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Carrying a Firearm Within City Limits

Like most states, Iowa has laws regulating how and where firearms can be used. Additionally, the law also determines where a person can possess a firearm and how it must be displayed. Under current law, a person could face charges for carrying a firearm into the limits of a city. However, there are some exceptions to the law.

Des Moines Carrying a Firearm Within City Limits Attorney

If you have been charged with carrying a dangerous weapon or a firearm into the limits of a city in Iowa, contact a skilled and dedicated firearm attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. Our lawyers have years of experience taking on firearm offenses, and they can help you protect your freedom.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. works with clients throughout Polk County and Dallas County, including those in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston and Ankeny. They also work with clients in other portions of Iowa. No matter the offense, they can advocate on your behalf. Call (515) 279-9700 to schedule a free consultation today.


Information About Carrying a Firearm in Iowa City Limits


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Charges for Carrying a Gun Within Limits of Any City

Under Iowa Code 724.4, a person who goes armed with a pistol, revolver or a loaded firearm of any kind into the limits of a city commits an aggravated misdemeanor. It does not matter if the weapon is concealed or if it is visible.

Additionally, if the weapon is transported or carried into the limits of a city in a vehicle, the person still could be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor. The person, however, must transport the item “knowingly.” If he or she had no knowledge of the gun, this could be a defense against the charges.

A person also could be charged with this offense if he or she is in possession of a dangerous weapon, a knife that has been used in the commission of a crime and a concealed knife exceeding eight inches. If the blade is between five and eight inches, the offense is a serious misdemeanor.


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Exceptions to the Law

State law does have exceptions to its firearm law. For example, a person who is carrying a concealed firearm in a city limit, but has a valid permit to do so, could be excluded from the charges. Under the law, he or she must display the permit to a police officer and the person must be acting within the limits of the permit.

According to Iowa Code 724.4, the restrictions do not apply to the following people:

  • A person armed in his or her own dwelling or on land owned or possessed by the person;
  • A peace officer when his or her duties require the person to carry such weapons;
  • A member of the armed forces or national guard when his or her duties require such weapons;
  • A correctional officer when his or her duties require the weapon under authority from the Iowa Department of Corrections;
  • A person who for any lawful reason carries an unloaded pistol, revolver or other firearm inside a fastened container or securely wrapped package which is too large to be concealed on the person;
  • A person who for any lawful reason carries or transports an unloaded pistol or revolver in a vehicle in a closed, fastened container and is not readily accessible to any person in the vehicle;
  • A person lawfully engaged in target practice on a range designed for that purpose;
  • A person lawfully engaged in hunting or fishing;
  • A law enforcement officer from another state when his or her duties require the officer to carry weapons to extradite a prisoner, pursue a suspect or act within law enforcement capacities with the consent of the city chief of police; and
  • A person who is transporting prisoners under the Iowa Department of Corrections.

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Penalties for Carrying Weapons

The consequences associated with carrying a firearm or weapon into the limits of a city can vary depending on the offense. However, the charge generally is a misdemeanor offense.

If the offense is an aggravated misdemeanor, the punishments could include a maximum prison term up to two years, although it may be a jail sentence if not more than one year. This also could include a mandatory fine of at least $500, but up to $5,000.

If a person is convicted of a serious misdemeanor in Iowa, he or she could face up to one year in jail and a fine of at least $250. Under state law, the fine could not exceed $1,500. Having experienced legal counsel on your side could make the difference in your case.


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Finding a Polk County Lawyer for Carrying a Firearm Within City Limits Charges

If you face charges for carrying a firearm into a city limit in Iowa, an experienced Des Moines weapons charges lawyer at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can help you protect your rights. They will fight to have the charges reduced or dismissed. With more than four decades of legal experience, they can help you achieve a favorable outcome. Call (515) 279-9700 to schedule a free consultation.