Gun laws in Iowa

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Gun laws in Iowa regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Iowa in the United States.

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 724.28 A political subdivision of the state shall not enact 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 this state
State Permit to Purchase? No Yes 724.15 Permit To Carry may be used in lieu of Permit to Acquire when purchasing a handgun
Concealed carry permits issued? No Shall-Issue 724.4 Accepts permits from all states, Iowa residents must have Iowa permit
Open Carry? Yes Yes 724.7 Iowa issues a "Permit to Carry Weapons" that is necessary to carry a firearm. Iowa law does not generally require that firearms be concealed.
Castle Doctrine No (see Notes) 704


Civil immunity for use of "reasonable force" in self defense
Firearm registration? No No
"Assault weapon" law? No No
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
NFA weapons restricted? Yes 724.1 Nearly complete prohibition
Location of Iowa in the United States

On January 1, 2011, Iowa became a "shall issue" state for a permit to carry weapons on one's person.[1] Applicants must successfully complete an approved training course.

Iowa will honor any valid permit issued by any other state. Persons do not have to be a resident of the state from which the permit was issued. However, an Iowa resident must have an Iowa Permit To Carry in order to lawfully carry a firearm on his or her person in Iowa.

A Permit To Acquire (PTA), obtained from the sheriff of the county of the applicant’s residence, is required when purchasing or otherwise acquiring a handgun, either from a dealer or from a private party. A Permit To Acquire shall be issued to qualified applicants aged 21 or older. The PTA becomes valid three days after the date of application, and is valid for one year. A PTA is not required when purchasing an antique handgun, defined as one made in or before 1898 and including post-1898 replicas of matchlock, flintlock, or percussion cap pistols. The PTA becomes valid 3 days after the application is submitted, to allow time for a criminal records check of the applicant, and is valid for 1 year.

Iowa residents with a Permit To Carry (PTC) can use the PTC in lieu of a PTA when acquiring a handgun. The PTC is valid for 5 years.

Iowa has enacted state preemption of firearms laws, so local units of government may not restrict the ownership, possession, or transfer of firearms, or require their registration.[2]

Under Iowa law, private citizens may not possess automatic firearms, short-barreled rifles (barrels under 16 inches), short-barreled shotguns (barrels under 18 inches), any firearm "other than a shotgun or muzzle loading rifle, cannon, pistol, revolver or musket" with a bore of more than 6/10 of an inch (unless it is an antique made in or before 1898), or any explosive, incindiary or poison gas destructive device. Sound suppressors ("silencers") may not be possessed unless the possessor is engaged in "an approved city special deer population control plan" and the suppressor is Federally registered.


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