How to sell a Gun in Iowa


Selling a gun in Iowa requires knowledge of the state’s laws to ensure gun owners are in compliance and don’t make any mistakes. The state of Iowa has various laws concerning the ownership, transfer, and the carrying of firearms. If you’re considering selling a gun to another individual, make sure you’re up to speed with the laws that regulate transfers to ensure you’re in compliance and not breaking any laws

The following information is from the Iowa State Legislature official website.

Owning Long guns

Selling to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is much easier but if you want to sell to a private party you’ll want to be informed.

No state permit is needed to buy a rifle or shotgun in Iowa. Anyone 18-years and older can purchase rifle or shotgun ammunition without a permit as well. However, Iowa is a shall-issue state, meaning that if an applicant passes basic requirements set out by state law, the issuing authority is obligated to issue a permit that allows ownership of pistols and revolvers.

Owning Handguns

Iowa Code 724.15 Permit to acquire pistols or revolvers.

  1. Any person who desires to acquire ownership of any pistol or revolver shall first obtain a permit. A permit shall be issued upon request to any resident of this state unless the person is subject to any of the following:
  • Is less than twenty-one years of age.
  • Is subject to the provisions of section 724.26.
  • Is prohibited by federal law from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm.
  1. Any person who acquires ownership of a pistol or revolver shall not be required to obtain a permit if any of the following apply:
  • The person transferring the pistol or revolver and the person acquiring the pistol or revolver are licensed firearms dealers under federal law.
  • The pistol or revolver acquired is an antique firearm, a collector’s item, a device which is not designed or redesigned for use as a weapon, a device which is designed solely for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line-throwing, safety, or similar device, or a firearm which is unserviceable by reason of being unable to discharge a shot by means of an explosive and is incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.
  • The person acquiring the pistol or revolver is authorized to do so on behalf of a law enforcement agency.
  • The person has obtained a valid permit to carry weapons, as provided in section 724.11.
  • The person transferring the pistol or revolver and the person acquiring the pistol or revolver are related to one another within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity unless the person transferring the pistol or revolver knows that the person acquiring the pistol or revolver would be disqualified from obtaining a permit.
  1. The permit to acquire pistols or revolvers shall authorize the permit holder to acquire one or more pistols or revolvers during the period that the permit remains valid. If the issuing officer determines that the applicant has become disqualified under the provisions of subsection 1, the issuing officer may immediately revoke the permit and shall provide a written statement of the reasons for revocation, and the applicant shall have the right to appeal the revocation as provided in section 724.21A.
  2. An issuing officer who finds that a person issued a permit to acquire pistols or revolvers under this chapter has been arrested for a disqualifying offense or who is the subject of proceedings that could lead to the person’s ineligibility for such permit may immediately suspend such permit. An issuing officer proceeding under this subsection shall immediately notify the permit holder of the suspension by personal service or certified mail on a form prescribed and published by the commissioner of public safety and the suspension shall become effective upon the permit holder’s receipt of such notice. If the suspension is based on an arrest or a proceeding that does not result in a disqualifying conviction or finding against the permit holder, the issuing officer shall immediately reinstate the permit upon receipt of proof of the matter’s final disposition. If the arrest leads to a disqualifying conviction or the proceedings to a disqualifying finding, the issuing officer shall revoke the permit. The issuing officer may also revoke the permit of a person whom the issuing officer later finds was not qualified for such a permit at the time of issuance or who the officer finds provided materially false information on the permit application. A person aggrieved by a suspension or revocation under this subsection may seek review of the decision pursuant to section 724.21A.

[C79, 81, §724.15]

90 Acts, ch 1147, §2, 3; 2010 Acts, ch 1178, §12, 19; 2017 Acts, ch 69, §18 – 20

Referred to in §29C.25, 724.11A, 724.16, 724.17, 724.19, 724.27

724.16 Permit to acquire required — transfer prohibited.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in section 724.15, subsection 2, a person who acquires ownership of a pistol or revolver without a valid permit to acquire pistols or revolvers or a person who transfers ownership of a pistol or revolver to a person who does not have in the person’s possession a valid permit to acquire pistols or revolvers is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.
  2. A person who transfers ownership of a pistol or revolver to a person that the transferor knows is prohibited by section 724.15 from acquiring ownership of a pistol or revolver commits a class “D” felony.

[C79, 81, §724.16]

90 Acts, ch 1147, §4; 94 Acts, ch 1172, §54; 2017 Acts, ch 69, §21

Iowa State Firearm Prohibitors

724.17 Permit to acquire — criminal history check.

  1. The application for a permit to acquire pistols or revolvers may be made to the sheriff of the county of the applicant’s residence and shall be on a form prescribed and published by the commissioner of public safety. The application shall require only the full name of the applicant, the driver’s license or nonoperator’s identification card number of the applicant, the residence of the applicant, the date and place of birth of the applicant, and whether the applicant meets the criteria specified in section 724.15. The applicant shall also display an identification card that bears a distinguishing number assigned to the cardholder, the full name, date of birth, sex, residence address, and brief description and color photograph of the cardholder, or other identification as specified by rule of the department of public safety. The sheriff shall conduct a criminal history check concerning each applicant by obtaining criminal history data from the department of public safety which shall include an inquiry of the national instant criminal background check system maintained by the federal bureau of investigation or any successor agency. A person who makes what the person knows to be a false statement of material fact on an application submitted under this section or who submits what the person knows to be any materially falsified or forged documentation in connection with such an application commits a class “D” felony.
  2. An issuing officer may conduct an annual criminal history check concerning a person issued a permit to acquire by obtaining criminal history data from the department of public safety.

[C79, 81, §724.17]

90 Acts, ch 1147, §5; 2002 Acts, ch 1055, §2; 2010 Acts, ch 1178, §13, 19; 2013 Acts, ch 30,

  • 167; 2016 Acts, ch 1011, §117; 2017 Acts, ch 69, §22; 2017 Acts, ch 170, §48


  • Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
  • Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
  • Felony pre-trial release.
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
  • Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • Illegal alien.

Get the Best Price for Your Gun Without Leaving Home

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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 04/07/20 from