Iowa Moves Forward on Constitutional Carry in 2021

Iowa RKBA Constitutional Amendment has good Chance in New Legislature
Iowa RKBA Constitutional Amendment has good Chance in New Legislature

U.S.A.-( Iowa is becoming a strong contender to enact Constitutional (permitless) Carry in 2021.  Iowa bill HSB254 passed the subcommittee vote on 1 March 2021 and is up for the full committee vote in the house on 2 March 2021.

A similar bill is before a Senate subcommittee on 2 March. The bill does not eliminate the Iowa permit. It accomplishes several reforms of the Iowa gun laws.

For Constitutional Carry, the bill eliminates the requirement to have a permit in order to legally carry a dangerous weapon, either openly or concealed. From Section 10.:

The availability of a professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons under this chapter shall not be construed to impose a general prohibition on the otherwise lawful unlicensed carrying or transport, whether openly or concealed, of a dangerous weapon, including a loaded firearm. 

The bill eliminates the requirement to obtain a permit to sell or transfer firearms, for residents of the state, thus restoring the right to sell or transfer firearms privately, without receiving permission from the government.

People are prohibited from selling firearms to those who are prohibited from ownership if the sellers can be shown to have reasonably known the person was prohibited.

It reforms the Iowa permit to insure the permit will continue to meet the requirements to be used as a substitute for the National Instant background Check System (NICS).

The bill makes provision for medical care practitioners who serve with SWAT teams to be armed.

The bill broadens the number of courses available to meet training requirements for the concealed carry permit.

The bill prohibits political subdivisions from regulating the carry of firearms, firearm attachments, or other weapons.

It strengthens tenant’s rights to keep arms. Landlords that receive federal rental assistant may not forbid the ownership of firearms. The bill makes clear that mere possession of a firearm is not a clear and present danger.

There is a provision in the bill to exempt a reserve peace officer from the ban on carrying firearms in schools, even if not certified. Reserve police officers often serve for years before completing a certification process.

The bill amounts to a comprehensive reform of the Iowa scheme of regulating the carry and sale of firearms, to bring Iowa into line with the proposed Iowa Constitutional Amendment which is scheduled for a referendum in 2022.

No Constitutional Amendment to protect the right to arms has ever failed to win approval by referendum. The difficult part of creating the Iowa Constitutional Amendment to protect the right to keep and bear arms was to have it passed by two legislatures, with an election in between.

The Amendment reads as follows;  From

Right to Keep and bear arms,

Sec. 1A. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shal not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

The current Iowa Legislature passed the amendment in the House, 58 to 41. It passed in the Senate, 29 to 18. Constitutional amendments in Iowa do not require a signature by the Governor.

It seems likely the votes are available to pass HSB254, as it puts into law what is called for by the Constitutional amendment already passed by the same legislative bodies. If it passes the legislature, the question is whether Governor Kim Reynolds would sign it. She was ambivalent about it on 12 February 2019.

18 states have passed various versions of Constitutional Carry. It is becoming mainstream.

A study published in the Journal of American College of Surgeons in 2018, shows no adverse effects from removing infringements on the carry of firearms.


This study demonstrated no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime. Policy efforts aimed at injury prevention and the reduction of firearm-related violence should likely investigate other targets for potential intervention.

Governor Kim Reynolds has many good reasons to sign HSB254 if it passes the legislature.

Iowa representatives are demonstrating the words on the Great Seal of the State of Iowa: “We prize our liberties and our rights we will maintain”.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten