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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How Do Iowa Gun Laws Work?

As you may know, having guns is a constitutional right. That means citizens of the U.S have the right to own a firearm. However, each state has different restrictions regarding getting and carrying guns. Those limitations aim to make the country a safer place for everyone. Some states have many limitations, while others allow you to carry guns wherever you want.

Iowa laws give many liberties to gun owners. That's because the state allows you to legally carry guns without having a valid permit to do it. You can also purchase them without having any kind of permit or legal document either. However, you need to go through a criminal background check before buying a firearm.

Those tests are done instantly, so passing them doesn't take a lot of time from you. Yet, you can still get an Iowa permit if you want to. That's because the gun carry - Iowa permit is valid in states with permit reciprocity. You can't acquire pistols if background checks show you have a serious or aggravated misdemeanor.

Understanding everything there is to know about gun laws is no easy task. We are here to help you learn more things about it! Here at Tom Fowler Law, our team of legal experts can address all your concerns.

We can also help you in case you need legal advice about this or other legal matters. You can call us any time you need it, so don't hesitate to do it. Remember that a qualified lawyer, like this injury lawyer in Iowa, can help if you want to file a lawsuit against someone or defend yourself against one.

Are Guns Prohibited by State or Federal Law?

Are Guns Prohibited by State or Federal Law?

Guns are completely legal in the U.S. You need to follow the state regulations regarding them and have professional permits to use them, though. Some states require you to have a professional permit to carry guns. Other states, such as Iowa, allow their citizens to carry firearms without a permit.

It's essential to know the regulations the law imposes on gun owners. Law enforcement officers can stop you if they notice you are carrying a dangerous weapon in a place where firearms are forbidden. You can't carry guns in restricted zones unless you have the express written approval of a judge.

The law can also limit the guns you can have. For example, some states allow you to have long firearms but limit the use of short weapons such as handguns or a machine gun.

Exceptions are made for people engaged in lawful hunting or who have the written permission of a judge. The Iowa Code states that it's legal to carry weapons, such as a knife and a gun, without a permit in a public place. That means you don't need a permit to acquire firearms in Iowa. The reason for that is a new law that allows people to purchase handguns without them.

When going to a federally licensed dealer, you only need to pass a background check to make sure it's not dangerous to give you that weapon. Other states may restrict firearms with different limitations, so make sure to study that before traveling to another state.

Do I Need a Carry Permit to Carry Weapons?

As you could read on this page, you can purchase firearms without having a state-issued permit. The same happens if you want to carry that gun in a public place. You can do it as far as you don't harm public safety.

These rules only apply to Iowa. Regardless of that, there are a dozen states with similar regulations. The only public place where the open carry of guns is not allowed is in state universities. Exceptions can be made if you are specifically authorized to have a gun for firearm training on the campus.

That doesn't apply to underaged private citizens, though. Someone who gives a gun to a person under the age of 14 is strictly liable and can be detained by a police officer. Firearms training doesn't represent an exception to that rule.

Iowa prohibits the possession of bullets and projectiles that can explode or detonate upon impact. That applies to all weapons even if you have an Iowa Non-Professional Permit. The Iowa Administrative Code also makes it illegal to possess firearms on school grounds or school vehicles. Local ordinances don't allow you to carry handguns at airports, either.

If you are not in or on your own property, you need a nonprofessional permit to carry firearms. A person adversely affected by you can sue you for declaratory and injunctive relief for damages if you had a gun in a property they owned. Non-resident permits work differently than other permits, though.

Employees can't carry guns in their workplace without a permit to carry weapons. That applies, too, to security department members. The number of permits issued in Iowa decreased since the new law was enacted. Yet, getting a non-professional permit to acquire and carry handguns can help you in many ways.

A permit holder enjoys benefits that someone without a permit doesn't have. For example, Iowa permits people with the permit to acquire firearms to make a legal transfer of their firearms. That also applies to lawful transportation of guns. You can get a state permit by sending a request to the local sheriff's office.

The requirements for a concealed carry permit are not that difficult to meet. Apart from that, getting it allows you to carry weapons in states that have permit reciprocity. A law enforcement officer can stop people who carry guns in federal buildings, though.

Professional permit applications go through the sheriff's office. All requests for non-professional permits go there, too. When a person receives instruction in the correct use of firearms, it's easier for them to get a permit to carry guns. However, people who lawfully possess a gun don't need to go through any kind of firearms training.

Some organizations and groups argue that there are still far too many limitations to firearms owners. An example of those groups is the National Rifle Association and the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Others say that the permitless carry of weapons is dangerous to society, so they ask lawmakers to add more limitations to it by passing a new law that restricts firearms.

In What Situations Can I Use my Guns According to the Iowa Law?

In What Situations Can I Use my Guns According to the Iowa Law?

The Iowa Code acknowledges the Castle Doctrine and Stand your Ground laws. However, before getting to know when you can use firearms, you need to understand those terms first. The Federal Law states that citizens have the right to claim self-defense if they use reasonable force to defend themselves.

That's when the Castle Doctrine takes action. This source of law allows someone who is lawfully present in or on a property they own to use force if they honestly believe they are in danger. That includes the use of deadly force if needed.

Stand your Ground laws give you civil immunity in case you hurt another person. The state law establishes the circumstances in which you can claim self-defense. On a basic basis, you can do it if you have a reasonable belief that your life may be in danger. That belief doesn't have to be true.

You only need to prove that you were lead to believe you were in danger. If that belief is based on reasonable and logical grounds, it's legal to use force. A state-issued permit is not needed to use a gun to defend yourself.

There's not an amendment regulating the firearms you can use in those situations. However, background checks show if you were involved in a Stand Your Ground case. That doesn't keep the state from giving you a permit to acquire guns, but it's something to consider before giving you that permit.

Bottom Line

Learning the situations when you can carry and use guns is essential to avoid problems with the law. Fortunately, since the Iowa Code allows you to permitless carry firearms, you don't need to worry about holding a gun in a public place. However, keep in mind that there are some places in which you can't carry guns.

The only thing the state law requires you to do to own a firearm is to pass a background check. You shouldn't have any problem with that unless you have a felony or severe misdemeanor on your record.

Even if you don't need it, having an Iowa Resident Permit that allows the concealed carry of firearms is helpful in case you want to travel to another state. Yet, you can rely on the permitless carry of guns if you plan to stay in Iowa for the time being.

The Iowa Code establishes some other regulations regarding the use of firearms for hunting and related activities, so you should check it out in case you have questions about it. Regardless of that, you can contact us if you want a legal expert to address your concerns.

We are Tom Fowler Law, and we are here to help you with any legal problem you have. Our lawyers can also advise you if you have any questions about the concealed carry of firearms and the permit to carry them in public places. Call us if you ever need us!

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