Iowa and Tennessee Constitutional Carry Laws Effective on 1 July, 2021

Iowa and Tennessee Constitutional Carry Laws Effective on 1 July, 2021, iStock-602335156
Iowa and Tennessee Constitutional Carry Laws Effective on 1 July, 2021, iStock-602335156

U.S.A.-( Iowa and Tennessee are two of the five states which have restored Constitutional Carry so far in 2021. In both states the Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) bills took effect on Thursday, 1 July, just ahead of Independence Day, July 4th.

Constitutional Carry is a reasonable facsimile of the state of the law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. At the time, no state or federal law required government permission in order to carry personal weapons, either openly or concealed.

In Iowa, the Constitutional Carry bill contained other reforms. The bill was signed into law on 2 April by Governor Kim Reynolds. It removed the Iowa requirement for a permit to purchase a pistol, which was separate from the federal National Instant background Check System (NICS). From

Effective July 1, Iowa no longer requires certain residents to have a permit to acquire or permit to carry to purchase handguns from federally licensed firearms dealers.

Iowa has moved from a relatively restrictive state, where you had to ask government permission to purchase or carry a handgun, to a state where the  Second Amendment is honored most of the time in most places. There have always been a few places where the carry of weapons was regulated, such as in prisons and powder houses. Private property owners could exclude armed people if they so desired.

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee signed the Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) into law on 8 April, a week after Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa signed their Constitutional Carry bill into law. From

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Several new laws will go into effect today in Tennessee.

Among them, the controversial constitutional carry bill, which allows Tennesseans 21 and older to carry a gun without a permit. 

The legislation, signed into law by Governor Bill Lee earlier this year, removes the permit process required for Tennesseans to carry a handgun.

The bill in Tennessee has some controversial provisions. Some of these are:

  • If a person leaves a handgun in a motor vehicle, it must be locked up and out of sight.
  • People are prohibited from carrying a handgun if a Tennessee citizen has had two convictions for Driving under the influence (DUI) in the last ten years or once in the last five years.

The three other states who have restored Constitutional Carry in 2021, so far, are Utah, Montana, and Texas.

Most portions of the Montana Constitutional Carry bill became effective with Governor Greg Gianforte’s signature on 18 February. The university carry provisions were to go into effect on 1 June. They are being challenged in court.

The Utah bill became effective on 5 May 2021. The Texas law becomes effective on 1 September.

As of this writing, Louisiana is likely to hold a veto override session, where Governor Bel Edwards’ veto of the Louisiana Constitutional Carry bill may be over ridden. 20 states have restored Constitutional Carry. Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry, making 21 Constitutional Carry states at this time.

Those states are:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi 
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

The 21 states cover 56% of the land area of the United States of America.

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

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Actually the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) recommends not carrying without a permit. When I moved to TN I thought that the state would have great firearms laws. Nope, I should have stayed in FL which has much better laws. Here is a link to TFA’s website where the guy (lawyer) discusses the reason to get a permit.

Charlie Foxtrot

Correct, because it is not constitutional carry. It is limited permitless carry.


That is good information to have and know. Thanksfor posting it! From your posted article, there is this item in a list of conditions that must be met to carry without a permit in Tennessee. “• The person must be “in a place where the person is lawfully present” – the Legislative record is unclear on what this element is intended to accomplish other than being a basis for some category of criminal charge.” The reason for this one is fairly easy. I am guessing that failure to meet this bit of criteria would make it easier to add charges… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Grigori
Charlie Foxtrot

Carrying beyond a “no guns” sign at a store without a permit just became 2 charges, carrying beyond a “no guns” sign and carrying without a permit.


Hmmm… You may have a good point, there. I was looking at it as a means of charging burglars, poachers, and other trespassers who were somewhere they did not belong and went armed. Knowing how LE and courts will twist laws to stick it to any and every one they can, your post does make sense.


Burglars, poachers & trespassers should be charged under burglary, poaching & trespassing laws. IF convicted of burglary, poaching or trespassing, then maybe more time for doing it armed with anything, not just guns.


“one of the few or maybe the only one that I see no consequences to good guys” Look again. Ambiguity & unpredictability in carry laws & “gun free” zones increases risk of arrest to good guys, deters carry, leaves good guys defenseless, facilitates massacres – all of which hurt good guys. “For TFA, real constitutional carry means that anyone who can legally possess a firearm has the right to carry it on substantially all publicly owned properties without gvt infringement. It’s that simple because it’s what 2A clearly prohibits – gvt infringement of the RKBA.” It’s not that simple. Like… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Please read my reply to Charlie Foxtrot, above. When I made my comment, I was thinking strictly in terms of having a right to be where you were carrying to begin with or not, such as regarding burglars, poachers, and other trespassers. The possibility of it being transformed into a double whammy in stupid Gun Free Zones had not entered my mind. I have never supported the bullshit “property owners’ rights” excuse, used to “justify” the No Concealable Weapons signs and giving them force of law, as they have in SC and other states. As far as I am concerned,… Read more »


Well said. As a former VCDL member, I know NRA F’d up Virginia’s “carry” law, insisting on “gun free” zones that facilitated the Virginia Tech massacre. Pols followed NRA’s lead & bowed to its pressure. NRA sabotaged VCDL efforts to clean it up.

It’s naturally rare for politicians to step up & push laws more pro-gun than what NRA wants. Maybe less rare now with NRA imploding due to corruption and Rs pacifying conservatives angry that they aided vote fraud & certified a coup d’etat.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

As a former citizen of Tennessee, and occasional visitor, this law does damn near nothing for the people of Tennessee, except let state legislators tell their constituents they supported and even voted for “constitutional carry.” As usual, Tennessee’s gun laws remain a minefield. I feel like I’m better off with my out of state permit than a Tennessee citizen without a Tennessee permit would be. True constitutional carry would be anybody, any arms, anytime. Anywhere could be pushing it, but the proprietors of gun free zones should be required to provide a secure, free of charge place for carriers to… Read more »


Good idea requiring armed security. Should also be strict liability for civil damages if the armed security proves inadequate to stop a massacre of the civilians the firm disarmed. Go ahead, post a “gun free” zone, but it’ll cost you. In prosecution of “illegal” carry the firm should bear a burden to prove the posting is obvious & the carrier aware of it. Flashing neon? “Anywhere” (“private” public places, firms open to the public) is only pushing it because “conservatives” insist on appeasing “liberal” business owners even when we have the power to do the right thing (supermajority “conservative” control… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

You heard correct. It is unbelievable the amount of guns being stolen from cars. You are also correct about TN gun laws being a minefield. I would almost think someone would write a book on the gun laws here. Trying to read the laws on the state of TN web sight is mind boggling at least to a simpleton such as myself. Again I have to agree with you, the safest place for my pistol is on my hip.

Charlie Foxtrot

For Tennessee, it is limited permitless carry, that allows one to carry a loaded handgun without a permit. There are a number of exceptions, such as a permit is still required in parks. AR-15 pistols are not covered either. There are a few more gun laws that apply.

There was a real constitutional carry bill, but it wasn’t passed because the NRA had other plans. Now, we have to work for the next few years to fix this mess.


In pro-gun states NRA has for decades been the main obstacle to Constitutional Carry and the main proponent of “gun free” zones.


Hmm. What happened to Will’s reply?


Disappeared again.


Congratulations to Iowa and Tennessee! Enjoy your somewhat restored freedoms, guys!

Meanwhile, here in SC, even though we only got open carry with permit (not what we hoped for but still an improvement), our LE agencies were apparently so dense, they needed 90 days “to prepare” for the changes, therefore we will not have our modifications until August 15 or 16.