iowa state seal


Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry PermittedSEE DETAILS
Carry In Liquor Establishments YES
Constitutional Carry NO

Permit Information

Iowa gun laws operate on a “Shall Issue” basis. There are two types of permit available. Residents apply at the county level for a Non-Professional permit. They must be 21 years or older and apply at the sheriff's office in their county of residence. Non-residents must apply at the state level for a Professional permit. They must be 18 years or older and apply at the Department of Public Safety. Non-residents must also demonstrate a need for a permit such as owning a business or property in Iowa or frequent travel.

states that
honor an iowa permit
There Are

Iowa Reciprocity Map


iowa CCW permit recognition

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permit only
  • Non-Professional permit only
  • Issuing state

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Iowa CCW Permit

Iowa is a “shall issue” state.
Non-resident permits available.
The permit is valid for 5 years.

There are two types of permits available;
Non-professional – issued to residents
Professional – issued to non-residents, security gaurds

  • Must be at least 18 years of age for a Professional permit.
  • Must be at least 21 years of age for a Non-Professional permit.
  • You must complete a firearms training course.
  • You have no pending charges.
  • You have no felony convictions.
  • You have no outstanding arrest warrants.
  • You have not been convicted in any court within the previous three years of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor not involving a firearm or explosives for which the court could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation.
  • There is no probable cause to believe you may likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner as would endanger the person’s self or others based on your actions in the last two years.
  • Federal Law – Prohibits the following persons

Off-Limit areas

Where You Can Carry

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state – except those listed below

Where You Cannot Carry

  • Weapons Free Zones
  • Public or private schools, colleges
  • School bus
  • Public parks
  • Casino
  • Iowa state fairgrounds
  • Campus of the three state universities
  • State buildings on the capitol complex
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Details on Iowa Gun Laws

Iowa Contacts

Department of Public Safety
Weapons Permits


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 215 East 7th Street

CityDes Moines, IA 50319-0045

Phone (515) 725-6230




  1. If I have my concealed carry, can/will it be taken away/voided if I were obtain a serious misdemeanor due to a marijuana charge?

  2. If I’m have a felony 30 plus years ago, can my wife own gun ? Will it be a problem for me?

    1. She can but you cannot have access to it so if you’re going to do it I would suggest investing in a locking gun cabinet so that should it become a problem she can show that only she has access to it

  3. is there a limit to how many rounds I carry in my vehicle

  4. If you have a permit to carry, is it good for open and concealed?

    1. If the permit is issued in Iowa it is considered a permit to carry weapons ie it is at your discretion whether you conceal it or open carry

  5. I live in Nebraska and have a CCW permit. I carry my AR isn’t that covered with my Carrying Concealed Weapons permit? Or are long guns different than handguns with Iowa?

  6. Does the permit to carry entail conceal carry? Or is concealed carry another permit?

  7. My spouse states that because they have as right to carry permit…. they can have loaded open rifle, shotgun & handgun in vehicle. Is this correct?

  8. If I do not want to carry a handgun can I just get a permit to have one in my home for protection?

      1. You are however required to have a permit to purchase if you are wanting to have a handgun but you can still own rifles and shotguns without said permit

  9. can you say something WITHOUT the big words in ways a kid could understand? for a dummy like me?

      1. Your immature. And a pos. Theres a very special place in hell for people like you.

  10. I have been thinking about adding a gun show to an event to help attract more people. I have been searching for rules or regulations on who or what you need to do but I’m not finding the answers I’m needing. My idea is for a show and tell, no sales allowed at event. I recently saw this done and thought it was worth looking into. Anyone out there have any input?

  11. This is Insane! Who needs to carry a loaded gun in Iowa?! I suppose we will need some mass killings in the state before people come to their senses!

    1. It sounds like you don’t need one. That doesn’t mean I don’t.

    2. I personally carry a loaded Glock 17 Gen 4 with a loaded mag and one in the chamber for my safety and the citizens of Iowa

    3. I do. In smaller rural cities up here racism and violence is a real thing. always stay protected. Gums dont kill; people do.

  12. If i have a assault on a government official non comply misdemeanor in 2008 in north Carolina would that disqualify me.

  13. If I have an Iowa permit to carry weapons that means I dont have to unload my guns while they are in a vehicle even when I am hunting by the way I read the law. So say I get picked by a friend after walking through the woods hunting whitetail. I dont have to unload either my pistol or my shotgun while in vehicles riding down the road/ same goes for the back of the pickup correct? This was how I read the law but dont want to be wrong.

    1. If you don’t want to be wrong, follow the law that is most conservative. The same ambiguity exists when carrying a handgun for self protection while bow hunting. You’ll potentially save yourself a lot of headaches and a possible conviction by following all the laws, and working behind the scenes with your representatives to fix bad/conflicting laws/regulations.

