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The first business day since Iowa adopted changes in its gun laws was a busy one at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

“When I came in this morning, I signed a stack of permits,” Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said Monday. “About an hour later, there was another stack.”

On Jan. 1, Iowa officially became a shall carry state. Under the new law, permits to carry weapons only can be denied if the applicant is a felon or if they have been through some sort of mental health commitment process. Previously, Iowa sheriffs had the discretion to deny permits if a background check turned up something of concern, such as a history of substance abuse. Applicants also had to meet shooting qualifications.

Now that those restrictions are gone, interest in obtaining permits to carry weapons — which no longer mandate the gun be concealed — has picked up, Pulkrabek said.

Pulkrabek said that when his office began to accept applications last month in anticipation of the changes, there were 78 applications for carrying permits, 17 applications for renewal and 118 permits to purchase — a record-breaking number.

Source: Lee Hermiston for the Press-Citizen.

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