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Eugene Nassif

Under federal law, if you have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or are subject to a domestic abuse protective order, you are barred from owning firearms. You will remain barred so long as the order remains in place. 


In this article, we explain the specifics of domestic firearm laws in Iowa. We cover the following:

  • Can I Possess Firearms Under Iowa Law?
  • Orders of Protection and Firearms in Iowa
  • Can My Firearms Be Seized in Iowa? 



Can I Possess Firearms Under Iowa Law?


In addition to federal law, Iowa law restricts firearm possession for people who have a domestic abuse conviction or a restraining order against them. Iowa law further gives local law enforcement the authority to take firearms from these people.  


Below is a general summary of Iowa Code Ch. 664A addressing the issue: 


A person who has a protective order or no-contact order against them or has a certain type of criminal conviction, such as a misdemeanor domestic abuse charge: 

  • Must be told that they shall not possess, ship, transport, or receive firearms while the order is in place or until the conviction is vacated; and 
  • Cannot knowingly possess, ship, transport or receive firearms, ammunition, or other offensive weapons. 


If this person does possess a firearm; 

  • They can be found guilty of a Class D felony; and 
  • The court shall order the firearm to be sold or transferred. 


If there is a temporary criminal no-contact order pursuant to a domestic abuse misdemeanor charge or a temporary civil protection order, the order must state that the defendant may be required to turn over firearms once the permanent order goes into effect.  


After the entry of the permanent domestic abuse protective order, the court will enter the information of the person who the order is against into the Iowa criminal justice system, allowing local enforcement to take firearms. When the order is no longer in effect, the information will be deleted.  


Orders of Protection and Firearms in Iowa


Sometimes, someone with an order against them will consent to a protection order. This means they agree to the protection order and the judge will not make a finding that the domestic abuse has occurred. It is unclear whether the new Iowa law applies in these circumstances (barring firearm possession) or if it only applies to orders where the judge has made a finding that domestic abuse has occurred. Federal law does provide relief here, however, as it bars firearm possession when there is a consent protection order. Therefore, even if the respondent consents, they would still be barred from firearm ownership under federal law even though it may be unclear under Iowa law.  


Can My Firearms Be Seized in Iowa? 


The new Iowa law does not address specific enforcement procedures for local law enforcement to carry out the seizure of firearms. If a victim of domestic violence knows the abuser has firearms, they can seek to bring a contempt action against the abuser in court, forcing them to turn in their firearms.  



Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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