- Weapons Permits
- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: Can my permit be restricted?
ANSWER: No. Permits are valid statewide and cannot be further restricted by the issuing officer. All carry permits and permits to acquire pistols or revolvers are invalid when the permit holder is intoxicated. This is defined as any one of the following: 1) while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances, 2) while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or 3) while any amount of a controlled substance is present in the person, as measured in the person's blood or urine.
QUESTION: How long is my permit valid?
ANSWER: Nonprofessional permits to carry will be valid for five years from the date of issue (unless revoked). Professional permits to carry will remain valid for one year from the date of issuance (unless revoked).
QUESTION: Do I have to carry my handgun concealed?
ANSWER: You may carry concealed or you may carry openly; however, most permit holders carry concealed to avoid making it obvious that the person is armed, thus avoiding unnecessary attention, concern, or alarm.
QUESTION: Can I carry other weapons besides my handgun?
ANSWER: 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.
QUESTION: Does my Iowa permit to carry allow me to have a loaded firearm anywhere in my vehicle?
QUESTION: If I am stopped by a law enforcement officer in Iowa, am I required to declare that I am carrying a loaded firearm?
ANSWER: No, but it is a really good idea. Iowa law does not require such a declaration; however, as a safety measure for both the permit holder and the officer, making such a declaration voluntarily is recommended and encouraged.
QUESTION: Will my Iowa driver’s license be flagged to indicate that I have an Iowa permit to carry?
ANSWER: No. Iowa law does not provide for this.
QUESTION: Is fingerprint submission a required element of the application process?
ANSWER: Fingerprint submission is neither required, nor prohibited. An issuing officer who does not generally require fingerprints might wish to do so to clear up matters of identity. Fingerprints might also help to accelerate the process of an appeal to the FBI of a denial based on a NICS check.
QUESTION: I live in another state. Can I get an Iowa nonprofessional permit to carry weapons?
ANSWER: No. Iowa nonprofessional permits to carry weapons will only be issued to qualified Iowa residents. Nonresidents will still be able to apply for professional permits to carry weapons if needed for employment related reasons.
QUESTION: I live in another state. Will Iowa honor my concealed weapon permit issued in another state?
ANSWER: Iowa will honor any valid carry permit issued by any other state and will grant all privileges to such permit holders as those granted to Iowa residents including the concealed or open carrying of a firearm (excluding those classified by Iowa law as offensive weapons (federal NFA or Class 3)) and 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. 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. You do not have to be a resident of the state from which your permit was issued. However, an Iowa resident may only carry with an Iowa issued permit.
QUESTION: My state requires a reciprocity agreement before it can recognize an out-of-state permit. Will Iowa enter into such a reciprocity agreement?
ANSWER: No. Iowa law does not provide for entering into reciprocity agreements with states that require them. Iowa will honor any valid permit issued in any other state.
QUESTION: Will Iowa publish a list of states whose permits will be honored, and will Iowa publish a list of states that will honor the Iowa permit?
ANSWER: No. Iowa will honor any valid permit issued by any other state. Iowa permit holders will need to check with other states to determine if their Iowa permit will be honored in that state.
QUESTION: What are the training requirements for a new Iowa professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons?
- Completion of any National Rifle Association (NRA) handgun safety training course.
- Completion of any handgun safety training course available to the general public offered by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, private or public institution or organization, or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or certain other firearms training certifying bodies (such as the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy).
- Completion of any handgun safety training course offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement or security enforcement agency approved by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
- Completion of small arms training while serving with the armed forces of the United States as evidenced by any of the following:
- For personnel released or retired from active duty, possession of an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
- For personnel on active duty or serving in one of the national guard or reserve components of the armed forces of the United States, possession of a certificate of completion of basic training with a service record of successful completion of small arms training and qualification.
- Completion of a law enforcement agency firearms training course that qualifies a peace officer to carry a firearm in the normal course of the peace officer's duties.
QUESTION: Is range qualification a part of the mandatory training requirements for a new Iowa professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons?
