Posted on January 2, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. Iowa ranked 16th out of 50 – having some gun violence prevention laws.
In 2013, Iowa did not enact any new laws regarding firearms.
Among other things, Iowa:
- Requires an annual permit to acquire a handgun, involving a background check and a three-day waiting period;
- Requires the surrender of firearms by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, and by persons subject to domestic violence protective orders (pursuant to a law enacted in 2010);
- Requires the reporting of mentally ill individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms to the database used for background checks (another 2010 law); and
- Imposes child access prevention requirements upon gun owners.
Iowa does not, however:
- Require a person who is purchasing a long gun from an unlicensed individual to undergo a background check;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Prohibit the possession and transfer of assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines or 50 caliber rifles;
- Require firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm; or
- Allow local governments in the state to regulate firearms.
In 2010 (the last year for which data is available), Iowa had the eighth lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Iowa supplies less crime guns per capita than the national average. However, Iowa exports slightly more crime guns than it imports. Iowa had the 13th lowest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2009–meaning that crime guns originally sold in Iowa were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 13 lowest rate among the states.
Iowa Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Iowa, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.