Subject to limited exceptions, any person seeking to purchase a handgun in Iowa must possess an annual permit to acquire a handgun, requiring a background check.1 Any person acquiring a handgun without possessing a valid annual permit is criminally liable for an aggravated misdemeanor.2 Iowa also prohibits any person from transferring a handgun to a person who does not possess a valid annual permit to acquire a handgun, and from transferring a handgun to a person the transferor knows is prohibited by Iowa’s permitting requirements from acquiring ownership of a handgun.3

Iowa prohibits any person from knowingly transferring or acquiring possession, or who facilitates the transfer, of a stolen firearm.4

Generally, Iowa prohibits any person from selling, loaning, giving or making available a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun to a minor (person under age 18).5 Moreover, Iowa prohibits any person from selling, loaning, giving or making available a handgun or handgun ammunition to a person under age 21.6

Private transfers of long guns (i.e., transfers by non-firearms dealers) are not subject to a background check requirement in Iowa, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions still apply. See the Iowa Background Checks section.

See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Iowa Code § 724.15(1). ⤴︎
  2. Iowa Code § 724.16(1). ⤴︎
  3. Iowa Code § 724.16. ⤴︎
  4. Iowa Code § 724.16A. ⤴︎
  5. Iowa Code § 724.22(1). ⤴︎
  6. Iowa Code § 724.22(2). ⤴︎