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article on Iowa permit system -- 25,082 nonprofessional permits

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ThatIsAFact, Mar 24, 2007.

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  1. ThatIsAFact

    ThatIsAFact Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    The following article about permits in Iowa (and Johnson County in particular) appeared in the Iowa City Press-Citizen for March 24, 2007. The article does not discuss non-resident permits, which do exist, but which are issued by the Iowa Department of Safety rather than by the sheriffs. According to the Department website, nonresident applications will be denied except for LEOs and "other nonresidents with a demonstrable viable threat to themselves and their family as verified by a law enforcement agency where the threat occurred," and who meet a number of other requirements.

    Who is allowed to carry a weapon?

    25,082 Iowans have permits to carry

    By Mike McWilliams
    Iowa City Press-Citizen

    Whenever Terry Michel goes out on a sale, chances are he brings his .357 Magnum handgun with him.

    "I know there are a lot of people who think I carry it all the time, and that's good," said Michel, who lives in Oxford and owns Clear Creek Auto Inc. in Homestead. "I would (use it) if I had to, but you hope you never have to."

    For nearly 30 years, Michel has had a permit to carry a weapon in Iowa. Michel is one of 25,082 Iowans with a non-professional permit to carry a weapon. There were 233 such permits issued last year in Johnson County, which is slightly down from 246 in 2005 and 287 in 2004.

    However, permits to acquire a handgun jumped slightly from 476 in 2005 to 539 last year, Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said. Both permits cost $15 apiece and must be renewed annually.

    "It's not be-cause of denials," Pulkrabek said of the decrease in permits to carry. "I assume people are moving or decide that they don't have a need anymore."

    With about two per 1,000 residents holding a permit to carry a weapon, Johnson County ranks 90th out of Iowa's 99 counties. Harrison County in western Iowa tops the list with about 37 per 1,000 of its residents permitted to carry a gun, records show. In terms of total number of permits issued, Johnson County ranks 44th. Polk County tops the list at 2,163 non-professional permits.

    When someone wants a permit to carry, Pulkrabek said they first must complete a handgun safety course. After that, a criminal background check is done before the sheriff approves the application.

    Applicants also must give reasons why they need to carry a pistol. Pulkrabek said those granted a permit typically include antique collectors, gun collectors, retired law enforcement officers or those whose business requires them to carry large sums of money, he said.

    Pulkrabek said he's only denied three applications since he became sheriff in 2005. Two of the denials were because the applicants were under psychiatric care, he said.

    "We just don't authorize someone to carry a weapon just based on that they think they need personal protection," Pulkrabek said. "The reason for that is that I've got officers that are full-time that don't carry all the time, so I don't think it's necessary for the average citizen to carry a gun all the time when police officers don't.

    "I understand that some people out there want them and every year in the Legislature, something comes up about taking control away from Iowa sheriffs," Pulkrabek said. "But I'm confident I do a good job of looking out for the interests of the citizens of Johnson County, and that's part of my job."

    Iowa City resident Dean Thornberry has had a permit to carry a weapon since 1996. A former Iowa City Council member, Thornberry said he applied for a permit following the fatal shooting of local artist Eric Shaw by a police officer. "There were a lot of threats made against some of us on the city council during the Eric Shaw incident and due to those threats, I did receive firearm training and got a permit to carry," Thornberry said. Thornberry declined to say publicly why he now carries a gun or how often. "My justification for having a permit is in connection with business as so stated on my permit," Thornberry said.

    Retired Iowa City Police officer and Johnson County Board of Supervisors chairman Pat Harney also has a permit. However, Harney said he "very rarely" carries a gun. "I'll carry it sometimes if I'm hunting or if there's a situation that might call for it," Harney said, declining to elaborate.

    With his permit set to expire Tuesday, Michel walked into the Johnson County Sheriff's Office Friday, filled out a renewal form and paid the $15 fee. Michel said he doesn't mind the weapon laws as they stand right now, but he said he fears they could become more restrictive. "As far as background checks, I think it's an excellent idea on this type of stuff," Michel said. "But they could be tightened up more than they need to be."

    By the numbers

    • There were 25,082 non-professional right to carry weapons permits issued in Iowa last year.

    • In 2006, Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek approved 233 permits.

    • Johnson County ranks 90th out of Iowa's 99 counties in number of residents per 1,000 that have a permit to carry a weapon. About 2 out of every 1,000 Johnson County residents has a permit to carry a weapon.

    • Johnson County ranked 44th in total number of right to carry permits issued last year.

