Iowa sheriffs will issue new gun permits despite worries about consequences, association says.

Many Iowa sheriffs still have grave concerns about a new…

Many Iowa sheriffs still have grave concerns about a new state gun law, but they will issue permits to carry weapons as required, two leading sheriffs said today.

Sheriffs will no longer be able to require gun owners to keep their weapons concealed when they’re in public, under a new law state lawmakers approved last spring that takes effect in January.

Nor can sheriffs restrict individuals from carrying a handgun while consuming alcohol, according to leaders with the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association.

“The Iowa Legislature has spoken, and Iowa sheriffs intend to fulfill their professional responsibility to uphold the laws of Iowa,” said Bremer County Sheriff Duane Hildebrandt, who becomes president of the sheriffs’ association next year.

Iowans can seek a permit under the new law starting Jan. 3.

In an unusual pairing, Democratic leaders in the Iowa House, Iowa Senate and governor’s office sided with the National Rifle Association last session and not with the sheriff’s association, which strongly opposed the gun legislation.

The NRA successfully fought to make Iowa a “shall issue” state where sheriffs in all 99 counties must follow the same rules for issuing gun permits. It’s a gun bill that Republicans failed to move when they controlled the governor’s office or Iowa Legislature.

Gun rights advocates had maintained that certain Iowa sheriffs routinely denied people guns without good cause.

The sheriffs’ association said sheriffs currently issue more than 36,000 weapons permits statewide a year, and deny few permits.

Many Iowa sheriffs – but not all – dislike the new law, saying it doesn’t require proper training for carrying in public.

Hildebrandt said today that sheriffs expect Iowans to line up for the new weapon-carry permits.

The new permit will be popular because it’s good for five years rather than one, and because sheriffs can’t restrict it in any way, he said.

The new law requires sheriffs to issue permits to carry weapons to Iowans who aren’t disqualified by short list of state or federal restrictions, and who have completed minimal training called for in the legislation.

Firearms qualification for new permit applicants is also no longer required, Hildebrandt said. That means people who have never had a permit before can get one after sitting through a classroom presentation; they don’t need to show proficiency in using a gun.

Source: Jennifer Jacobs for

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  • General Jim M

    Where in the constitution does it say “the right of the people shall not be infringed except that they must all take a government approved qualification course where they will be denied their 2nd amendment right if the do not wish to qualify or are not good enough shots to qualify?Can Iowa sheriffs deny constitutional rights? Just who do these “public servents” think that they are?We have to remember who is supposed to be in charge here.Government agenys are armed to the teeth,they governments wages war all over the planet,the goverment has a huge nuclear arsenal.These same characters who want machineguns and 50 cal sniper rifles,the guys with nukes,they guys whosell out the people to lobbyists and foreign intrests are worried that you might have a gun?Too bad.

  • Jonesy

    I don’t really have a problem with the no qualification part. A safety class is required and sufficent enough. I think most people have enough common sense not to carry if they have never shot a gun or arn’t competent with the gun (remember these are responsible people with no criminal record cause the criminals don’t need this piece of paper to take their guns around with them). You can get a drivers license without driving test. How is that any different? I’m not going to get on I-80 without ever driving before as I’m not going to carry if I’m not comfortable around guns.

  • I agree with you and that everyone should go through the proper training in order to get their CCW. I don’t want any incompetent person getting their CCW and carrying without going through a proper class/training.

  • AngryWhiteMale

    I like the “Shall Issue” part, but not the “no qualification part”. If you want to carry a gun,you should be able to qualify with it at the same level as your local LEO’s.