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Legal Information: Iowa

State Gun Laws

November 3, 2023

I do not have a protective order against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?

A person who wants to buy a gun in Iowa must have a valid permit. A permit may not be issued to a person who is:

  • under the age of 18;
  • under the age of 21 and seeking a nonprofessional firearms permit;
  • addicted to alcohol;
  • likely to use a weapon illegally or in a way that would endanger themselves or other (this must be based on documented evidence within two years of applying for a firearms permit);
  • subject to the firearm possession, receipt, transportation or control prohibitions of Iowa law;
  • convicted of a felony;
  • convicted of any serious or aggravated misdemeanor defined in chapter 708 (for example, assault, stalking, harassment) within the previous three years which does not involve the use of a firearm or explosive;
  • prohibited by federal law from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm;1 or
  • subject to a permanent domestic violence protective order.2

If these situations do not apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our IA Places that Help page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

For additional information on gun laws in Iowa, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.

1 IA ST § 724.8
2 IA ST § 236.5(1)

I've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can also contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111 x2.
  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area on our IA Places that Help page.
  • You can write to our Email Hotline.