    Original URL: http://www.hawkcentral.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070324/NEWS01/703240313/1079/HAWKS
  2. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Isn't that neighborly of him?
  3. F4GIB

    F4GIB Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    It's OK to blame NRA this time.

    Iowa has the same kind of local "discretion" system that Minnesota had before 2003. The NRA has never tried to change it because, Kayne Robinson, the Board member from Iowa (and later NRA President and now the NRA's Director of General Operations) was the assistant police chief of Des Moines. He didn't need a carry permit. Apparently there is NO independent local grass roots gun organization in Iowa.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2007
  4. B. Adams

    B. Adams Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    Vermillion, SD
    Iowa does have a pro-carry group, http://www.iowacarry.org/home.html. I don't know how active they are, but they don't seem to have accomplished anything yet. ;) :mad: :mad:

    Iowa sucks when it comes to gun laws, it's like a black hole in the middle of the midwest. I hate Iowa, and I have to spend way too much time there. Nebraska used to be just marginally better, but now they're actually improving things a little. Iowa should follow their lead. No, they should follow Missouri's lead, but at this point I'd be happy with just a little bit of improvement. I hate Iowa.
  5. BobCav

    BobCav Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    Springfield, VA
    I just sent the following letter to the following people at the paper:

    Mike McWilliams - Author mmcwilliams@press-citizen.com
    Trisha DeWall - Asst. Managing Editor tdewall@press-citizen.com
    Jim Lewers - Managing Editor jlewers@press-citizen.com
    Mike Beck - Publisher mbeck@press-citizen.com

    Mr. McWilliams,

    I recently read your article in the Iowa Press Citizen titled "Who is allowed to carry a weapon?" (http://www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070324/NEWS01/703240313/1079) and I am outraged that your paper has published not only the names but the addresses of Concealed Weapons Permit holders.

    There is no need or purpose served by the wholesale publishing of the list, and doing so was nothing more than a malicious attempt to strike out against lawful gun owners. It also may have recklessley endangered some of those CWP holders, some of which may have them because they are victims of violent rape, sexual abuse, or domestic abuse and are in hiding from their assailants. The Supreme Court has already upheld that the police are not responsible for the protection of individual citizens, merely to enforce the law. Who then IS responsible? Each citizen is ultimately responsible for their own safety. One means is through the responsible and legal use of firearms, even concealed ones.

    Had you merely wanted to prove that you could get the list, exercising your FOIA rights (while they exist), you could have listed only the names and permit data without including the addresses. That not having happened, it is merely an act of spite and malice toward legal gun owners who, being amongst the most law abiding citizens anywhere, have had mandatory background checks and handgun training.

    "We the People" do indeed have the right to access those records as long as they remain public. However, I do not subscribe to the belief that the press speaks for "We the People".

    I often hear the overused and misused statement from the press that "people have a right to know" throughout the journalistic world on a multitude of issues. While we indeed have that right, we do not necessarily have a need to know and sadly most will just not care because it doesn't affect them personally. Reporters and journalists are not now, nor have they ever been the keepers, custodians or guardians of the people's rights, nor do they speak on behalf of anyone other than themselves. The use of that statement is merely self-serving in the interests of "getting the story".

    If an individual or other entity expresses a desire or need to gain access to a particular piece of information, for whatever reason, they have legal means to use the FOIA system as necessary and as is their right. But with that right comes responsibility. They must then be responsible custodians of that information.

    Just ask my new friend Christian Trejbal, reporter from the Roanoke TImes whose ranks you have just joined:







    This wholesale attitude of the media that thy can hide behind the statement that "the people have a right to know" does not now, nor has it ever empowered the media to act on their behalf, and most certainly not to act irresponsibly to the endangerment of others. We already have elected officials to do that and do not need more from the press. You and the "press" in general may be able to express your own opinion or that of those you interview, but not of all Americans.

    Responsible journalism is nothing to be taken lightly. I sincerely hope that you can recognize the potential for real harm that this seemingly harmless article may bring to innocent citezens who have the right not to be victimized again, and certainly not in the name of your paper's need to "get the story" or its First Ammendment rights and will remove the data base immediately.

    Thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing the list removed and to your response.

    Bob Cavalcante
    Springfield, Virginia
    Virginia Citizens Defense League
    NRA Life Member
    US Navy Retired
    Member OpenCarry.org

    "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"
    --Samuel Adams
  6. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Now if they would just allow reciprocity with Florida and Utah non-residents.
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