Oct 18, 2010

Iowa Concealed Carry, Open Carry

We're a couple of months away from the  effective date of Iowa's new shall-issue law, and the Department of Public Safety has issued a FAQ on how it will work. For a government publication, it's remarkably straight forward.

Among other things it clarifies the open-carry issue. With a carry permit, you may carry concealed or openly in cities and towns despite any local legislation. The wording is:

QUESTION: Under the new law, do I have to carry my handgun concealed? 
ANSWER: Iowa law has not changed in this regard. You may carry concealed or you may carry openly; however, most permit holders 
carry concealed to avoid making it obvious that the person is armed, thus avoiding unnecessary attention, concern, or alarm. 

The expiring may-issue law did permit open carry in cities for CCW holders, but it held a hemlock dose. Sheriffs could jerk your mother-may-I  for any reason, including offending the sensibilities of your fellow Target shoppers with a visible weapon.

That said, I rather like the FAQ wording. It confirms your right but suggests that you might want to exercise it with a bit of discretion to avoid numerous and monotonous discussions with peace officers summoned by the nervous.   

Which raises the question of businesses' right to ban guns. Iowa law remains silent on the subject, and I expect the issue to be litigated sooner rather than later. Just as it has elsewhere, it pits the right of a business to control things on its own property against your right to defend yourself anywhere.  


1 comment:

JohnW said...

As you know, us desert-dwellers have had open carry since statehood, and unlicensed CCW for almost three months now, and the sanguine-filled gutters have never dried once in all that time.