Iowa Open Carry

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Open carry is legal in Iowa but has many restrictions. In cities (incorporated area) you must have an Iowa Weapon Permit or out of state permit or license. Depending on who you talk to, open carry may or may not be common. Please be aware of the laws and places that are off-limits.

We cannot find an exact minimum age for open carry in Iowa. We have seen 18 years of age listed as well as 21 years of age listed. You must be 21 years of age for an Iowa Non-Professional Weapon Permit or 18 years of age for an Iowa Professional Weapon Permit.

Open carrying in a vehicle is also not legal unless you have an Iowa Weapon Permit or out of state permit or license.

What places are off-limits when carrying concealed or open carrying in Iowa?

1. As used in this section, “weapons free zone” means the area in or on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, or in or on the real property comprising a public park. A weapons free zone shall not include that portion of a public park designated as a hunting area under section 461A.42.
2. Notwithstanding sections 902.9 and 903.1, a person who commits a public offense involving a firearm or offensive weapon, within a weapons free zone, in violation of this or any other chapter shall be subject to a fine of twice the maximum amount which may otherwise be imposed for the public offense.

1. A person who goes armed with, carries, or transports a firearm of any kind, whether concealed or not, on the grounds of a school commits a class “D” felony. For the purposes of this section, “school” means a public or nonpublic school as defined in section 280.2.
2. Subsection 1 does not apply to the following:
a. A person listed under section 724.4, subsection 4, paragraphs “b” through “f” or “j”.
b. A person who has been specifically authorized by the school to go armed, carry, or transport a firearm on the school grounds, including for purposes of conducting an instructional
program regarding firearms.

Firearms in Casinos
a. No patron or employee of the licensee, including the security department members, shall possess or be permitted to possess any pistol or firearm within a licensed facility without the express written approval of the administrator unless:
(1) The person is a peace officer, on duty, acting in the peace officer’s official capacity; or
(2) The person is a peace officer possessing a valid peace officer permit to carry weapons who is employed by the licensee and who is authorized by the administrator to possess such pistol or firearm while acting on behalf of the licensee within that licensed facility

11—100.2(8A) Security.
100.2(1) Dangerous weapons. No member of the public shall carry a dangerous weapon in state buildings on the capitol complex. This provision applies to any member of the public whether or not the individual possesses a valid Iowa permit to carry weapons. This provision does not apply to:
a. A peace officer as defined in Iowa Code section 801.4 or a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the national guard, when the person’s duties or lawful activities require or permit possession of a dangerous weapon.
b. A person possessing a valid Iowa professional permit to carry a weapon whose duties require that person to carry a dangerous weapon.
c. A person who possesses a dangerous weapon for any purpose authorized by a state agency to further the statutory or regulatory responsibilities of that agency. An authorization issued pursuant to this paragraph shall not become effective until it has been issued in writing to the person or persons to whom it applies and until copies of the authorization have been received by the director and by the commissioner of public safety.
d. Members of recognized military veterans organizations performing honor guard service as
provided in 2001 Iowa Acts, chapter 96, section 1.

Iowa State Fairgrounds – 371—2.5(173) Public safety—weapons.
The carrying or possession by any person other than a peace officer of any weapon, such as a dirk, dagger, hunting knife, buck knife, switch blade, or any knife with
a blade of three inches in length or longer, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, pellet or BB gun, blackjack, billy club or any other weapon is prohibited on the fairgrounds unless authorized by the board. Failure to comply with this rule shall be cause for expulsion from the fairgrounds or being charged under Iowa Code chapter 724. Kitchen knives and others purchased at the fair must be wrapped and not concealed.

321G.13 Unlawful Operation.
3. A person shall not operate or ride a snowmobile (& ATV’s) with a firearm in the person’s possession unless it is unloaded and enclosed in a carrying case. However, a nonambulatory
person may carry an uncased and unloaded firearm while operating or riding a snowmobile (This applies to people with AND without a permit).

State Universities.
Prohibits use or possession of firearms, ammunition, or other dangerous weapons,
substances, or materials (except as expressly authorized by the university), or of bombs, explosives, or
explosive or incendiary devices prohibited by law on the campus of the three state universities (U of I, Iowa
State, UNI) or at or during any university-authorized function or event by any person, student, member of the
faculty or staff.

For concealed carry information, visit our Iowa Concealed Carry page.

We try to keep the information on this page as up to date as possible but due to changing laws it is your responsibility to verify all information. The information on this page is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site, emails or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between i156 LLC and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of i156 LLC.

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