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Iowa’s lawmakers have adopted a few key gun safety measures, but must do much more to close loopholes and keep guns from being used irresponsibly. 

In 2019, the Iowa legislature took an initial step towards requiring courts to use the highest civil legal standard to review gun laws, which could result in an onslaught of litigation over basic gun safety laws. In 2019, Iowa had the ninth-lowest gun death rate in the country and exported crime guns at lower than the national rate. To save lives from gun violence, Iowa legislators could pass an extreme risk protection order law and require a background check and waiting period on all firearms, not just handguns.

What Iowa Does Well

  • Partial gun owner licensing
  • Certain domestic violence gun laws
  • Certain open carry regulations
  • Child access prevention laws
  • State database background checks for handguns
  • Certain disarming procedures

What Iowa Is Missing

  • Universal background checks for long guns
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Strong concealed carry law
  • Lost & stolen firearm reporting
  • Local authority to regulate firearms
  • Bulk firearm purchase restrictions


We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.