Iowa Shall Issue

According to information released by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Iowa will officially become a “Shall Issue” state as of January 1, 2011.

What this means is that County Sheriffs will no longer be allowed to arbitrarily deny any Iowa resident the individual right to legally carry a concealed firearm for personal protection, nor will the burden of proving “need” remain.  If you are a peaceable, law-abiding Iowa resident, chances are that you will qualify.

For those concerned about Iowa turning into the “Wild West,” there is no need to worry.  According to the NRA-ILAThere are 40 Right-to-Carry states: 37 have “shall issue” laws, requiring that carry permits be issued to applicants who meet uniform standards established by the state legislature. Two have fairly-administered discretionary-issue carry permit systems. Vermont respects the right to carry without a permit. Alaska and Arizona have “shall issue” permit systems for permit reciprocity with other states, and have allowed concealed carrying without a permit since 2003 and July 2010, respectively.

The majority of U.S. states allow residents to carry concealed, and yet the streets do not run with blood.  Rest assured that permit applicants will still need to go through background checks, and will be denied the right to carry/conceal for valid reasons such as felony convictions, a history of domestic abuse, alcoholism, etc.  Additionally, “all carry permits and permits to acquire pistols or revolvers are invalid when the permit holder is intoxicated.”  If you’re going to drink, don’t carry.

Under the new law, the State of Iowa will also not be flagging driver’s licenses with CCW-related information.  It is not required for you to inform any Police Officer that you are carrying a weapon… but it sure is a damned good idea.  Iowans: If you are pulled over while carrying, place your CCW on TOP of your driver’s license, hold both out the window with both hands, and don’t make any sudden moves.  Hopefully, Iowa LEOs will quickly learn what Arizona LEOs know: the guy with the CCW is a law-abiding citizen and an asset, not an enemy.

The following section was of particular interest to me, a resident of Arizona with heritage ties to Iowa (emphasis mine):

  • Q: I live in another state. Will Iowa honor my concealed weapon permit issued in another state?
  • A: 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.
  • Q: My state requires a reciprocity agreement before it can recognize an out-of-state permit. Will Iowa enter into such a reciprocity agreement?
  • A: 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.
  • Q: 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?
  • Q: 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.

They said it three (3) times:  Iowa will honor any valid carry permit, regardless of which state issued it.

A note to those carrying under Arizona’s new “Constitutional Carry” law:  Get trained and get your CCW anyway.  Not only does it look better in the eyes of the law here, it will also allow you to carry in 35 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

(California, Hawaii, and Illinois are missing from the above list for somewhat obvious reasons.  Hopefully, Illinois will be fixed soon.  And with the Open Carry movement in California… there might be hope, eventually.  Why Nevada is missing is beyond me.  Washington State is unfortunately absent because Arizona does not currently have a reciprocity agreement with them, but a non-resident Florida CCW seems to fix that.)

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