IOWA — The biggest changes in Iowa gun law in state history go into effect on Saturday, July 1, when House File 517, or the Omnibus Gun Law, becomes state law.
According to the Iowa Firearms Coalition, HF517 is the largest pro-Second Amendment bill in Iowa history and 2017’s most comprehensive pro-gun owner bill passed anywhere in the country.
The bill contains several provisions, including the Stand Your Ground law, legalizing youth handgun shooting, legalizing short-barreled rifles and shotguns, protecting the personal information of Permit to Carry holders, increasing penalties for straw purchasers who buy guns for criminals, and many more.
Below is a breakdown of each provision of HF517:
Division 1 – Legalizing SBRs/SBSs – effective July 1
Removes Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) and Short Barreled Shotguns (SBSs) from Iowa’s list of
Division 2 – Going Armed with Intent – effective July 1
Makes it so that lawfully carrying a firearms does not imply intent to harm another person.
Division 2 – Duty to Carry Permit – effective July 1
Under Iowa law citizens with a Permit to Carry Weapons shall have their permit in their
“immediate possession.” Failure to do this is a misdemeanor.
Division 3 – Firearm Safety Training Program – effective July 1
Hunter Safety Courses that include a handgun safety training program will be accepted as valid
training needed to qualify for a Permit to Carry.
Division 3 – Permit Renewal Requirements – effective July 1
Firearm safety training is no longer needed for permit renewals, only for your initial Permit to
Division 3 – Permits for Military Personnel and Veterans – effective July 1
A military veteran’s DD214 is now acceptable for proof of training for permit renewals (in
addition to initial Permit to Carry applications).
Division 3 – Permit Renewal Window – effective July 1
Permit renewal period extended to 30 days before and 30 days after the expiration date listed
on a Permit to Carry.
Division 3 – Permit Costs – effective July 1
The cost of a Permit to Carry is set at $50 for the initial permit. The price of Permit to Carry
renewals or duplicate permits shall be set at $25. Sheriff’s departments may not charge
additional fees or charges for Permits to Carry.
Division 3 – Uniform Permits – effective July 1
All permits shall have a uniform appearance statewide.
Division 3 – Appealing Denied Permit Applications – effective July 1
If a permit is denied by a sheriff the applicant can appeal. If it is determined that the applicant
was wrongly denied the sheriff’s department shall be responsible for the applicant’s court and
reasonable attorney’s fees. If an applicant’s appeal is upheld the applicant will be responsible
for the sheriff’s court and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Division 4 – Permit to Acquire – effective July 1
Permit to Acquire pistols or revolvers are now valid for five years instead of one.
Division 5 – Supervised Youth Handgun Shooting – effective IMMEDIATELY
Repeals Iowa’s ban supervised youth handgun shooting. Any Iowan under the age of 14 may
legally shoot pistols or revolvers so long as they’re under the direct supervision of a sober
parent, guardian or instructor over the age of 21.
Division 6 – Permit Privacy – effective IMMEDIATELY
The personal information contained on a Permit to Carry or Permit to Acquire cannot be shared
outside of law enforcement use. The Department of Public Safety or Sheriff’s Departments may
share statistical information only, e.g. “There was a 90% increase in Permits to Carry issued in
2017.” This prevents the malicious mass collection and publication of Permit holder’s private
information by media outlets.
Division 7 – Preemption/Suing Local Government – effective July 1
A political subdivision (city, county or township) shall not enact an ordinance banning the lawful
possession of weapons (aka gun free zone). If a political subdivision preempts state law and
bans the law possession of weapons a citizen may sue that subdivision for being adversely
affected. Citizens can sue their local city for breaking Iowa weapons law by enacting gun free
Division 8 – Capitol Carry – effective July 1
Citizens holding a valid Permit to Carry may carry concealed a pistol or revolver within the state
capitol and it’s parking lots.
Division 9 – Emergency Powers – effective July 1
During a declared state of emergency the State of Iowa, nor any political subdivision (city,
county or township) shall not prohibit the carrying, possession, sale or transfer of firearms or
Division 10 – Stand Your Ground – effective July 1
Allows lawful citizens to use reasonable force (that force and no more which a reasonable
person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent injury or loss of life).
Removes a lawful citizen’s duty to retreat. Also includes Civil Immunity. If you are deemed to
have acted in a reasonable manner and cleared of any wrongdoing in a criminal court you
cannot be sued in civil court. If you are forced to use deadly force you must call the authorities
in a reasonable time period and no intentionally destroy or alter evidence.
Division 11 – Enhanced Straw Purchasing Penalties – effective July 1
Anyone caught serving as a Straw Purchaser (buying a weapon for a prohibited person) is
committing a Class D felony.
Division 12 – Snowmobile and ATV Carry – effective July 1
Removes the requirement of so-called “Retention Holsters” while carrying and lawfully riding
ATVs or Snowmobiles.
Division 13 – Target Shooting on Private Property – effective July 1
A person target shooting on private property in an unincorporated area shall not be charged with
noise pollution or breaking of other public or private nuisance laws.
Complete text of HF517 can be found here.