Iowa State Seal

Iowa

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my Iowa permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
371k
Permits Issued
50
STATES HONORED
33
RECIPROCATING STATES
3.2M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
6
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
11.59%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
5
YEARS PERMIT VALID
42
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

Summary of Iowa Gun Laws

Iowa is a shall-issue state. There are two types of permits available. Residents must be 21 years old and can apply for a non-professional permit at the sheriff’s office in their county of residence. Non-residents 18 years or older can apply for a professional permit at the Department of Public Safety. They must also demonstrate a need for a permit, such as owning a business or property in Iowa, or frequent travel to Iowa.

Either an annual purchase permit or a valid permit to acquire weapons is required to acquire a handgun in Iowa. There are exceptions for Federal Firearms Dealers, transfers between some relatives and antique handguns. There is no waiting period or firearms registration in the state.

Iowa issues a Permit to Carry Weapons (PCW) that is necessary in order to openly carry or concealed carry a firearm, within city limits. No permit is required to open carry outside city limits. The minimum age is 21 years old. Non-residents must have a valid concealed carry license from their home state in order to carry openly or concealed. Concealed carry permits require a firearms training course that has been state-approved. There are exemptions for non-residents who are in the military, have an Iowa driver’s license or are registered to vote in Iowa. In terms of reciprocityIowa recognizes permits from all states and jurisdictions. 

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, and the law applies at a person’s residence, vehicle or place of business. There is civil immunity when using “reasonable force” in defense of self, property or another.

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Iowa Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Iowa allow constitutional carry?

No. Iowa does not allow constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Iowa?

Yes without a permit outside city limits. However, a valid permit to carry is required within the limits of any city. Open carry of handguns is prohibited in the state capitol building and grounds, except by law enforcement.

[Iowa Code § 724.4]

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Iowa requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Iowa is a shall issue state.

[Iowa Code § 724.7]

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Iowa to get a concealed carry permit?

You must be at least 18 years old to get a concealed carry permit in Iowa.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Iowa with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

An Iowa carry permit still allows for the concealed or open carrying of handguns, rifles and shotguns, excluding those classified by Iowa law as offensive weapons (federal NFA or Class 3). An Iowa carry permit also allows the concealed carrying of other non-firearm dangerous weapons such as knives with blades in excess of five inches, switchblade knives, TASERs/stun guns or any other dangerous weapon.

Note: Non-firearm dangerous weapons may be carried openly without a permit. Non-firearm dangerous weapons may also be regulated by local ordinance that is more stringent than Iowa law.

[Iowa Dept of Public Safety FAQs]

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Iowa?

Yes. A concealed carry permit is required to purchase or possess a stun gun or Taser.

[Iowa Code § 702.7]

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Iowa?

Yes. There is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of pepper spray in Iowa.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Iowa issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes, on a limited basis. Non-resident permits are typically limited to people applying for professional permits (for work) or non-professional permits for students and military members who are transferred to Iowa. The application is the same as for residents, but it must be made to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

[Iowa Code § 724.11]

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Iowa allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No. However, the information is available for law enforcement.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Iowa?

Yes, with a valid permit to carry [Iowa Code § 724.4]. Without a permit, handguns must be unloaded and inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package that is too large to be concealed on the person. They may also be inside a cargo or luggage compartment where the pistol or revolver will not be readily accessible to any person riding in the vehicle or common carrier. When a motor home is parked and being used as a residence, no permit is required.

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Iowa?

Yes. Carry is permitted at roadside rest areas in Iowa.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Iowa?

Yes. A person with a valid permit may carry his or her firearm, but the use of that firearm is prohibited.

[Iowa Code § 461A.42]

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Iowa?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit, unless posted.

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Iowa have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in Iowa state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Iowa?

No. You are not required to notify an officer that you are carrying a concealed firearm in Iowa.

[Iowa Code § 724.5]

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Iowa have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. There are no magazine capacity restrictions for handguns in Iowa.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Iowa have ammunition restrictions?

No. Iowa does not have ammunition restrictions.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Iowa? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No. Iowa does not enforce "No Weapons Allowed" signs.

Preemption?

