Iowa Concealed Carry Laws
Iowa Concealed Carry Permit Requirements
- You must be 21 years of age or older to apply for a Nonprofessional Weapons Permit
- You must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a Professional Weapons Permit
- You will be required to submit to a background check
- You must demonstrate that you have knowledge of firearm safety by completing a state-approved CCW class or gun safety training program*
- Your driver’s license or other state issued identification
- Your completed concealed carry Application for Permit to Carry Weapons (Check with your local Sheriff's department, if the application can be submitted online.)
Issuing Authority for CCW Permits:
The Iowa Nonprofessional Permit to Carry Weapons is issued by the Sheriff of the applicant’s county of residence. The Iowa Professional Permit to Carry Weapons is issued by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
The Nonprofessional Permit to Carry Weapons is valid for five years. The Professional Permit to Carry Weapons is valid for one year.
The cost for a new CCW permit is $50, a renewal permit is $25, and a duplicate permit is $25. Some Sheriffs' offices may charge an additional $5-$10 for a plastic permit card.
Permit Application Timeline:
The application processing time for a new Iowa Concealed Carry Permit is up to 30 days from the date the county receives your application.
There is a 60-day window for renewing your CCW permit. A person wishing to renew their concealed carry permit must apply within 30 days before the permit expires, or within 30 days after the permit expires, otherwise a higher permit fee will be charged. Please note that while a permit can be renewed within 30 days after it expires, a person whose permit has expired should not carry in a fashion that requires a permit until the CCW renewal is complete.
CCW Permit Denial:
A denial, suspension, or revocation based solely on the results of a NICS check must be appealed to FBI NICS. Any other denial, suspension, or revocation of a concealed carry permit may be appealed to an Administrative Law Judge.
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Resident Concealed Carry Permits
Residents may apply for a Professional Permit to Carry Weapons issued by the Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. You must be 18 years of age or older. To obtain your Professional Weapons Permit, your need must be employment based.
Residents may apply for a Professional Permit to Carry Weapons issued by the Sheriff of the applicant’s county of residence. You must be 21 years of age or older and a resident of Iowa.
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits
Professional permits to carry will only be issued to qualified applicants if their need to go armed is employment based and is a critical element in the protection of life and property. Applications for a Professional Permit to Carry Weapons are handled by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Non-residents may apply for a Nonprofessional Weapons Permit but the criteria are very specific. Nonprofessional permits to carry will only be issued to nonresidents that meet the following criteria:
- nonresident correctional officers and other public officials, other than law enforcement officers, who are currently employed full time in the administration of criminal justice.
- other nonresidents with a demonstrable viable threat to themselves or their family as verified by a law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the threat occurred.
Iowa Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Permits from Other States:
Iowa will honor any valid concealed 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.
States That Recognize Iowa's Permit:
Iowa does not have CCW reciprocity agreements with states that require them. Iowa permit holders will need to check with other states' reciprocity laws to determine if their Iowa permit will be honored in that state.
Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps
Concealed carry reciprocity maps display the states that honor a CCW permit or license from another particular state. While Iowa recognizes concealed carry permits from every other issuing state, many states have tighter reciprocity laws. If you plan on carrying in another state, make sure you validate their reciprocity laws before doing so.
Concealed Carry Laws & Regulations
Iowa is a Shall-Issue State (which means, they issue concealed carry permits after established criteria are met). Iowa issues Professional and Nonprofessional Weapons Permits. Iowa Professional Weapons Permits are issued to residents and non-residents employed in situations that reasonably justifies that person is armed.
Transportation of Firearms
- Anyone with an Iowa CCW permit or other recognized concealed carry permit may legally possess a loaded firearm inside of their vehicle.
- If you are without a recognized permit or license, you are allowed to carry or transport an unloaded pistol or revolver in a vehicle inside a closed and fastened container or securely wrapped package.
- The container or package containing the handgun must be large enough that you are unable to conceal it on your person.
- An unloaded pistol or revolver may also be transported inside a cargo or luggage compartment where the pistol or revolver will not be readily accessible to any person riding in the vehicle or common carrier.
- Long guns can be transported and remain accessible as long as they are unloaded and securely wrapped.
Off-limit Areas to CCW Permit Holders*
- Weapons Free Zones
- School Grounds
- State Government Buildings
- State Fairgrounds
- State Universities
- Unlawful Operation of Selected Vehicles
*Refer to Iowa state law for a complete list of regulations
Alcohol and Consumption
Your Iowa Weapon Permit becomes invalid when you are intoxicated. This is defined as any one of the following:
- while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances,
- while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or
- while any amount of a controlled substance is present in the person, as measured in the person’s blood or urine.
Open Carry Law
Open carry is legal in Iowa but there are restrictions. No permit is required to open carry except when inside a vehicle or inside city limits. Open carry in cities is legal with an Iowa Weapons Permit, which allows for open or concealed carry.
Firearms may be openly carried in vehicles only with a recognized CCW permit.
Allowed with a recognized CCW permit.
*In most cases, you will need a valid permit in order to legally open carry in the state of Iowa. Please refer to Iowa state law for more information on specific open carry scenarios.
We try to keep the information on this page as up to date as possible, however we strongly advise that you verify this information with the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The information on this page is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.