Why is Self-Defense “Unbelievable” in Iowa?

I’m not quite sure I follow why interest in non-discretionary issue of concealed carry firearms is considered hard to believe in Iowa.

The number of Iowans seeking permits to carry handguns and other weapons has increased 170 percent during the first 11 months of 2011 — a trend one Iowa sheriff calls “unbelievable.”

During the first year in which a new law gave sheriffs less discretion over which residents can be denied permits, 94,516 Iowans sought and received non-professional weapons permits from January through November, the Iowa Department of Public Safety reports.

Data from the state’s three most populous counties show an even greater surge in weapons permits in key urban areas. In Polk, Linn and Scott counties, the number of permits issued thus far in 2011 is 271 percent higher than in 2010.

It seems pretty damn easy to understand for me. I know people who have lived under may issue jurisdictions who wouldn’t even apply for a license to carry because of the risk of being turned down for absolutely no reason. If they are turned down, they usually have to report it to the states that issue licenses based on actual evidence that you’re law-abiding.

Based on the context of the “unbelievable” quote, I don’t think the sheriff who said it was speaking from an anti-gun perspective. I just think he’s truly baffled that interest surged in self-defense once it became known that discriminating practices in issuance were no longer allowed.

11 thoughts on “Why is Self-Defense “Unbelievable” in Iowa?”

  1. “Previously, a sheriff could deny a permit for any or no reason.”

    I’m glad they came out and said this straight, instead of it ‘weakening the sheriff’s ability to keep criminals from getting permits’ or some other nonsense. They should have to prove you’re not fit to carry (criminal/mental health records), not the other way around.

  2. I would bet it’s because it was quite well known in many counties that attempting to get a concealed carry permit was not only virtually impossible, but also drew the sheriff’s attention to the requesting party. To quote one local chiefs comment to me when informed I wanted a permit: “why would you ever go somewhere where you might need a gun?”.

    From their perspective, either you were a potential problem, or you were looking for trouble.

    1. I’m a cop and know very well that I may not “go” somewhere off-duty, where I need a gun but that someone may come to where I am off duty and cause me to need that gun because of their actions. I pains me so much when I see fellow LEO that are so clueless to the valid need that the citizenry we serve to protect should have the right to defend themselves from the filth that walk our world. People have a right to stand against evil and the government should support that not hinder that right. Rant over.

  3. Thank you for your comment, Rick.

    Thank you also for your service and protection.

    I rejoice knowing there are still good patriots like you serving in law enforcement!

    Warm regards,


  4. When seconds count, the police are minutes away. My life is a gift from God and, therefore, worth protecting. Self-defense is, in my opinion, a God-given right.

  5. As a current resident of Linn county (Johnson county before that) it was precisely the case that I had heard that a permit would be routinely denied by the sheriffs there, so never applied. Once it went shall issue, I was right on that, like a lot of people I know when they found out just how easy it was now and saw my permit. And my little sig p238. I can claim being the direct cause of at least myself and three others of those increased permits, and two more sigs.

  6. I don’t think I’ve got too much to worry about when it comes to scrutiny here in MD – I haven’t applied for a permit because I know that it’s a waste of money I can’t afford. I know for an absolute fact that I, a citizen in good standing with neither criminal record, mental illness nor any other disqualifying condition, will be denied.


    It’s just not worth it.

    If this ever changes you can bet I’ll apply. Until then, I’ll just have to hope for the best.

    Man, MD sucks.

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