Guns and Gear

Iowa Gov. Signs Bill Allowing Permitless Carry, Purchase Of Handguns

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law Friday legislation allowing people to buy and carry a handgun without a permit.

“Today I signed legislation that protects the 2nd Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals,” Reynolds said in a statement, according to the Des Moines Register. “This law also takes greater steps to inform law enforcement about an individual’s mental illness helping ensure firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

“We will never be able to outlaw or prevent every single bad actor from getting a gun, but what we can do is ensure law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights while keeping Iowans safe,” Reynolds said. (RELATED: 9th Circuit Court Rules Second Amendment Doesn’t Guarantee Right To Open Carry)

House File 756 rules residents over 21 will not need a permit to purchase a handgun but will still have to undergo federal background checks required by licensed dealers. The bill eliminates federal background checks for private gun sales, although there are currently no background checks for private handgun sales under Iowa law, the Des Moines Register reported.

The law also makes it a Class D felony to sell, rent or loan a gun to a person that a seller “knows or reasonably should know” is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The National Rifle Association celebrated the move in a tweet Friday.

Iowa joins more than a dozen other states that allow permitless carry, including Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. The law is set to take effect July 1.