We seem to hear a lot about guns and weapons in today’s climate. Between the mass
shootings that have taken place and the executive orders regarding gun safety that were
issued in 2017, a lot of national attention was placed on firearm rights last year. Naturally, the
debate over what constitutes acceptable firearm regulations continues.
In 2017, Iowa vastly expanded its gun laws, so this blog is intended to inform and educate you
on Iowa’s laws regarding carrying firearms and what you should do if you’re facing federal gun
charges. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding firearms.
What does it mean to be “carrying a weapon?”
In Iowa, a person may be found guilty of carrying weapons if they do any of the following
without a permit:
● Go out armed with a dangerous weapon concealed or about the person.
● Travel throughout the city limits with a pistol, revolver, or any loaded firearm concealed
● Knowingly carry or transport a pistol or revolver in a vehicle.
When someone does any of these things, they can be found guilty of an aggravated
misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of $6,250 at most.
What are some exceptions to this law?
● You can carry weapons when lawfully engaging in hunting or fishing or in target
practice on a range designed for that purpose or on private property outside any incorporated
areas of a county.
● You can go armed with dangerous weapon in your own house, on your own land, or in
your own place of business.
● You can carry or transport, for any lawful purpose, an unloaded pistol or revolver in a
vehicle inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package.
● For a more comprehensive look at the exceptions and Iowa firearm regulations in
general, take a look at the Iowa Code.
Who can get a permit to carry?
In Iowa, any person age 21 or over can apply for a nonprofessional permit to carry.
Professional permits can be obtained starting at age 18. Note that a permit to carry is not the
same thing as a permit to acquire. A permit to acquire is necessary for someone who wants to
own a pistol or revolver.
For instance, if you want to possess a handgun but you don’t want to carry the weapon
concealed, you need to have a permit to acquire. If you have a permit to carry, you don’t need a
permit to acquire as well.
Facing federal gun charges
If you have been convicted of a crime that carries a penalty of imprisonment for more than a
year, federal law prevents you from owning a gun. Keep in mind that the crime doesn’t have to
be a violent one.
Should you face federal gun charges, you are at the mercy of federal prosecutors who will be
aggressive. You do have the option of possible defenses to these charges, however. The law
requires knowledge of possession, so if the police arrest a convicted felon and find a gun in the
home, it is a defense to assert the gun belonged to someone else and the defendant didn’t
know it was there.
Don’t face federal firearm charges alone. The details of your case are widely different from
others that have come before you so don’t assume you’re out of luck. Speak to experienced
Criminal Attorney Cory Goldensoph about your case today.