State Law Background
Among other things, Iowa:
- Requires a permit to acquire a handgun, valid for five years, involving an initial background check and a three-day waiting period;
- Requires the surrender of firearms by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, and by persons subject to domestic violence protective orders (pursuant to a law enacted in 2010);
- Requires the reporting of mentally ill individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms to the database used for background checks; and
- Imposes child access prevention requirements upon gun owners.
Iowa does not, however:
- Require background checks to be regularly run on individuals with a valid five-year permit to acquire a handgun, although local law enforcement is authorized to do so on an annual basis;
- Require a person who is purchasing a long gun from an unlicensed individual to undergo a background check;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Prohibit the possession and transfer of assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines or 50 caliber rifles;
- Require firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm; or
- Allow local governments in the state to regulate firearms.
In 2016, Iowa had the 12th lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Based on 2016 Firearms Trace Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Iowa supplies fewer crime guns per capita than the national average. Iowa had the 16th lowest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2016—meaning that crime guns originally sold in Iowa were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 16 lowest rate among the states. However, Iowa exports slightly more crime guns than it imports from other states.
Iowa Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Iowa, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.