Governor relaxes rules on weapons permit applications, renewals

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DES MOINES, Iowa – On March 20, 2020, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued an additional State Public Health Emergency Declaration related to the COVID-19 virus, including modifications to the current law on weapon permits.

The declaration temporarily addressed portions of Iowa law regarding professional and nonprofessional permits to carry firearms and permits to acquire pistols or revolvers.

Based on the governor’s actions, permits to carry weapons and permits to acquire will not expire during the declaration. This extension, however, does not allow one to use an otherwise expired permit to purchase a firearm without completion of a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check at the time of the purchase or transfer.

All holders of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) must conduct a NICS check prior to the sale or transfer of any firearm if an expired permit is presented. Again, a holder of an otherwise expired permit will not be able to purchase a firearm without a NICS being performed by the FFL.

The declaration also gives county sheriffs greater discretion in determining how they receive weapon permit applications so as to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Dallas County Sheriff’s office will only be processing online weapons permit applications and renewals on the county website. Please check with your local county sheriff’s office to determine its procedure for accepting applications during this time.

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