Sheriff Steve Haupert

Questions about gun permits flooding sheriff’s offices


With many Iowa residents’ permits to carry set to expire soon, a wave of questions is flooding sheriff’s offices.
The process is fairly simple, though, officials contend.

A law change that was passed in 2010 and took effect at the beginning of 2011 changed the guidelines for permits to carry to state that sheriff’s offices “shall issue” permits to all applicants who meet certain qualifications, rather than leaving the decision to each sheriff’s discretion. The law also noted that permits must be renewed every five years, rather than annually, meaning the first five-year mark since the law change is nigh.

After the law initially changed, there was a flood of permit-to-carry applicants in 2011.

Greene County Sheriff Steve Haupert said he believes some of the flood was prompted by shootings taking place around the country.

“I think it was the protective self-preservation,” he said. “I think it was more society driven because of the fear of attacks and the aggression of people that we haven’t seen in past history.”

There are about 850 permits to carry out in Greene County right now, Haupert said, with an additional 500 permits to acquire. The latter costs $5 and must be renewed annually.

Now, five years later, that same flood is returning, with some confusion arising about the difference between a new and renewed permit to carry.

A renewed permit costs $25 and requires applicants to show proof of a completed training class or shooting certification — from a National Rifle Association- or Iowa Law Enforcement Academy-certified instructor — from within 12 months before the permit expires. They must apply for the renewed permit 30 days or more before their current permit expires.

A new permit costs $50 but allows applicants to use their original certificate of training, no matter when it was received, and it can be received after that 30-day window passes. The permit itself doesn’t specify “new” or “renewed” and one doesn’t offer more rights than the other.

There are a few exceptions and variations to the general rule. Anyone with a permit to carry from another county can’t apply for a renewed permit in their new county of residence — using the reasoning that a county’s sheriff can’t renew a permit he or she didn’t originally issue — so those people are required to apply for a new permit, using their original certificate of training or a new one.

Military veterans with an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions satisfy the training requirement but must use their proof of military certification to apply for a new permit, unless they have undergone an acceptable form of training within the past 12 months that would allow them to complete a renewal document.

The sheriff’s office performs a background check on all applicants.

Convicted felons or people on probation, as well as those with domestic abuse assault convictions, mental health commitments or arrests and convictions in the past several years indicating an alcohol addiction do not receive permits.

Just on Monday, the sheriff’s office gave almost 10 renewed or new permits, Haupert said. The majority of people are electing to renew their permits, with proof of a recent class, rather than obtaining a new permit, he added.

Haupert said that he’d prefer those whose permits are about to expire go ahead and take a class or re-certify on the range, so that they are keeping up with new laws and standards.

A variety of classes are available online — many are inexpensive — and those renewing their permits can also get a certificate from a shooting range, such as the one in Boone.

An in-person class is available soon in Carroll County. Deputy Tom Fransen will offer a permit to carry class, sponsored by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, at 7 p.m. Monday in the courtroom on the top floor of the courthouse, 114 E. 6th St., in Carroll.

The class costs $30 for those using it as a refresher course and $50 for those who haven’t taken one before. No registration is required.

With the cheaper price tag for the renewed permit, the cost of a refresher course is worth it, Haupert said.

Greene County residents wishing to get a new or renewed permit can visit the county Law Enforcement Center between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

For an additional $10, the office will print a “completely washable” card, rather than the sheet of paper permit holders otherwise would receive, Haupert said.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has a frequently-asked-questions section on its site that includes more information.

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161