  14. hi my name is ira and i live in iowa my question is am i allowed to get my rights back after completing my prison sentence it’s been 12 years since my release and it’s been over 6 years since i’ve been off probation what steps if any do i take to get ALL my rights back

    1. Not usually. you can apply to the Governor to ask for your rights to be returned, it is not a guarantee.

    2. Actually yes you can but it starts with getting your other civil rights ie voting rights back which can be the hardest. Look into lawyers who specialize in this.

    3. In order to get your rights back, you must apply for – and get – either a pardon or a restoration of rights from the governor. If your conviction was for a federal crime, that pardon must come from the president.

    4. No rights l. Prison took them for you. It doesnt matter that you went and did your time. You have a record, according to law your misdemeanor/felony prohibits you from using a gun

  15. can any one have some one else right too carry permit taken away.

  16. its been two years sinces my friend was arrested . and now they are just takeing his right too carry . can they do that.

    1. There are some laws in some states that allow firearms to be configured and ‘permits to carry’ to be revoked upon arrest. Those may someday be found unconstitutional, as they are.

      Being convicted of a crime is a different story. Conviction is generally considered a reasonable situation where one’s “rights” can be limited or removed (ie, one might be imprisoned or placed on parole). It is common to permanently remove the (perceived) right to vote from convicted felons. Voting rights may be restored at any time by the Governor (or President depending on the jurisdiction). Convicted felons are commonly prohibited by law from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

  17. I have a CDL, and a permit to carry. Am I, under Iowa law allowed to legally carry in the comercial vehicle I drive?

    1. I am not sure of the legal law on this but I know of a few guys who open carry while driving dump trucks in Des Moines area. I believe that if you get pulled over you must state you have it. Check with your nearest police station.

      1. In Iowa you DO NOT have to disclose to a LEO that you are carrying. That is optional. Personally, I would not!

    2. This should have been covered in the class you took to obtain your permit. That’s one of the purposes of the class. I’d go back to your instructor and ask him/her.

    3. If your trucking company doesn’t have a policy against it, you can carry in every state that honors Iowa Permit. You can find maps on the web showing which states honor Iowa Permit.
      Caution: Minnesota and Illinois DO NOT honor Iowa Permit, so don’t get caught. It’s hard to drive (carry) over-the-road because you’ll have to drive through states that don’t honor to get to states that do.
      Stay off that whole west coast…and northeast.

      1. Illinois allows you to carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle as long as you have a legal right to carry in your home state. But, you are NOT allowed to carry outside of the vehicle and there are additional restrictions in the Chicago area, including magazine capacity limits.

        1. Is there a clause on if IN the vehicle differs from ON you in IL? Curious is I need to have it in glove box or out of reach there.

      2. In Illinois you can carry a loaded weapon in your vehicle if you have a permit from another state but you cannot leave your vehicle with the weapon

    4. Yes you can BUT if two things can change that. One is the state you are driving through and two the company you drive for. A lot of companies don’t allow their drivers to carry a firearm in the truck.

  18. I am a city employee with a CCP and often have my hand gun stored in my vehicle. The cities employe hand book spacificly states that no firearms are allowed on city property including stored in parked vehicles on city property. I know some states have passed a parking lot exemption lot that allows permit carriers to legally store a loaded fire arm in a vehicle while parked in an employers parking lot. Does Iowa have such a law

    1. If they impair you in any way then no Iowa permits become invalid if the holder is impaired good rule of thumb if you got pulled over while on them would you still be able to pass a field test ? If no then don’t risk it Iowa currently has laws that prohibit you from carrying while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs in either case the permit is invalid

    1. If you have a permit to carry you can carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle if you do not have a permit the firearm must be broken down in at least 3 pieces or in a case unloaded

    1. If you hold a valid permit to carry you may carry a firearm loaded or unloaded anywhere in the vehicle

  19. Just moved here from Texas in August. I have my Texas CCW, but it’s set to expire next month. Do I have to go through the full application process/training or is there an easier route for me?

      1. I did exactly that in Warren county iowa just moving from NY and they will not honor my NY carry pistol permit I have and have taken an online pistol carry permit test and then will soon apply for the iowa carry pistol permit.

    1. I believe you have to have an established address for a certain amount of time AND an Iowa drivers license. Texas honors Iowa and vice versa if we are just visiting each other’s state …so I have no idea why you can’t just “transfer”….but you can’t.

