This is how the press usually portrays Iowa’s rather unremarkable weapons permit regime, when they mention it at all. However, the fact that most Iowans probably don’t even know that the state issues permits to their friends and neighbors to carry concealed firearms, and has for years, is a testament to what a non-threat these law-abiding gun bearers are to the public.
Our discretionary-issue system has led to a patchwork quilt of restrictions and qualifications in Iowa’s 99 counties. Some counties require extensive training of its applicants while others require very minimal training. Some sheriffs issue permits to all qualified applicants, while others refuse to issue them at all. This map provided by IowaCarry.org shows the relative degree of difficulty in getting a concealed weapons permit for each county in Iowa. (Red are the most restrictive, yellow are average, and green are the least restrictive.)
A new bill (HF 2092) in the Iowa Legislature seeks to remedy this situation. It would standardize training requirements statewide and require the sheriff to issue permits to qualified applicants, who also must pass background checks. It would also grant reciprocity, recognizing RTC permits from other states, like we do with other states drivers licenses. The bill would also provide issuing sheriffs with immunity from liability for any potential (yet unlikely) damages caused by a permit holder. While the bill does contain compromises (a necessity in purple-state Iowa) it is an improvement over the current system in that it provides uniform standards for the entire state.