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Your Best Defense

Experienced lawyers helping people in Des Moines just like you.

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Gun Rights Restoration – Iowa

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Firm News

Who is prohibited from owning a gun under federal law?

The answer to this question has become increasingly unclear in the wake of the landmark decision in New York Rifle and Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen :: 597 U.S. ___ (2022) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center) , which was decided by the United States Supreme Court in June of 2022. Since that time, a flood of litigation nationwide has followed to determine what the answer is.

Generally, both federal law and Iowa law affect who can own a gun. Under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 922(g) (, any person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year (i.e. a felony) cannot lawfully possess a firearm. Section 922 also excludes several other classes of persons from possessing firearms, including:

  • fugitives from justice;
  • unlawful users of controlled substances;
  • those adjudicated as mentally defective, or committed to a mental institution;
  • illegal or unlawful aliens;
  • those who have received a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces; those who are subject to certain no-contact orders; and
  • those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

But under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(20) ( a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” does not include State offenses classified by State law as misdemeanors and punishable by imprisonment of two years or less. It also does not include certain white collar crimes. The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the issue again in the coming months in United States v. Rahimi (United States v. Rahimi – SCOTUSblog) where the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 922(8) (, which disallows firearm possession by persons subject to a no contact order, has been called in to constitutional question.

Currently, offenses classified as felonies always result in the loss of gun rights, with the exception of a few white collar crimes. But if you’ve been convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor in Iowa you are not necessarily prohibited from owning a gun. This is where Iowa law comes into play.

Who is prohibited from owning a gun under Iowa law?

Iowa Code Chapter 724 ( incorporates the federal law restrictions on owning firearms, with a few additional caveats. In addition, convictions for aggravated misdemeanors that involve the use of a firearm or explosive ( are also disqualifying offenses.

Additionally, although not necessarily prohibited from possessing a gun, certain people may be restricted from obtaining a permit to carry ( or permit to acquire ( You should talk to a lawyer to find out more.

How to get your gun rights back

To get your gun rights back in Iowa, you need to file an application with the Governor’s office. There may also be remedies which can be pursued in the court system as well, depending upon your circumstances.  It’s important to have an experienced attorney handle the process for you. Give us a call at 515-224-7446 ( and we will help you get it started. We offer an initial consultation regarding restoration of gun rights to determine eligibility at a cost of $150.

This blog post is meant to be informative only and should not be construed as any form of legal advice; nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about whether you are eligible to possess a firearm or own a gun, you should always speak with a lawyer personally.