  20. So if I have an Iowa permit to carry and I am driving on the interstate or on a state road, am I allowed to conceal carry that firearm on my person while driving my vehicle? It doesn’t really specify that. Also, when a state honors an Iowa conceal carry permit, do you still have to abide by that specific state’s conceal carry laws, or are all states that recognize each other’s conceal carry permits have universal conceal carry laws together? For example, if I’m driving through Tennessee (which does recognize Iowa concealed carry permit), do I still have to abide by Tennesse’s specific gun laws, or are they the automatically the same as Iowa’s because they recognize Iowa conceal carry permit?

    1. Yes you must abide by the state laws of you are in. Many states do not recognize Iowa’s laws, due to ease of access for Iowa CCW

    2. It is your job to look up every states laws as for the other part with the permit you may carry in your vehicle on an interstate and state highway
      Also since you have an Iowa permit you may carry in your vehicle in Illinois as long as you do not exit the vehicle with the weapon there is a number you can call in Illinois that states that in a message

  21. i’m not sure how often this is updated, but since Iowa passed Stand your ground, you are now able to carry at the Capital buildings as well as parks

    1. No on the Capital, and Yes on STATE PARKS only…no public parks.

  22. Hello, I’ve had CCW permits for probably 10 years- I work for Iowa DNR seasonal watching & checking on campers & hunters in Shimek State Forest in SE Iowa – I carry concealed but would like to be able to obtain a Professional carry permit & was wanting to know what steps I need to take to do so. Thank you, Ross

    1. The Iowa DNR does not authorize seasonal employees to carry firearms as a general rule.

  23. Hi I’m a Tennessee resident. In Tennessee we have carry permits for open carry but you do not need a permit to carry in your car is what I’m understanding. I recently got in some trouble in the state of Iowa due to me having my handgun in my car. Does Iowa not have reciprocity with Tennessee? Am I misreading the law? Help

    1. Reciprocity only dictates that your permit is valid in that state. You still must abide by the laws of that state. In Iowa you must have a concealed carry permit to have the gun with you in the car. Your open carry permit is not the same as a concealed carry. Therefore you were in violation of Iowa gun carrying laws.

      1. Vrocks Iowa accepts all states permits also Iowa does not have a concealed carry permit the Iowa permits simply state Iowa non professional permit to carry weapons which allows you to carry open or concealed if he had a carry permit from the state of Tennessee he is legally allowed to carry on his person and in his vehicle in Iowa

      1. I believe this question needed more clarification. I read Iowa permit laws as in city limits, vehicles, and a few other restrictions. If this minor is on owned private property, ie parent’s property, and that property is located in the country, NOT city limits, I believe the laws allow even a minor to carry a loaded weapon.. correct me if I am wrong please.

  24. I just wanted to point out that there are some states that will honor your permit or right to carry in your vehicle only..I refer to them as drive through states. For example I have a Iowa CCW. Illinois doesn’t honor my right to carry. But I can travel through the state with my firearm loaded in my vehicle. There are other states like this as well . I wish your map showed the states that I’m allowed to have my firearm loaded in my vehicle only. Word of caution…most of these drive through states require that you unload and lock your firearm up if you exit your vehicle.

      1. In New Mexico you car is considered your home. You can carry in any form while in your car. NM is an open carry state so you can open carry without a permit. BUT, If you want to carry concealed they don’t honor Iowa permits officially. However, a Albuquerque LEO told me keep it concealed, behave yourself and they more than likely will leave you alone……

    1. I was told by a state trooper to unload the gun and gun put the magazine and the gun in the center concil , its up to thye officer is he wants to arrest you or not.. the have no law saying you can have a loaded gun even with a permit from iowa..

      1. Steve you talked to an uneducated state patrol officer the law in Iowa clearly states with a permit you may carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle before Iowa’s current carry laws you couldn’t carry due to a Dnr law that has since been changed after Iowa went to shall issue the Dnr book now says all firearms must be broken down into 3 pieces or cases and unloaded unless authorized by law aka the Iowa permit to carry

  25. Why do we allow or honor permits from other states that do not honor our permits?

    1. I would like to think were setting an example of good faith. If they qualified to carry in their state we accept their rights to carry. And hopefully the states that don’t allow us in time they will. My hope is HR 38 gets passed!

    2. That is typically known as “reciprocity”, each state compares their permit standards to other states. If New Mexico deems that Georgia’s concealed carry permitting standards are below their own than they will not honor those permits within New Mexico. If they deem other states to have equal or greater permitting standards, than they have reciprocity.

  26. Correction needed: half page down on description of Iowa CCW law above. There are two paragraphs named “Where you cannot carry”. The top paragraph should be “Where you can carry”.

    1. Author

      Thank you Eric. Have corrected that, this page is due to be completely updated in the coming months.

Leave a Comment