IFC has been flooded with communication regarding the highs and lows people have experienced when attempting to apply for an Iowa Permit to Carry or Permit to Iowa Acquire in the last week. County Sheriffs had responded to the current health emergency in different ways, with some temporarily suspending the issuance and renewal of weapons permits, while others arranged for applications by mail, email, or online. IFC worked with the Department of Public Safety to communicate ‘best practices’ to Sheriffs early in the week. This guidance was sent to all 99 Iowa counties. At the same time, IFC was coordinating with DPS, we were working through House and Senate leadership to communicate options for solutions as simple as the use of the mail or other alternatives for the public to receive and submit applications. The results of these immediate, behind the scenes efforts by IFC have resulted in Governor Reynolds’ proclamation made this morning, which reads:
WEAPONS PERMITTING PROCEDURES
SECTION TWELVE. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 29C.6(6) and 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code section 724.18 requiring personal delivery of applications for permits to acquire pistols or revolvers and direct that each sheriff’s office to formulate and implement a policy for the procedure for accepting applications for permits to acquire pistols or revolvers and applications for permits to carry weapons that shall include in-person drop-off without involving in-person interactions between the public and staff, acceptance by mail, and to the extent practical by electronic means.
SECTION THIRTEEN. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 29C.6(6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code sections 724.6, 724.7, and 724.20 regarding professional and nonprofessional permits to carry and permits to acquire pistols or revolvers, in that, for State purposes only, the permit to carry weapons will not expire during this Proclamation. This suspension will not extend to the ability of the permits to be used to purchase, in lieu of a NICS check, once the permit is past its original expiration date.
Thank you, Governor Reynolds, for helping streamline and simplify this process. IFC members and Iowans at large appreciate it. Thank you to the House and Senate Leadership which offered assistance in this matter. We enjoy our relationship with you and the spirit of our mutual work. Thank you to the Department of Public Safety for making the attempt to communicate best practice options to all of Iowa’s Sheriffs. I only wish more would have promptly listened to the guidance coming from DPS.
- Governor Reynold’s proclamation extends expiring weapons permits
- Governor Reynold’s proclamation allows for the mailing of permit applications to your local Sheriff’s Office
- Governor Reynold’s proclamation offers email or fax options for permit applications to your local Sheriff’s Office
- The NICS background check is only valid for 5 years by Federal Regulation – A permit that is beyond its printed expiration date may not be used to purchase a firearm. Instead, a new background check will need to be performed at the point and time of purchase. This can be accomplished at your FFL dealer.
This proclamation helps make permit application safe and simple during this trying period. This is a welcome move by Governor Reynolds. Remember, however, an expired permit beyond its five-year period DOES NOT hold validity to ATF.
Iowa law grants Sheriffs a thirty-day window in which to either grant or deny a weapons permit to an applicant. Normally, this process should take a few days at most. However, IFC expects that Iowans will understand that Sheriff’s Offices are under exceptional stress at the moment and may also be short-staffed. They are also seeing a surge in public interest for permits. Please exercise patience.
The sudden turmoil and uncertainty of the present emergency has shattered our sense of normalcy and forced us all to seriously consider how we would care for and defend our families in the event of a much greater breakdown in the social order. Many Americans are just beginning to realize that we may all be called upon to be our own “first responder” in times of crisis. The natural right to self-defense – and by extension, the right to keep and bear arms – is fundamental to our safety and security. The Constitution of the United States recognizes that and decrees that it “shall not be infringed.” Yet elected officials, political candidates, bureaucrats, and well-funded special interest groups continue to offer an unending stream of draconian restrictions on those rights.
This is an election year – and a critical one at that. IFC and IFC’s Political Action Committee will be working hard in the next few months to help you make an informed choice among the candidates. For the sake of our families and their future, we must maintain and strengthen the pro-liberty, pro-2A majorities in the Iowa legislature, especially in the House. If we lose even only the House majority, we will likely never again have an opportunity to pass the Freedom Amendment, which will add strong protections of the right to keep and bear arms to Iowa’s own Constitution.
Once we have adopted the Freedom Amendment – and as we look back and review the lessons of the current crisis – we will be in a much stronger position than ever before to then eliminate one of the original infringements on our basic rights – the requirement for a government permit to purchase or peaceably carry a defensive weapon.
Finally, while you’re at home reading in the coming weeks, I suggest you read and commit to memory the Constitution of the United States. Make use of your time wisely. Too few people do.
Michael Ware – IFC Chairman