Iowa becomes right-to-carry state

The above figure is from the third edition of More Guns, Less Crime that is just about to be released by the University of Chicago Press. Concealed carry laws as of today:

36 states now have right-to-carry laws, 4 states don't require permits in all or virtually all of their state, eight states are may-issue states, and two states ban concealed handguns. Montana is the one state that is a little difficult to place in that you don't need a permit in about 99 percent of the state (only within certain city boundaries is a permit required). The above map doesn't include Montana correctly. If the Republican wins the gubernatorial race in Wisconsin, that state will become a right-to-carry state.

The big news this week is that Iowa (while it has always had a relatively liberal may issue law that essentially operated as a right-to-carry law in most of the state) officially becomes a right-to-carry state.

Culver signs gun permit legislation
Rod Boshart | Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Quad City Times
DES MOINES — Gun-rights advocates cheered loudly Thursday as Gov. Chet Culver approved a standardized process for those seeking permits to carry a concealed weapon.
The new rules will apply equally in all 99 Iowa counties, beginning Jan. 1. . . .
Under Senate File 2379, county sheriffs would lose much of their discretion in denying concealed weapons permits — a change that prompted most members of the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association to oppose the measure.
“It’s a pretty significant public safety change,” said Susan Cameron, an association lobbyist. “For the most part, they don’t believe that they’re unjustly denying permits now, so they don’t think that will have a huge impact.”
Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, one of five county sheriffs who attended the bill-signing ceremony, acknowledged the issue created some tension among his association members. But he said it was important to remove “a double standard” where some sheriffs were issuing permits while others were applying stricter standards and denying permits.
“We still have discretion. The only difference now is we have to put it in writing and they have an appeals process,” he said. “It takes a lot of the good-old-boy factor out of it. I think after a year has passed and there won’t be any problems, it will all be forgotten.” . . .
Under current law, sheriffs can issue or deny permits. There standards vary with some issuing permits to nearly everyone who applies and some denying nearly all applications. Nearly 35,000 Iowans have concealed carry permits, according to lawmakers. . . .

Iowa's new rules involve a significant increase in fees and training requirements.

REASONS FOR DENIAL: A sheriff can no longer deny a gun permit for any reason, or for no reason at all. The law says a permit can be denied only for specific reasons. They include: alcohol or drug addiction; felony conviction; any serious or aggravated misdemeanor conviction within the prior three years; any domestic violence conviction; documentation within the last two years of actions that leads the sheriff to believe a person is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently; past commitment to a mental institution; unlawful immigration status; dishonorable discharge for the military; being subject to a restraining order against harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner.

APPEALS: Currently, Iowans have to fight a sheriff's permit denial, suspension or revocation in district court. Under the new law, they can also appeal to an administrative law judge.

EXPIRATION: Permits, good for one year before this law, will be valid for five years.

FEES: The $10 fee for a permit will go up to $50, and the $5 renewal fee will be $25.

HANDGUNS: Sheriffs can no longer restrict a permit for a concealed weapon to a handgun only, or impose any other limits.

MAKE AND MODEL: Sheriffs can't require an applicant to identify the make, model and serial number of his or her gun on the permit. This issue is not addressed in current law.

PUBLIC RECORDS: Gun permit records are public now and will remain that way.

RECOGNITION: Out-of-state residents with valid permits in their home state can carry weapons in Iowa.

TRAINING: Required every five years.

I haven't looked at the website too carefully yet, but carryconcealed.net/legal/ seems to have useful information on different state right-to-carry laws.

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Blogger Mike Gallo said...

Not to pick at nits, but here in WI we do have a recognized right to carry, it is currently restricted to open carry only, however. I realize the chart is showing CCW laws, but it is somewhat misleading, as it lumps all carry in with one type only.

5/03/2010 9:39 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Mike:

Thanks for the note, but as you say these charts only show right-to-carry concealed handgun laws, so it isn't really lumping the laws together. It is only showing one type of law. I will also note that in terms of the numbers of guns carried, rtc is much more important than open carry.

5/03/2010 9:01 PM  

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