Weapons Permit Information

Application for Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons
Application for Iowa Permit to Acquire a Pistol or Revolver

Issuance/Re-issuance of a CCW Permit 2016
Iowa law allows for two (2) methods for getting another CCW permit when your current permit is expiring. These methods are:

Renewal Permit
(Application for renewal must be received by the issuing officer at least 30 days in advance of the expiration of the current permit)
- $ 25.00 fee (plus additional for type of permit – ex: credit card type)
- Take another CCW class OR qualify on a range with a qualified firearms instructor
- Either of these options will most likely cost some money
- Range Qualification or a new CCW class must occur within the 12 month period prior to the expiration of the current permit.

New Permit
(For purposes of “permit expiration”, the new permit application can be received by the issuing officer 29 days or less PRIOR to the expiration of the current permit)
- $ 50.00 fee (plus additional for type of permit – ex: credit card type)
- NO requirement to take another class or qualify - The previous class you took or DD-214 is all that is needed
- Fill out a new application for a “New Permit” and it will be processed when received. Your new permit will be available to pick up GENERALLY three days after submission. The new permit will become valid the day after your current permit expires. SO, you will be able to have your new permit in your possession prior to the expiration of your current permit.

Concealed Carry Weapons Permit Information

Beginning January 1, 2011

In April 2010, SF2379 was signed into law. This legislation significantly changes the laws that govern the issuance of permits to carry weapons in the State of Iowa. These changes will not be implemented until January 1, 2011. Until that time, the existing Iowa law and policies of the Hancock County Sheriff will continue to apply. Existing permits remain valid until the expiration date printed on the permit.
While the new law will make many changes (which are summarized at the bottom of this page), many provisions remain the same. The following is only a summary of the laws. If you have questions, you should review the law, contact your attorney, or ask the Sheriff

All applicants for a permit to carry must demonstrate knowledge of proper firearms handling through:

  • a handgun safety course available to the public and offered by law enforcement, community college, college, private or public institutions or organizations, or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by DPS-equivalent in another state, or the NRA.
  • a handgun safety training course offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement or security enforcement agency approved by DPS.
  • an NRA handgun safety training course
  • small arms training in the U.S. Armed forces
  • peace officer certification that has occurred within the year prior to the application or expiration of a current permit.

Be wary of instruction unless it is verified that the instructor(s) is properly trained and certified and that the class contains adequate information to meet the training requirements.

While the permit will not be limited to particular weapons, it is important that a permit holder be competant to handle each weapon that is planned to be carried. A responsible trainer will be able to test your abilities with each weapon.

It is recommended that applicants complete training through First Deputy Ray Penning, who is a State of Iowa certified firearms instructor, since his training is known to meet the statutory requirements. Other programs may be questionable which may delay, or prevent, issuance of a permit. Arrangements for training may be made with Deputy Penning at 641-923-2621.

Applications are made on forms provided by the Sheriff's Office, and must include proof of training and a photo ID. Upon submission the necessary background checks will be conducted by the Sheriff. Generally, within three business days the permit will be ready for the applicant to pick up a the Sheriff's Office; however, it may take up to 30 days to process.
Permits are $50 for new applications, $25 for renewals and are valid for five years.

A person is not eligible for a permit it the applicant:

  • is younger than 21 years of age
  • is addicted to alcohol
  • is believed to have committed an act(s) during the previous two years that leads the Sheriff to believe the applicant is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in a manner to endanger the person's self or others
  • has within the past three years been convicted of assault, harassment, hazing, stalking or other chapter 708 crime(s), except simple misdemeanors.
  • is prohibited from possessing a weapon by federal law because the applicant is:
    - charged or convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor or felony.
    a fugitive from justice.
    - a user of depressants, narcotics, or drugs.
    - a person adjudicated mentally impaired or committed to a mental treatment institution.
    - not a citizen of the United States.
    - dishonorably discharged from military service.
    - convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.

Types of Weapons
A permit to carry allows a person to carry "dangerous weapons," which is an instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury on persons or animals or is capable of or used in such a manner as to inflict death upon persons. This generally includes handguns, rifles, shot guns, Taser-type devices, and knives with blades longer than five inches. The permit does not allow a person to carry "offensive weapons" which are things like machine guns, short-barreled rifles or shot guns, weapons with a barrel length larger than 6/10 of an inch, bombs, grenades, mines, rockets, missiles, ballistic knives, flamethrowers or silencers.

