Oct 19, 2010

Iowa CCW hiccup

Current law: No guns in the state parks. New law: You may have but not use or show.

Generally,  Barney Fife will have a hard time getting hired as an Iowa cop unless he applies to the Department of Natural Resources.* So a guy should be careful about carrying in the parks. The Department  of Public Safety  makes it clear that concealed carry there is legal but refers to the DNR interpretation:


Parse that. Among other things it seems to require that the gun be absolutely concealed. Carrying openly is displaying, as is sitting on a log with your buddy and letting him examine your Black Hawk over mid-morning coffee. Actually using it to counter a threat also seems to be grounds for prosecution.  Until all this is thrashed out via statute, re-interpretation,  or case law, I'd avoid attracting the attention of the  guy in the Smoky Bear hat.


The new law bars sheriff's from imposing restrictions on the type of weapon covered by the CCW. One effect of that is also a DNR matter.  Sheriffs have frequently written CCW restrictions to forbid violating game laws which require that rifles and shotguns in vehicles be unloaded and cased,  leading  to this from the DNR:

While a person with a valid permit under Iowa Code § 724.7 may carry their firearm 
uncased and loaded in the vehicle, the Department strongly urges persons with a 
permit to continue to transport their firearms in a carrying case and unloaded for safety purposes. 

The statute was on the books mostly to prevent road hunting, rather widely viewed around here as unethical.  Let your conscience be your guide.   And don't forget that this year's hunting is governed by the old law.


*Anecdotal evidence of how these guys operate suggests the Barney reference, but that's another post. 

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