Iowa law prohibits people who have been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor of domestic violence, who are subject to a protective order, or have a juvenile adjudication that would have been a conviction if they had been an adult from possessing firearms or ammunition, under Iowa Code section 724.26.
A violation of Iowa’s law that prohibits felons and other prohibited people from possessing guns or ammunition is a Class D felony, which carries a prison term of 5 years.
It is important to note that US Federal law also has its own restrictions upon who can possess a firearm, and some of those restrictions are broader than Iowa’s restrictions. The existence of a similar Federal crime means that some people charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in Iowa at the state level will later find themselves prosecuted by the Federal government.
While Iowa law makes it a serious crime to be a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, that does not necessarily mean that the case us unwinnable. There are many defenses that can be raised in a felon or other prohibited person in possession of a gun case. As an attorney who is an a gun owner, NRA-certified instructor, and who particularly enjoys gun-related cases, I know that prosecutors and police often bring felon in possession charges in cases where the evidence is not sufficient for a conviction.
For example, I have had cases where the state’s admissible evidence did not prove that my client was in fact in possession of the firearm, causing the prosecution to dismiss the charges. In other cases, the evidence showed that the gun in question was possessed by another person who was not prohibited from possessing the gun, despite the incorrect belief by an overzealous police officer.
Since this area of law can be complex, it is wise for anyone charged with being a felon or other prohibited person in possession of a firearm or ammunition in Iowa to seek an attorney who is familiar with Iowa’s gun laws.
Finally, it worth noting that those currently prohibited from possessing a firearm in Iowa can seek a restoration of their gun rights. My firm handles such cases, as I find it particularly rewarding to help clients seek the restoration of their right to have a gun for self defense, hunting, and other lawful purposes.
Iowa Code section 724.26 is shown below:
1. A person who is convicted of a felony in a state or federal court, or who is adjudicated delinquent on the basis of conduct that would constitute a felony if committed by an adult, and who knowingly has under the person s dominion and control or possession, receives, or transports or causes to be transported a firearm or offensive weapon is guilty of a class D felony.
2. a. Except as provided in paragraph b , a person who is subject to a protective order under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) and who knowingly possesses, ships, transports, or receives a firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition is guilty of a class D felony.
b. This subsection shall not apply to the possession, shipment, transportation, or receipt of a firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition issued by a state department or agency or political subdivision for use in the performance of the official duties of the person who is the subject of a protective order under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8).
c. For purposes of this section, misdemeanor crime of domestic violence means an assault under section 708.1, subsection 1 or 3, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
3. Upon the issuance of a protective order or entry of a judgment of conviction described in subsection 2, the court shall inform the person who is the subject of such order or conviction that the person shall not possess, ship, transport, or receive a firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition while such order is in effect or until such conviction is vacated or until the person s rights have been restored in accordance with section 724.27.
4. Except as provided in section 809A.17, subsection 5, paragraph b , a court that issues an order or that enters a judgment of conviction described in subsection 2 and that finds the subject of the order or conviction to be in possession of any firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition shall order that such firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition be sold or transferred by a date certain to the custody of a qualified person in this state, as determined by the court. The qualified person must be able to lawfully possess such firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition in this state. If the court is unable to identify a qualified person to receive such firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition, the court shall order that the firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition be transferred by a date certain to the county sheriff or a local law enforcement agency designated by the court for safekeeping until a qualified person is identified to receive the firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition, until such order is no longer in effect, until such conviction is vacated, or until the person s rights have been restored in accordance with section 724.27. If the firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition is to be transferred to the sheriff s office or a local law enforcement agency, the court shall assess the person the reasonable cost of storing the firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition, payable to the county sheriff or the local law enforcement agency.
5. Upon entry of an order described in subsection 2, the court shall enter the name, address, date of birth, driver s license number, or other identifying information of the person subject to the order into the Iowa criminal justice information system, the reason for the order, and the date by which the person is required to comply with any relinquishment order issued under subsection 4. At the time such order is no longer in effect, such information relating to the prohibition in subsection 3 shall be deleted from the Iowa criminal justice information system.
6. If a firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition has been transferred to a qualified person pursuant to subsection 4 and the protective order described in subsection 2 is no longer in effect, the firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition shall be returned to the person who was subject to the protective order within five days of that person s request to have the firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition returned.
Tags for this legal blog article: Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Felon or Other Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm, Firearms