As reported,Iowa Governor Chet Culver has finally signed SF2379, making Iowa a “shall issue” concealed carry state. This important law, which takes effect on January 1, 2011, will put an end to arbitrary denials of the right to carry a gun for self defense in Iowa.
DES MOINES – Gov. Chet Culver today signed legislation that will make Iowa a “shall issue” state when it comes to county sheriffs issuing permits to acquire or carry a concealed weapon.
“This bill strikes an appropriate balance” between citizens’ rights to bear arms and the need for law enforcement officers to maintain public safety.
County sheriffs will lose much of their discretion in denying concealed weapons permits.
The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, would create uniform standards in all 99 counties for issuing permits to carry a concealed weapon in public. It will require sheriffs to issue a permit to carry firearms to all applicants unless they are subject to certain specific disqualifiers.
Under current law, sheriffs can issue or deny permits. Their 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.
Chris Rager, an Iowa lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said today’s action signifies the first time in nearly a century that a major step has been taken to enhance the right-to-carry freedoms of Iowans. He said the 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 one of 38 “shall-issue” states.
Please contact Governor Culver to voice your thanks.