Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Guns and Minors (Persons under twenty-one — sale, loan, gift, making available — possession) Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Guns and Minors (Persons under twenty-one — sale, loan, gift, making available — possession) Charges in Iowa

The criminal penalties for giving, selling, or making firearms available to minors in Iowa are defined in Iowa Code 724.22 as follows:


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1. Except as provided in subsection 3, a person who sells, loans, gives, or makes available a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun to a minor commits a serious misdemeanor for a first offense and a class “D” felony for second and subsequent offenses.

2. Except as provided in subsections 4 and 5, a person who sells, loans, gives, or makes available a pistol or revolver or ammunition for a pistol or revolver to a person below the age of twenty-one commits a serious misdemeanor for a first offense and a class “D” felony for second and subsequent offenses.

3. A parent, guardian, spouse who is eighteen years of age or older, or another with the express consent of the minor’s parent or guardian or spouse who is eighteen years of age or older may allow a minor to possess a rifle or shotgun or the ammunition therefor which may be lawfully used.


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4. A person eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years of age may possess a firearm and the ammunition therefor while on military duty or while a peace officer, security guard or correctional officer, when such duty requires the possession of such a weapon or while the person receives instruction in the proper use thereof from an instructor who is twenty-one years of age or older.

5. A parent or guardian or spouse who is twenty-one years of age or older, of a person fourteen years of age but less than twenty-one may allow the person to possess a pistol or revolver or the ammunition therefor for any lawful purpose while under the direct supervision of the parent or guardian or spouse who is twenty-one years of age or older, or while the person receives instruction in the proper use thereof from an instructor twenty-one years of age or older, with the consent of such parent, guardian or spouse.

6. For the purposes of this section, caliber .22 rimfire ammunition shall be deemed to be rifle ammunition.


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7. It shall be unlawful for any person to store or leave a loaded firearm which is not secured by a trigger lock mechanism, placed in a securely locked box or container, or placed in some other location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure from a minor under the age of fourteen years, if such person knows or has reason to believe that a minor under the age of fourteen years is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor, the minor lawfully gains access to the firearm without the consent of the minor’s parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor, and the minor exhibits the firearm in a public place in an unlawful manner, or uses the firearm unlawfully to cause injury or death to a person. This subsection does not apply if the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person. A violation of this subsection is punishable as a serious misdemeanor.

The maximum penalty for the serious misdemeanor charges is up to a year in jail, while the Class D felony charges can result in a 5 year prison sentence in Iowa.


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