Knowledge — 2 years ago

A Guide for Getting a Gun License in Iowa

by Kelly B.

Gun License Iowa State, Iowa State Gun License

How to Get a Firearm License in Iowa

Firearm licenses are issued on a Shall-Issue basis in Iowa. Mostly issued to residents, they may also be issued to non-residents if the non-residents in question have been able to demonstrate a genuine need for possessing such a permit, for example, frequent travel or owning property in the state. The two kinds of permits issued are Professional and Non-Professional. Non-Professional Permits are issued at the county level to residents of the state.

Professional permits are issued at the state level to non-residents wishing to own an Iowa firearm license. An individual must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a Professional Permit and 21 years to receive a Non-Professional Permit. The validity of both permit types differs too. The Professional Permit is only valid for a year where the Non-Professional permit is valid for five years. The processing time for the permits is usually within 30 days. The County Sheriff issues Non-Professional Firearm Permits, and the Department of Public Safety issues the Professional Permits. A National Instant Criminal Background Check is performed for any applicant desiring a firearm license in Iowa. 

Gun License Iowa State
Other Eligibility Requirements for Gun License Iowa Permit

  • You must not have any criminal charges on you at the time of application.
  • You must not have been convicted of the felony.
  • No outstanding arrest warrants to your name.
  • You must have completed a firearms training course.
  • You must not be prohibited by federal law to possess arms.

Steps to Follow to Get an Iowa Gun License

Follow the procedure discussed below to facilitate your firearm license gain –

  • First things first, you must have completed your firearms training course and decided on the kind of firearm permit you’d like to apply for.
  • Once this is done, you can download the application from the FORMS tab of the official state website or just pick one up from the local county Sheriff’s office.
  • Submit this filled in application form back at the Sheriff’s office with a photocopy of your firearm training certificate, government-issued ID and licensing fee.
  • If your application gets approved, you can expect to be notified of the same by mail.
Iowa State Gun License

Additional Information

When you receive your firearm permit, you can legally carry your firearm to any national park, state park, state forest, roadside rest area or on your vehicle. You must carry your firearm permit on you at all times that you are in possession of your firearm.

If your firearm license requires, you can have it renewed by paying an additional renewal fee. You will have to provide a new training course completion certificate though.

Carrying a gun under the influence of any intoxicant is punishable by law in the State of Iowa.

Iowa has a Stand Your Ground law in place which allows you to use your firearm for self-defense when faced with a life-threat/grave injury so long as you are not trespassing at the time of incidence.

Military Personnel is exempt from submitting their firearm training course certificate. Their military training certificate is enough evidence of their ability to use a gun safely, according to Iowa.


Applying for a firearm license in the State of Iowa is made convenient by its classification of firearm licenses. You may choose to opt for a Professional/Non-Professional firearm permit depending on your residency rights. Both permits have some common and individual eligibility requirements. If you meet these, you can proceed to apply for your firearm permit. It only takes 30 days to process, and you should have your firearm permit in hand in no time. With great power comes great responsibility, so use your firearm permit responsibly!


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