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Possession of an Offensive Weapon

Under Iowa law, the definition of an “offensive weapon” is set forth in Section 724.1. The crime of possessing an “offensive weapon” can be charged as a Class D Felony. A Class D felony is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a potential fine of $750 to $7,500, plus 35% criminal surcharge and court costs.

An offensive weapon would not include an antique firearm, a collector’s item, or any device which is not designed or redesigned for use as a weapon.

Attorney for Offensive Weapon Possession in Des Moines, Iowa

If you are charged with the Possession of an Offensive Weapon under Iowa Code section 724.3 then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Our attorneys represent clients throughout the City of Des Moines or the surrounding areas of West Des Moines, Waukee, Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes, Carlisle, Ankeny, Altoona, Norwalk, Windsor Heights, Bondurant, Clive, or Pleasant Hill, Iowa.

We also represent clients charged with weapon crimes in the greater Des Moines area including Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County, Marion County, and Jasper County.

After an arrested by an officer with the Des Moines Police Department or another local law enforcement agency for any type of weapon offense, including offensive weapon possession, then contact our office to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced attorney.

Call (515) 279-9700 today to discuss your case.

Elements of the Crime of Possession of an Offensive Weapon

Under Iowa law, the elements of Possession Of Offensive Weapon under Iowa Code section 724.3 include:

  • the defendant possessed a weapon;
  • the defendant knew he or she possessed a weapon; and
  • the weapon was an offensive weapon.

Under Iowa law, the term “knowingly” in the weapon statute merely requires that the defendant had knowledge that he or she possessed the weapon within the general meaning of such term. The prosecutor for the State of Iowa does not have to prove that he or she knew that the weapon was “offensive” as statutorily defined.

Definition of an Offensive Weapon in Iowa

Under Iowa law, an offensive weapon can include:

  • a machine gun or  fully automatic weapon;
  • a short barreled rifle or sawed-off shotgun;
  • any weapon other than a shotgun or muzzle loading rifle, cannon, pistol, revolver or musket, which fires or can be made to fire a projectile by the explosion of a propellant charge, which has a barrel or tube with the bore of more than six-tenths of an inch in diameter, or the ammunition or projectile therefor, but not including antique weapons kept for display or lawful shooting;
  • a bomb, grenade, or mine, whether explosive, incendiary, or poison gas;
  • any rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces;
  • any missile having an explosive charge of more than one-quarter ounce; or any device similar to any of these
  • a ballistic knife which is defined as a knife with a detachable blade which is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism, elastic material, or compressed gas;
  • any bullet or projectile containing any explosive mixture or any chemical compound capable of exploding or detonating prior to or upon impact, or any shotshell or cartridge containing exothermic pyrophoric misch metal as a projectile which is designed to throw or project a flame or fireball to simulate a flamethrower;
  • any mechanical device specifically constructed and designed so that when attached to a firearm silences, muffles, or suppresses the sound when fired. However, this does not apply to a mechanical device possessed and used by a person solely for the purpose of shooting a deer pursuant to an approved city special deer population control plan if the person has a valid federal permit to possess and use the mechanical device.

Weapons that DO NOT Qualify as an Offensive Weapon

Under Iowa law, the following types of weapons do not qualify as an “offensive weapon”:

  • an antique firearm;
  • a collector’s item;
  • any device which is not designed or redesigned for use as a weapon;
  • any device which is designed solely for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line-throwing, safety, or similar device; or
  • any firearm which is unserviceable by reason of being unable to discharge a shot by means of an explosive and is incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.

Other defenses exist that can be used to aggressively fight these types of charges. After an arrest for the crime of “Possession Of An Offensive Weapon” under Iowa Code section 724.3, contact an experienced Des Moines attorney to discuss your case.

Call (515) 279-9700.