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What Do Iowa Prosecutors Consider a Gun Crime?

In spite of the rights bestowed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, there are certain regulations in place on a state level dictating how a person may own or possess a firearm. The state of Iowa holds its own complex laws regarding firearms, in an effort to ensure that they are used safely. In order to prevent you from inadvertently committing a gun crime in Iowa, it is important that you know what is legal and illegal regarding these weapons. Please continue reading, then contact an experienced Des Moines gun crime lawyer for help if you have already been charged. Here are some questions you may have:

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What is considered a gun crime in Iowa?

Depending on the type of gun, the state of Iowa has different laws. While the Hawkeye State imposes no waiting period for gun purchases and does not require a license to purchase or own a firearm or practice concealed carry, buyers must be of legal age to purchase, can’t have a felony conviction on their record, do not have a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction or are subject to a domestic violence protective order and are limited to certain types of firearms. Iowans are barred from owning the following types of firearms:

  • Offensive weapons
  • Machine guns
  • Short-barreled rifles or shotguns, also known as “sawn-offs”
  • Any weapon other than a shotgun or muzzle-loading rifle, cannon, pistol, revolver or musket, which fires or can be made to fire a projectile by the explosion of a propellant charge which has a barrel of more than six-tenths of an inch in diameter
  • Any bullet containing any explosive mixture capable of exploding upon impact
  • Silencers

For the record, gun owners are not permitted to open carry in the state capitol building.

What are the penalties for a gun crime in Iowa?

State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts, including federal decisions, ballot initiatives and other means. Nonetheless, the current penalties for gun crimes in the Hawkeye State are as follows:

  • Possession of a firearm by a person with a felony conviction is a class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500 or both
  • Possession without a permit is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $6,250 or both (for offenses prior to July 2021)
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon while under the influence is a serious misdemeanor

If you have been charged with a gun crime, do not proceed without speaking with a skilled  Des Moines criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

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