So, Governor Reynolds has signed HF756. It's being referred widely as the "Constitutional Carry" bill - meaning that a citizen of Iowa derives their right to carry a weapon from the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. So what has changed . . . and what hasn't?
As a disclaimer - I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV, Netflix or Prime. I am however a firearms instructor and have reviewed HF756, followed its progress through the Iowa legislature and I have talked with professionals in the field. Taking that all together, this is my opinion, and mine alone.
Let's chat about purchasing a firearm. The purchaser MAY NOT purchase a pistol or revolver if:
-they are under the age of 21 (unless their duty requires it - think police or military
-they are prohibited by federal law
-they are prohibited by court order
-they illegally possess a controlled substance-
they are committing an indictable offense.
Prior to HF756 a person either needed to obtain a permit to acquire or be in possession of a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The permit to acquire requirement will go away July 1st, 2021. Either a valid permit to carry concealed or the passing of a background check through the National Instant Check System (NICS) will be required to complete the purchase.
Permits To Acquire will remain available if you desire to get one.
Let's chat about carrying a concealed weapon next. Let's just let HF756 speak for itself:
"724.5 Availability of permit not to be construed as prohibition on unlicensed carrying of weapons. The availability of a professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons under this chapter shall not be construed to impose a general prohibition on the otherwise lawful unlicensed carrying or transport, whether openly or concealed, of a dangerous weapon, including a loaded firearm."
Simply put - even though carry permits will remain available through the state - they are no longer required to carry concealed within the state of Iowa. There is also no out-of-state limitations. If someone visiting you wishes to carry concealed they may, provided they are legally entitled to do so.
Why should I even get a concealed carry permit then?? Well, if you are looking to carry concealed in other states - you will need a valid carry permit from the state of Iowa for reciprocal agreements to be honored. The fact that Iowa offers constitutional carry will not be honored in states that honor Iowa carry permits. They will expect to see an actual permit.
But, but - what about training??? If you choose to use constitutional carry within the state of Iowa - no training will be required. However, if you expect to carry in, let's say Florida, you will still need an Iowa permit to carry and that permit requires training as it has in the past.
Let me chat about training for just a minute. The defensive use of a firearm to protect yourself, your family or someone in your charge should not be taken lightly. I encourage my students to take some type of coursework annually to insure they are staying current in the use of their firearm. I suggest they expend at least 100 rounds a month at the range maintaining their skills. Shameless plug here, I offer a broad range of course work for pistol, rifle and shotgun as well. I believe you have a responsibility to learn how to use this particular tool to the best of your ability and good, solid coursework is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
Still, in under all of this, the Constitution guarantees that you have the basic right to defend your life and the lives of your family. You do not need the permission of any political entity - federal, state or local to do so. I believe this step by the state, and the Governor is the right one.
I encourage you to read HF756 yourself. You will find a link to the bill HERE.
Owner, Eastern Iowa Firearms Training