permit, having a valid permit to carry weapons or completing a satisfactory national instant criminal background check.There is no waiting period or firearms registration in the state. No permit or background check is required for private transfers.

Are Silencers Legal in Iowa?

Yes. Firearm suppressors were legalized in Iowa in 2016. However, prior to acquisition, suppressors must be registered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). A $200 transfer fee or tax stamp must be paid to the ATF, and the Federal Firearms Dealer you use for the process may also charge a fee. The registration process takes approximately 6-10 months.

Ready to Learn More About Iowa Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Iowa’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Iowa gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.