This week, Iowa Governor Chet Culver (D) signed Senate File 2379 into law, signifying the first time in nearly a century that a major step has been taken to enhance the Right-to-Carry freedoms of Iowans. This NRA-backed legislation will allow law-abiding Iowans the right to carry without being subject to the subjective discretion of individual sheriffs, changing Iowa from a “may-issue” state to a “shall-issue” state.
The House of Representatives passed SF 2379 by a vote of 81 to 15. Senate File 2379 previously passed in the Senate by a vote of 44 to 4. Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D) sponsored SF 2379, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D) sponsored the House version, HF 2528.
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox said, “This is a major victory for law-abiding gun owners in Iowa. Concealed carry permits should not be granted on a subjective basis using an indiscernible set of criteria.” This measure will require sheriffs to issue a permit to carry firearms to all applicants unless they are subject to certain specific disqualifiers.
In addition, this legislation will increase the term of a permit from one year to five years; narrow the disqualifying circumstances for a permit to the federal minimum in most cases, while at the same time further narrowing state-specific disqualifiers; prevent the issuing officer from placing limits on or restricting the scope of a carry permit; ensure that denials, suspensions and revocations of permits would be subject to both administrative and judicial review; grant recognition to all valid out-of-state permits; broaden the types of training that would fulfill the state-mandated training requirement for permit applicants; and remove other over-reaching restrictions on gun owners in the Hawkeye State.
“This bill reinforces the legislature’s intent to respect the God-given right of self-defense for law-abiding Iowans,” Cox concluded. “We are pleased that Governor Culver signed this important legislation into law, ensuring folks a fair and clearly-defined permitting process.”
The NRA would like to thank Iowa Carry for their support, as well as Rep. Clel Baudler (R) for championing this legislation. In addition to the provisions previously listed, SF 2379 will also limit the information that can be required of a permit applicant and prevent the application process from being used as a de-facto firearm registration scheme. Until the new system goes into effect, gun owners will still be able to obtain a one-year permit under the old system. This measure will take effect January 1, 2011.