Does Iowa have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. There is full state preemption of all gun laws. In addition, Iowa Code § 724.28(3) authorizes any “person adversely affected” by the regulation to file suit in court for “declaratory and injunctive relief for damages.” However, the Iowa Attorney General has opined that section 724.28 does not restrain local governments from exercising home rule power to restrict the possession of firearms, even for concealed weapon permit holders, in buildings owned or directly controlled by the local government.

[Op. Att’y Gen. No. 03-4-1 (2003), 2003 Iowa AG LEXIS 6]
[Iowa Code § 724.28]

Red Flag Law?

Does Iowa have a red flag law?

No. Iowa does not have a red flag law.

Carry While Using Alcohol or Prescription Medication?

Does Iowa have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Yes, but not while under the influence or intoxicated.

[Iowa Code §§ 724.4C and 321J.2]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Iowa?

Yes. A permit to acquire or a valid permit to carry weapons is required.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Iowa?

Yes. A person acquiring a handgun must have a permit to acquire pistols or revolvers or a current permit to carry, both of which involve an initial background check.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Iowa?

Only in the sense that a permit to acquire a handgun becomes valid 3 days after the date of application. After the permit is issued, the holder may purchase additional handguns without a waiting period for 5 years (the duration of the permit).

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Iowa?

No. Handguns do not need to be registered in Iowa.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Iowa?

21 years old.

5. a. A parent or guardian or spouse who is 21 years of age or older, of a person under the age of 21 may allow the person, while under direct supervision, to possess a pistol or revolver or the ammunition therefor for any lawful purpose, or while the person receives instruction in the proper use thereof from an instructor 21 years of age or older, with the consent of such parent, guardian or spouse.

8. A parent, guardian or spouse who is 21 years of age or older, of a minor under the age of 14 years who allows that minor to possess a pistol or revolver or the ammunition pursuant hereto, shall be strictly liable to an injured party for all damages resulting from the possession of the pistol or revolver or ammunition therefor by that minor.

[Title XVI Subtitle I § 724.22]

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Iowa?

Yes. A person in possession of a valid permit to carry weapons may carry a handgun while hunting. However, only handguns as described in Iowa Admin. Code 571.106.7(3) may be used to hunt deer and only when a handgun is a lawful method of take, except where the possession or carrying of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in Iowa?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit , although the handgun may not be used to shoot or dispatch any deer. Hunters who do not have a permit to carry may not have a handgun in their possession while hunting under an archery tag.

Hunter Harassment Law?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Iowa?

Yes. Intentional interference with lawful hunting, fishing, or fur-harvesting activities is illegal and includes one or more of the following:

  • Intentionally placing oneself in a location where a human presence may affect the behavior of a fur-bearing animal, game, bird, or fish or the feasibility of killing or taking a fur-bearing animal, game, bird, or fish with the intent of obstructing or harassing another person who is lawfully hunting, fishing, or fur harvesting.
  • Intentionally creating a visual, aural, olfactory, or physical stimulus for the purpose of affecting the behavior of a fur-bearing animal, game, bird, or fish with the intent of obstructing or harassing another person who is lawfully hunting, fishing, or fur harvesting.
  • Intentionally affecting the condition or altering the placement of personal property used for the purpose of killing or taking a fur-bearing animal, game, bird, or fish with the intent of obstructing or harassing another person who is lawfully hunting, fishing, or fur harvesting.

A person shall not interfere with the lawful hunting, fishing, or fur-harvesting activities of another person in an area where hunting, fishing, or fur harvesting is authorized by a custodian of public property or an owner or lessee of private property.

[IA Code 481A.125]

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State Constitutional Provision
All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights - among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. -Article 1, Section 1 Note: A constitutional amendment was passed by the House and Senate in March 2019. The text of the proposed amendment reads: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny." It would need to be passed by the Legislature again and approved by voters before it could take effect. The earliest it can be placed on the ballot is 2022."
IOWA HAS NO STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.

Iowa Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Iowa honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Delaware (at least 21 years old)
Indiana (at least 21 years old)
Maine (at least 21 years old)
Missouri (at least 21 years old)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (at least 21 years old)
South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (at least 21 years old)

Iowa recognizes permits from all states and jurisdictions.

