DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver today signed into law Senate File 2379, legislation that standardizes the weapon permit process across Iowa.
Iowa has historically been a “may issue” state, meaning that decisions on whether to issue an individual a permit to carry a weapon were made at the local level at the sheriff’s discretion, with inconsistencies among counties. Senate File 2379 makes Iowa a “shall issue” state in which individuals will be granted weapon permits unless they meet certain criteria for denial.
“I am signing this bill because I believe there doesn’t need to be any conflict between the freedom to carry firearms and public safety,” Governor Culver said during a signing ceremony at the State Capitol. “Instead, I believe that law-abiding citizens who are placed in situations in which their life and property are threatened should be able to protect themselves, and their families. When firearms are used properly by people who are trained in their use, public safety can increase in terms of crime prevention.”
The law does not grant automatic approval of application for permits for people who are likely to be a danger to themselves or their communities, but it provides that Iowans start with an assumption that an application will be approved, with reasonable safeguards for public safety. Sheriffs will be required to deny permits based upon applicants’ previous illegal acts, age restrictions (applicants must be over 21), and to applicants who are likely to commit a violent act with the firearm. People denied a permit under these limitations may appeal their case to an administrative law judge. Applicants for a carry permit must be knowledgeable and trained in firearm safety, and continue to show proficiency in control of the firearm.
“This bill strikes an appropriate balance, recognizing the rights of law-abiding Iowans guaranteed by the Second Amendment and the duty of local law enforcement officers,” Governor Culver said. “We all have a role to play in public safety. I believe this is a good bill that has the potential to keep Iowans safer.”
A sigh of relief as we were getting close to a veto due to inaction. Can't wait till 1-1-11 to ditch my nanny permit. Odd that as I'm typing this I am enjoying the fact that MI honors all State's permits (Yes I am thumbing my nose at my Sheriff) and am able to carry. This will be one happy new year indeed.