New Iowa Gun Laws: Notes from The Dubuque Police Department
New Gun laws went into effect July 1, 2021 in Iowa.
The Dubuque Police Department issued a statement reminding people :
A person 21 or older can open carry or conceal a firearm in public places without a permit if the individual is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from carrying or possessing firearms.
Persons prohibited from possessing or carrying firearms include:
- Convicted felons
- Domestic Abuse conviction and/or prohibited due to a No Contact Order
- Drug possessor/user
- Alcohol and/or drug-impaired
A permit is no longer required to purchase handguns in the State of Iowa. A Federal Firearms Licensed dealer may choose to require a permit to complete a sale, but it will not be a state requirement.
A person who is unsure if they are eligible to possess a firearm could contact their attorney or complete the application process for a permit to acquire or a permit to carry through the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office 770 Iowa Street, Dubuque or online at www.dubuquecountyiowa.gov/469/Sheriff. The issuance of either one of these permits would ensure a person can lawfully possess or carry a firearm in the State of Iowa.
Any private business can still prohibit firearms on their property.
Recommendations from the Dubuque Police Department for residents who choose to carry a firearm:
- Concealed carry- is encouraged as it reduces the attention drawn to the firearm.
- Use a holster- a holster allows the gun to be safely carried and protects the trigger.
- Be respectful of people around you- Open carry may draw some attention. If confronted by someone with a different view calmly walk away.
- Take a gun safety course- education on safely handling and firing a gun is in the best interest of everyone.
- Storage- store your gun away from children in a locked compartment.
The State of Iowa offererd the following Q&A:
When the new law goes into effect, will I need a permit to acquire or carry in order to purchase a handgun from a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer?
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.
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 carry a handgun if I’m under 21 years old?
No. A person needs to be at least 21 years old in order to obtain a Nonprofessional Permit to Carry Weapons in Iowa, or to carry without a permit after July 1, 2021. 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, or as otherwise outlined in Iowa code Chapter 724.22.
The Dubuque County Sherriff's Department shared this message regarding Security at The Dubuque County Courthouse:
These changes do not include any changes to security operations at the Dubuque County Courthouse. According to Iowa Code 724.28(4) “A political subdivision of the state may restrict the carrying, possession, or transportation of firearms or other dangerous weapons in the buildings or physical structures located on property under the political subdivision’s control if adequate arrangements are made by the political subdivision to screen persons for firearms or other dangerous weapons and the political subdivision provides armed security personnel inside the building or physical structure where the restriction is to be in effect.”
The Dubuque County Courthouse Security Officers are armed, and have an effective screening process. Therefore, for those wishing to enter the Dubuque County Courthouse, all weapons must be left at home or securely locked inside a vehicle.