Territories: Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


Other States' Reciprocity With Iowa

Which states honor permits from Iowa?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Iowa

Colorado (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Nebraska (Non-professional permits only)
Pennsylvania (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Iowa Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age for a professional permit;
  • Be at least 21 years of age for a non-professional permit;
  • Complete a firearms training course;
  • Not be addicted to the use of alcohol;
  • Have no pending charges;
  • Have no felony convictions;
  • Have no outstanding arrest warrants;
  • Not be subject to the firearm possession, receipt, transportation or control prohibitions;
  • Not have been convicted within the previous 3 years in any court of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor not involving a firearm or explosives for which the court could have imprisoned him or her for more than 1 year, even if he or she received a shorter sentence, including probation;
  • Not bear probable cause to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner as would endanger the person’s self or others based on prior actions in the last 2 years; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit  $50

Renewals $25

Duplicates $25

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

30 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Non-resident permits are typically limited to people applying for professional permits (for work) or non-professional permits for students and military members who are transferred to Iowa. The application is the same as for residents, but it must be made to the Commissioner of Public Safety. [Iowa Code § 724.11]

Name/Address Changes:

Iowa DPS recommends that a person notify the Sheriff’s Office that issued a permit when a person has a change of address. However, if a person moved from one county to another, he or she must start over to get a permit showing the new address, as the Sheriff of the new county of residence cannot issue a duplicate or renew a permit that the Sheriff did not issue. There will be a procedure to allow a person to transfer his or her permit from one county to another after a move. This transfer process is currently being developed and should be available once the new permit cards are available.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Apply to the Sheriff in the county of your residence for a duplicate, replacement or renewal.


Iowa Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for an Iowa Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a firearms training course if required.

Step 2:

Download the application or pick up from your Sheriff's office.

Step 3:

Apply in person at your local county sheriff’s office. You will need the following documents:

  • Photocopy of firearms training certificate;
  • Drivers license; and
  • Completed application form.

Pay the fee.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in Iowa

An applicant shall demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety by completing any of the following in a live or web-based format:

  • Any National Rifle Association handgun safety training course;
  • Any handgun safety training course available to the general public offered by certified instructors;
  • Any handgun safety training course offered for security personnel approved by the Department of Public Safety;
  • Small-arms training while serving with the Armed Forces of the United States;
  • Law enforcement agency firearms training course; or
  • Hunter education program approved by the Iowa Natural Resource Commission, if the program includes handgun safety training.

For holders of permits issued on or after 1/1/2011, additional training is not required to renew or obtain a new permit to carry weapons.

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Find a Shooting Range in Iowa


Iowa Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew an Iowa Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

A person wishing to renew a Permit to Carry Weapons must apply within 30 days before the permit expires, or within 30 days after the permit expires, otherwise the higher NEW permit fee must be charged.

Step 2:

Download the application or pick up from your Sheriff's office.

Step 3:

Apply in person at your local county Sheriff’s office. You will need the following documents:

  • Drivers license; and
  • Completed application form.

Pay the fee.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details, check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Iowa Admin. Code 661.93 addresses identification cards for former peace officers. Any police firearms instructor approved by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) can qualify retired law enforcement officers. The ILEA in-service standard is used for annual firearms qualification and ILEA conducts open range dates for retired LEOSA qualification. Officers receive a card indicating current qualification.


Iowa Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Iowa?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No. Any firearm would need to be unloaded and inside a closed and fastened container that is too large to be concealed on the person or inside a cargo or luggage compartment where the handgun will not be readily accessible to any person riding in the vehicle.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Iowa?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license


FAQ: Iowa Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in Iowa?

Based on the current wording of the statute, state preemption only applies to firearms. Therefore, local ordinances may restrict the possession of knives, swords or other types of weapons that are not firearms.


Iowa Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-10-14

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-09-06

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-25

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-04-29

Added info on the Iowa Constitutional Amendment

2019-04-29

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-18

Links checked

2019-03-28

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-03-18

Links checked

2019-02-20

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church info to location restrictions section

2019-01-25

Links checked

2019-01-24

Based on info from a USCCA Training Counselor, updated the campus carry info in location restrictions (thanks Dave!)

2019-01-24

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

2019-01-14

Updated location restrictions

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

2018-12-12

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

2018-11-30

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

2018-11-08

Added links in links section

2018-10-22

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Iowa

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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.

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