The gun laws in Iowa are a bit strict compared to other states. The state of Iowa's gun laws coincides with federal firearms statutes that also regulate gun ownership by restricting the kinds of guns a person may legally own. The state does not require the residents to have a permit to hold a rifle, shotgun or handgun. It operates on a “shall issue” basis with regards to concealed weapons permits. There are two types of licenses available.
Residents can apply for a license at the county level for a Non-Professional permit. They must be 21 years old or older and to apply at the county sheriff's office. Non-residents need to apply at the state level if they want a Professional permit. They must be 18 years or older to apply at the Department of Public Safety. Non-residents must also demonstrate why they need a permit.
Open carry in Iowa
Residents are legally entitled to open carry in the state of Iowa, and you can only open carry a handgun if you have a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Open carry is not standard in cities and the minimum age to carry is 21 years old.
Carrying in vehicles in Iowa
Iowa doesn’t have gun laws that restrict carrying weapons in a car. Anyone can carry a loaded handgun in their cars with a permit in the state of Iowa. A concealed handgun, however, needs to be hidden and not displayed in an unlocked glovebox or console. Residents need a permit to carry their concealed weapons in their vehicle. However, local governments can set their laws on public places which include vehicles. So you would need to check the local regulations.
Notifying a police officer in Iowa
The gun laws in Iowa state that you are not required to inform or inform a law enforcement officer of the firearm you are carrying when you are approached while on official business. You need to carry your permit in case you have a concealed handgun in your possession when an officer requests you to produce it.
Constitutional carry in Iowa
The Iowa gun laws don’t permit constitutional carry.
Carry in restaurants in Iowa
In Iowa, residents are allowed to carry firearms into a restaurant whose primary business is to serve alcohol. Restaurants, in general, will enable you to bring firearms into restaurants as long as it's not at the bar area and also if the restaurant does not have a “no weapons” sign.
Enforcing the “no guns” sign in Iowa
These signs are not legally imposed under the gun laws in Iowa, and if anyone disregards this sign when they enter private property or business, they are not subjected to legal penalties. It is advisable to avoid entering properties or establishments that display this sign and are considered off limit by the law. If a person refuses to leave the premises while carrying in such venues, that person is breaking the law and is at risk of being charged.
Possessing Machine Guns in Iowa
It is against the law for any resident to intentionally or knowingly manufacture, transport, maintain, sell or repair a machine gun.
Unlawful removal of the serial number on the weapon
It is against the law to intentionally change, alter, remove or obliterate the serial number or identification number on any handgun. The possession of a gun with its marks altered, removed or destroyed creates a legal presumption that the possessor committed the offense.
It is prohibited to handle a firearm haphazardly
It is against the law to intentionally discharge a firearm recklessly, in the state of Iowa.