DES MOINES — Iowans will be able to purchase and carry handguns without permits now that Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill that made its way through the Republican-led Iowa Legislature.
“Today I signed legislation that protects the 2nd Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals," Reynolds wrote in a statement sent out after she had signed HF 756 today. "This law also takes greater steps to inform law enforcement about an individual’s mental illness helping ensure firearms don't end up in the wrong hands. We will never be able to outlaw or prevent every single bad actor from getting a gun, but what we can do is ensure law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights while keeping Iowans safe.”
The measure will eliminate current state permit requirements and the accompanying background checks that ensure a person obtaining or carrying a gun isn’t disqualified from ownership due to past felonies or abuses. The bill also eliminates firearms training now required to obtain a gun permit.
Opponents say the bill would weaken Iowa’s background check system and make it easy for felons, domestic abusers and people prohibited based on the basis of mental illnesses to buy handguns.
Proponents of the so-called "constitutional carry" measure say it would protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, while removing intrusive government regulations.
Iowans buying a gun from a federally licensed dealer still would have to either pass a federal background check or present a permit to carry.
Firearms purchased from an unlicensed seller over the internet, at a gun show or in a private sale, however, would not be subject to Iowa’s background check or permit requirements under the Iowa legislation.