Permits to Acquire
A person holding a permit to carry need not obtain a separate permit to acquire.

Permits are not valid when a person is under the influence or intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, or when there are any drugs in the person's system. Many drugs remain in the body up to 30 days after ingestion.
Pemits do not authorize the permit holder to carry a weapon in certain places. This includes:

  • on and within 1,000 feet of school property
  • parks
  • all federal buildings
  • most State and local government buildings and property
  • airports
  • any place where the owner forbids the possession of a weapon
    A private property owner or business is entitled to ban weapons from their premises, and may legally ask you to remove a weapon from their premise even if you have a valid permit. Also note that bringing a weapon into some businesses (i.e. convenience stores, banks) may invite a police response due to the nature of the business conducted or an employee's concerns for their safety and the safety of their patrons.

Recognition of Permit
Permits in other states are recognized as valid; however, an Iowa permit is not necessarily recognized by other states. If travel is anticipated, it is wise to check the laws of the other jurisdictions to determine if an Iowa permit is recognized.

Suspension/Revocation of Permit
Violation of the terms of the permit or the occurrence of an event that makes a person ineligible for a permit (i.e arrest for a disqualifying offense or act that causes the Sheriff to believe the permit holder may use a weapon unlawfully or in a manner to endanger the person's self or others) will result in suspension of the permit until disposition of the matter, at which time the permit will be revoked unless due to acquittal the permit may be re-instated. The Sheriff may conduct periodic checks to determine if suspension or revocation is appropriate.

Other Considerations
Weapons require a great deal of responsibility. It is important to safeguard a weapon so that it is not stolen or used against you. Most importantly, a permit to carry does not authorize a person to use a weapon in most circumstances. The law is very precise about when such force is justified. Guidance on that issue should be covered during your training. It is also important to note that even if use of a weapon is justified, it often may not be the wisest course of action, and may carry criminal and/or civil consequences.

  Current Law beginning 01/01/2011
Issuance "May Issue" (denial can be arbitrary or capricious) "Shall Issue"
Issuer of nonprofessionsal carry permits Resident - by Sheriff
Nonresident - by DPS
Resident - by Sheriff
Nonresident - N/A
Issuer of professional carry permits Resident - by Sheriff
Nonresident - by DPS
Resident - by Sheriff
Nonresident - by DPS
Fees $10 new; $5 renewal $50 new; $25 renewal
Permit Period One Year Five Years

Ability to restrict permit:

to handguns only

any restrictions





Not Allowed

Not Allowed

Permit type of weapon All dangerous weapons, unless restricted All dangerous weapons
Noting make, model or serial number on permit Not addressed Not allowed
Reciprocity/Recognition No provision Valid permit issued by another state to a person who is not an Iowa resident recognized in Iowa.
Validity of carry permit under influence Not addressed, but restrictions allowed Carry permit invalid while a person is under the influence/intoxicated by alcohol/drugs or while any drugs are in the person's body.
Appeal of permit denial, suspension or revocation
  • Decisions by Sheriff - To District Court
  • Decisions by DPS - by 17A & to District Court
  • Decisions by Sheriff - by 17A & to District Court
  • Decisions by DPS - by 17A & to District Court
  • Decisions based on NICS - to FBI
Permit Prohibitors:
  • Less than age 18
  • Felony Conviction
  • Alcohol/Drug Addiction
  • History or repeated acts of violence
  • Person constitutes a danger to any person
  • Most midemeanor assault convictions
  • Federal possession disqualifiers
  • Less than age 18 for a professional permit
  • Less than age 21 for a nonprofessional permit
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Probable cause exists to believe, based upon documented specific actions of the person, that the person is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently or in such a manner as would endanger the person's self or others.
  • Most misdemeanor assault convictions committed within three years, except those involving a firearm or explosive, which would remain lifetime disqualifiers.
  • Federal possession disqualifiers

Opportunity for relief from mental health related disqualification:

transmittal to NICS opportunity for relief from disqualification



Disqualified for life



Not allowed
May pursue two years after disqualification


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