Iowa’s new gun permit law has applicants lining up in large numbers at county sheriff’s departments. The new law, which went into effect Saturday, says no one can be denied a permit to carry a gun if they pass a background check and have completed the required training.
The prior law gave local law enforcement officials the discretion to deny a permit for any reason. Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner says that still doesn’t mean everyone will be approved. “There will be times when I still will not issue a permit, when I think it is against public safety to do so,” Gardner said.
“That person will have the opportunity to appeal my decision to an administrative law judge and then the judge would order me to issue the permit if he or she sees fit or would allow me to not issue the permit.”
Many of the people who’ve been lining up at county sheriff’s offices didn’t realize they could pre-apply 30 days ago. Matt Hoy of Marion stood in line with nearly three dozen people Monday at the Linn County Sheriff’s office.
“I’ve had a house that’s been broken into twice and if it weren’t for the dogs chasing them away from my wife and kids…this is just safe,” Hoy said. Anti-gun advocates have expressed concern about the provision in the new legislation that allows those with weapons to carry them openly in public.
The Iowa Attorney General’s office issued a letter to county attorneys last week saying cities and counties have the authority to regulate weapons on property controlled by local governments. In addition, private businesses have the right to post “no weapons” signs or ask that weapons be stowed in a locked car or somewhere other than on the premises.