New gun permit laws hit one-year marker in Iowa - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

New gun permit laws hit one-year marker in Iowa

LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) -

It's been one year, since the State of Iowa loosened restrictions on applying for gun permits.

Each holder must pass a background check and take classes in proper handling before acquiring a gun. The major change is this:

"No longer can a sheriff apply his own discretion and his own experiences with an individual to use as a basis to deny a permit," said Greg Logan, chief deputy at the Woodbury County Sheriff's Department.

While the numbers were already rising in 2010, Logan says the number of permits given out nearly doubled after the new law took effect.

"There's no provision beyond the basic training that one receives before the issuance of a permit to maintain their handgun proficiency," said Logan.

"Of the 917 applications that I've had, I have not in the long run denied any of those. They've all met the criteria of the new law," said Mike Van Otterloo, Plymouth County sheriff.

Plymouth County has seen an even greater increase---more than 160 percent in new permits to carry this year.  Van Otterloo says the influx of registered permits has caused them no additional worries, thus far.

"It's those that don't and are still carrying, obviously, those are the ones I'm still concerned about, unbeknownst to who they might be, but we know that they're out there," said Van Otterloo. 

Van Otterloo says the instruction courses are quite thorough and should help carriers know proper protocol for carrying guns.

"When you leave their class you should know how and the correct manner in being able to use a weapon," said Van Otterloo.

Van Otterloo says the new law should ease sheriffs' workload, even with the increasing number of applications. Gun holders only need to renew their permits every five years.

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