A person whose Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons is revoked or denied has the right to appeal. That appeal must be filed timely and handled properly in order to properly protect the person’s right to keep and bear arms in Iowa.
Sometimes a sheriff or the Iowa commissioner of public safety will deny a qualified person’s application for a permit to carry weapons. Other times, an already issued Iowa permit to carry weapons will be revoked by a person’s local sheriff or the Iowa commissioner of public safety. When that happens, it can be a quite problematic situation for the affected person, who is then denied the ability to carry their self defense gun. That revocation can also include statements from law enforcement that suggest a person is not legally allowed to possess firearms at all, on pain of being arrested and charged with a felony. Clearly, a permit denial or revocation is a serious matter in Iowa.
The good news is that Iowa has an effective and relatively swift appeal process that can correct such improper permit to carry weapons denials, which is set forth in Iowa Code section 724.21A. That appeal process involves the timely filing of an appeal and payment of a $10 appeal filing fee. It is important to note that the appeal must be timely filed and the fee must be timely paid, otherwise the appeal will be denied. A hearing (essentially a trial) with the Department of Inspections and Appeals will then be scheduled, and that hearing is to be set within 45 days. During the hearing, testimony and evidence is taken by the Administrative Law Judge, who will then issue a ruling (usually in writing). Usually, the hearings are conducted over the telephone, which tends to be the most convenient and effective approach. Preparing for that hearing, to include having the necessary evidence and legal arguments prepared, is vital to having a successful hearing.
If a denial of a permit to carry weapons in Iowa is the result of a denial from the national instant criminal background check system (NICS), then the appeal process will be different since it will proceed through the Federal system that is in place to address such NICS issues.
As an example case, shortly after Iowa’s current permit to carry law was passed I handled an appeal of a permit to carry denial for a client in which the sheriff incorrectly revoked the client’s permit to carry weapons based upon the sheriff’s incorrect application of Iowa law to determine that the client was disqualified from having a permit to carry weapons. The client was in fact not properly denied his permit, and even the process the sheriff used to revoke the permit was not legally proper. The appeal process proceed to a contested hearing, after which point the Administrative Law Judge ruled in the client’s favor and Ordered the sheriff to reissue the client’s permit, which the sheriff then promptly did.
As an attorney who is an avid firearms enthusiast, NRA-certified instructor, and supporter of concealed carry, I find cases where I can help clients defend their gun rights to be some of the most rewarding. I have represented clients in appeals of permit to carry denials, self defense shootings cases, felon in possession of a firearm cases, and many other type of gun-related legal matters. That experience and passion for gun cases is something that I bring to each appeal of a denial of a permit to carry weapons case that I handle for my clients across the entire state of Iowa.