Iowa Open Carry

Iowa Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

If you’re a resident of Iowa or planning to visit the state, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of Iowa’s gun laws. Iowa has a unique approach to firearm possession and carry, with regulations that encourage responsible ownership and carry while also emphasizing safety and compliance.

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of Iowa’s gun laws, focusing on open and concealed carry, permits, restrictions, and other crucial aspects that every gun owner should be aware of.


Iowa’s gun laws strike a balance between upholding the Second Amendment rights of its citizens and ensuring public safety. These laws make it relatively accessible for residents and non-residents to carry firearms, both openly and concealed, but there are important regulations to follow to avoid legal complications.

Iowa’s Firearm Permit Types

Iowa issues two main types of firearm permits: professional and non-professional. The professional permit is designed for individuals at least eighteen years old who need a permit for employment purposes. On the other hand, the non-professional permit is available to those who are at least twenty-one years old.

The Shall-Issue Policy and Application Process

Iowa follows a shall-issue policy for firearm permits. This means that as long as you meet the necessary criteria and pass the required checks, your application for a permit to carry will be approved. The application process is overseen by the county sheriff or the commissioner for public safety in the state.

Purchase Permit and Background Checks

Before purchasing a firearm in Iowa, you must obtain a purchase permit. Firearm dealers are required to complete a criminal record background check for buyers. However, individuals with a valid permit to carry are exempt from this background check when buying firearms.

See also  California Open Carry

Valid Permits for Residents and Non-Residents

Iowa permits are valid for both residents and non-residents of the state. Non-residents can apply for a permit, but the application is processed by the commissioner for public safety. Additionally, non-residents can also conceal and open carry in Iowa if they have permits from other states.

Possessing Firearms: Meeting State Requirements

To obtain a firearm permit in Iowa, you must fulfill all state requirements. The review board will only accept your permit application if you meet these criteria. It’s crucial to ensure that you are well-versed in these requirements to avoid any complications during the application process.

Open Carry in Iowa: A Closer Look

Iowa is considered a permissive open carry state, allowing individuals to open carry as long as they possess a valid permit to carry. However, recent changes in the law have introduced exceptions for certain individuals who are not prohibited by specific state or federal laws from owning a firearm.

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

While Iowa encourages open carry, there are certain restrictions on the types of firearms and ammunition that can be carried. Assault weapons, such as machine guns, are prohibited. Additionally, ammunition designed to explode upon projection is also not allowed. Exceptions to these restrictions apply to specific groups, including members of the United States Armed Forces and law enforcement officers.

A Quick Overview of Iowa’s Gun Laws

Here’s a quick summary of some key aspects of Iowa’s gun laws:

  • State permit for open carry: Yes
  • Firearm registrations for open carry: No
  • Assault weapon for open carry: Yes, with restrictions
  • Magazine limit: No restrictions
  • License for the owner of a firearm: Not required
  • Red flag law: No
  • Castle doctrine law: Yes, with stand your ground policy
  • Background check for private dealers: Yes, except for family transfers
  • Concealed carry permit: Yes, with exceptions
  • Concealed carry in personal vehicle: Yes, for handguns with a permit
  • Open carry in schools: No
  • Open carry in schools and restricted areas: Prohibited
See also  Arizona Open Carry


Iowa’s gun laws provide a framework that encourages responsible firearm ownership and carry while prioritizing public safety. If you plan to open carry in Iowa, make sure you have the appropriate permit and are aware of the places where open carry is prohibited. Complying with the state’s laws and regulations is essential for the safety and security of both yourself and others.


Q1. Do I Need A Permit Before I Open Carry In Iowa?

Yes. Open carry in Iowa is not possible without the state’s permit to carry weapons.

Q2. Do I Need The Same Permit To Open And Conceal Carry In Iowa?

Yes. Iowa issues the same permit to carry weapons for both open and concealed carry in the state.

Q3. At What Age Can I Open Carry In Iowa?

Open carry in Iowa is legal for people who are eighteen years old or older.

Q4. What Is The Age Requirement To Apply For Iowa Permit To Carry?

For a professional permit, you must be at least eighteen years old. For a non-professional permit, you must be at least twenty-one years old.

Q5. Does Iowa Have A Red Flag Law?

No. Iowa does not have a red flag policy in the state.

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