Effects of HF756 (Constitutional Carry Bill) on the Acquisition and Carrying of Weapons
The bill makes NO changes to who may possess firearms or where they may be legally possessed!
Changes to Acquisition
- The Permit to Acquire Pistols and Revolvers (PTA) will become optional on July 1, 2021.
Currently, all transfers of handguns, whether private or by a licensed dealer (FFL), require the purchaser or recipient to present a valid PTA. That requirement is being repealed.
- The Permit to Acquire Pistols and Revolvers will remain available with no other changes.
- Transfers of handguns from an FFL will require the recipient to present either a PTA or a Permit to Carry Weapons or to successfully complete a background check through the National Instant Check System (NICS)
Prohibited Transfers of Firearms
- Iowa Code 724.16: A person shall not transfer a firearm to another person [nor loan or rent a firearm to another person for temporary use during lawful activities] if the person knows or reasonably should know that the other person is ineligible to possess dangerous weapons pursuant to section 724.8B, is intoxicated as provided under the conditions set out in section 321J.2, subsection 1, or is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under section 724.26 or federal law.
- A person who transfers, loans, or rents a firearm in violation of this section commits a class “D” felony.
Permitless Carry of Dangerous Weapons
Currently, Iowa Code 724.4-Carrying Weapons consists of 783 words listing prohibitions, exceptions, and crimes/penalties involving the carrying of weapons. A violation is an aggravated misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to two years of incarceration and a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms. The major exception to all of these restrictions is if a person holds a valid Permit to Carry Weapons.
HF756 removes all of the current language from 724.4 and replaces it with one paragraph with 94% fewer words! Here it is:
Use of a Dangerous Weapon in the Commission of a Crime Iowa Code 724.4: A person who goes armed with a dangerous weapon on or about the person, and who uses the dangerous weapon in the commission of a crime, commits an aggravated misdemeanor, except as provided in section 708.8.
[708.8 Going armed with intent. A person who goes armed with any dangerous weapon with the intent to use without justification such weapon against the person of another commits a class “D” felony. The intent required for a violation of this section shall not be inferred from the mere carrying or concealment of any dangerous weapon itself, including the carrying of a loaded firearm, whether in a vehicle or on or about a person’s body.]
Here are the Real-World Effects of this Historic Change (“Constitutional Carry”):
- Any adult who is lawfully in possession of any dangerous weapon may carry it on or about his person, including in a vehicle. NO PERMIT SHALL BE REQUIRED!
- This applies as well to visitors to Iowa. There is no residency requirement.
- Permits to Carry Weapons will continue to be available. They may be used to bypass a NICS check when transferring a firearm from an FFL, are honored by many other states, and are the ONLY generally available exception to avoid the federal felony of carrying a firearm within 1,000’ of any public or private school property (Gun-Free School Zones Act).
- MINORS (under age 18) may NOT:
- Carry a concealed weapon (serious misdemeanor)
- Carry, possess, or transport a loaded firearm of any kind within city limits (serious misdemeanor)
- Carry or transport a pistol or revolver in a vehicle (serious misdemeanor)
- Carry a stun gun/Taser type weapon (simple misdemeanor)
- The present requirement that holders of a Permit to Carry Weapons must carry the permit and display it to law enforcement upon request is repealed.
- Persons who are ineligible to receive a Permit to Carry Weapons are prohibited from carrying a dangerous weapon.
[724.8B Persons ineligible to carry dangerous weapons.
A person determined to be ineligible to receive a permit to carry weapons under section 724.8, subsection 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, a person who illegally possesses a controlled substance included in chapter 124, subchapter II, or a person who is committing an indictable offense is prohibited from carrying dangerous weapons. Unless otherwise provided by law, a person who violates this section commits a serious misdemeanor.]
- A person carrying weapons MAY be required to cooperate with law enforcement:
[724.4D Carrying of dangerous weapons —— duty to cooperate —— reasonable suspicion.
A person carrying a dangerous weapon whose behavior creates a reasonable suspicion that the person presents a danger to the person’s self or others shall cooperate with an investigating officer.]
Note: the mere fact that the person is armed is not sufficient grounds for such reasonable suspicion.
Significant Additional Provisions of HF756
- Prohibits discrimination in leases against gun owners by landlords in publicly subsidized housing
- Authorizes certain emergency medical personnel who train with law enforcement tactical teams to be issued an Iowa Professional Permit to Carry Weapons
- Reinforces Iowa’s weapons preemption law (724.28) by specifically prohibiting local governments from attempting to regulate the “carrying” of weapons