ANSWER: No. Range qualification may be part of a training program identified above; however, range qualification is not a mandatory element of training for initial issuance of a permit.
QUESTION: What documentation of training is acceptable for the application for a new Iowa professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons?
ANSWER: The following documentation will be acceptable:
- A photocopy of a certificate of completion or any similar document indicating completion of any course or class identified above within the past two years.
- An affidavit from the instructor, school, organization, or group that conducted or taught a course or class identified above attesting to the completion of the course or class by the applicant.
- A photocopy of DD Form 214 or other documentation showing honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions from military service.
QUESTION: Can there be additional training requirements imposed by the Iowa Department of Public Safety or a Sheriff’s Office for a new or renewal Iowa professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons?
ANSWER: An issuing officer cannot impose additional training requirements in excess of those identified in SF 2379.
QUESTION: Will I have to identify the firearms and/or other dangerous weapons that I will be carrying under the authority of my Iowa permit to carry?
ANSWER: No. The identification of specific weapons or ammunition to be carried under the authority of the permit is not allowed.
QUESTION: What are the training requirements for the renewal of an Iowa professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons?
ANSWER: For renewal of a permit, the training program requirements for a new Iowa professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons shall apply or the renewal applicant may choose to qualify on a firing range under the supervision of an instructor certified by the National Rifle Association or certain other firearms training certifying bodies (such as the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy). Such training or qualification must occur within the twelve-month period prior to the expiration of the applicant's current professional permit or within the twenty-four months period for a non-professional permit.
QUESTION: If my most recent Iowa permit to carry expired two months ago, will my permit application be considered an application for a new permit or for a renewal?
ANSWER: There is a requirement that an application for the renewal of a current permit must be received by the issuing officer at least thirty days prior to the expiration date of the current permit to be eligible for the statutory $25.00 renewal fee. Otherwise, the statutory permit issuance fee will be $50.00. The same application and background check requirements will apply to both new and renewal applications.
QUESTION: I am an Iowa resident and work as a private security officer and currently have an Iowa professional permit to carry weapons so that I can carry while working. Will I still have to obtain an annual Iowa professional permit to carry or can I use my Iowa non-professional permit to carry weapons to carry while working?
ANSWER: The Iowa law allows the use of a nonprofessional permit to carry weapons while working at a job in Iowa that requires the carrying of weapons. However, the employer may require an Iowa professional permit to carry as a condition of employment.
QUESTION: I am not an Iowa resident. I work as a private security officer in Iowa and currently have an Iowa professional permit to carry weapons so that I can carry while working. Will I still have to obtain an annual Iowa professional permit to carry or can I use a carry permit issued by another state to carry while working?
ANSWER: The Iowa law provides for the use of a nonresident professional permit to carry weapons while working at a job in Iowa that requires the carrying of weapons. Iowa recognizes a valid carry permit issued by another state, so a valid carry permit issued by another state could be used by a nonresident who works as a private security officer in Iowa. However, the employer may require an Iowa professional permit to carry as a condition of employment.
QUESTION: Can the owner of private property (to include businesses/employers) regulate the carrying of weapons on their private property?
ANSWER: The topic of firearms restrictions on private property and in the workplace is not addressed in Iowa firearms law.
QUESTION: Where do I apply for a weapons permit?
ANSWER: Applications are available online. You can use your personal electronic devices to apply or visit the lobby kiosk at 770 Iowa St, Dubuque Iowa.
QUESTION: Will Iowa be issuing a wallet sized card or plastic card?
ANSWER: All permits are now plastic cards. They are printed and distributed by a third party printing service hired by the State of Iowa to insure the uniformity and easy recognition of an Iowa permit by law enforcement.
QUESTION: Do any of the requirements of SF 2379 impact or otherwise change the provisions of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA) regarding the carrying of concealed firearms by qualified law enforcement officers, qualified reserve law enforcement officers or qualified retired law enforcement officers?
ANSWER: No. SF 2379 does not address any element of LEOSA; the current requirements and procedures remain the same (e.g., firearms only, must be concealed, ID not valid as permit to acquire, etc.).