Generally, Iowa law prohibits any person from selling or transferring a long gun or ammunition for a long gun to a person who is under age 18. Iowa also prohibits any person from selling or transferring a handgun or handgun ammunition to a person under age 21.1
These restrictions are subject to certain exceptions. A parent, guardian, spouse age 18 or older, or another with the express consent of the minor’s parent or guardian or spouse who is at least age 18 may allow a minor of any age to possess a rifle or shotgun and ammunition for lawful use.2 A parent or guardian or spouse who is age 21 or older may allow a minor of any age to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition for any lawful purpose while under the “direct supervision” of the parent, guardian or spouse, or while the person receives instruction in the proper use of a handgun from an instructor age 21 or older, with the consent of the parent, guardian or spouse.3
Federal law imposes additional limits.
See our Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Iowa Code § 724.22(1), (2).
- Iowa Code § 724.22(1), (3).
- Iowa Code § 724.22(5). “Direct supervision” is defined to mean “physical presence near the supervised person” by a parent, guardian, spouse or a firearms instructor over age 21, when the supervising individual “maintains visual and verbal contact at all times with the supervised person” and is not intoxicated or under the influence of an illegal drug. Id.