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Iowa Residents Flock to Sheriffs Office for Gun Permits

Iowa Residents Flock to Sheriffs Office for Gun Permits

Polk County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jana Rooker said the department received 308 applications Monday for nonprofessional permits to carry weapons. [Video Capture]

Des Moines Register

January 05, 2011

Several Iowa sheriffs’ offices reported receiving 10 to 20 times as many weapons permit applications on Monday as they do most days.

Monday was the first day government offices were open since Saturday, when a law took effect that requires sheriffs under most circumstances to issue permits to carry concealed weapons. Sheriffs previously had greater discretion to deny or restrict such permits.

In Polk County, 308 gun owners – or soon-to-be gun owners – appeared Monday to apply for permits or renewals. Clerks at the headquarters office said they typically had handed out about 300 applications in a month.

Tuesday, lines were not as long.

“You’re seeing just pent-up demand,” said John Pierce, co-founder of OpenCarry.org, a national Internet advocate for laws that let people carry weapons openly. “What you have is a lot of citizens who the knew the sheriff could turn them down for any reason or no reason at all. … So they simply didn’t try.”

News reports have generated intense interest, Pierce said. Polk County Deputy Sheriff Jana Rooker agreed that publicity may have contributed to the run on the permit window.

Clerks worked through their lunch hours, and many stayed until 7 p.m. to process paperwork. Officials said they took in more than $15,000.

Officials in Polk and other counties said they got as many applications as they normally would in two weeks to a month.

The permits are popular because people can no longer be arbitrarily denied and because more people are eligible for the required training, said Sean McClanahan, president of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, formerly Iowa Carry. He said that’s the case even in Polk County, where the sheriff had a reputation for granting almost all permits.

At the Iowa firearms group’s picnic last summer, a trainer taught several hundred Iowans what they’d need to know to get a carry permit, McClanahan said. Another new rule is that people can use their military experience to satisfy the training requirement.

Under the old law, some sheriffs were stingy about handing out weapons permits, while they were much easier to obtain in other counties.

In Story County on Monday, there were 52 applications for permits to carry weapons. In Jasper County, 83 people showed up seeking a weapons permit or a renewal. In both cases, it was far more than normal.

Jasper County Sheriff Michael Balmer said the new law changes the way he issues permits.

“We denied people a permit in the past if their only reason was that they wanted to carry a gun,” he said. "If they couldn’t come up with a reason, I wouldn’t issue one.

“Now we have to issue them, as long as they haven’t been convicted of a felony, or been adjudicated mentally ill, convicted of a domestic offense and a few others.”

Balmer’s fear is that people with short tempers are going to start waving guns instead of fists.

“The biggest problem with making this consistent from county to county is they threw out all the good training requirements,” he said. “It is now possible to complete a handgun class and never pull a trigger. Someone who has never pulled the trigger on a handgun will now be able to carry one.”

After some urging from the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Legislature last session approved the new law in an effort to standardize the way sheriffs issue permits.

A person with a permit to carry is allowed to carry a handgun, rifle or shotgun openly or concealed.

However, gun-toting citizens will have to respect signs on businesses and offices that prohibit firearms.

Ken Wheeler, 66, of Grimes said he was seeking his first weapons permit at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. He said he wants to be able to carry a firearm for safety and “in case law enforcement can’t arrive in time.”

“It’s to protect myself and family,” he said.

Wheeler said few gun owners will carry guns where they can be seen.

“I doubt any of us will even consider carrying it outside,” he said. "Kind of defeats the purpose.

“We’re talking about safety. It’s a concealed weapon. I’ve talked to dozens and dozens of people, and I haven’t talked to anyone who is considering” carrying a handgun where it can be seen.

People with permits to own a weapon may store them at home without an additional carry permit.

Fees for a permit to carry a weapon are $55 for five years, Rooker said. She said an $11 renewal was required every year previously.


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  • Hawaii_pics_164_max50

    rickkd6

    over 3 years ago

    230 Comments

    I know this is beating a dead horse.......with the last post three months old. Let's out law motor vehicles while were going after the guns. Drunks keep getting a hold of them and they're killing more people then the bad guys with guns.

  • Larry_apache_dist_13_max50

    AHP3611

    over 3 years ago

    316 Comments

    Only thing nice about having a CCW permit it allows you to bypass the NICS check when you purchase a firearm from a dealer. It is really sad that the ATF does not accept active & retired police identification for this waver!!!! But in Arizona if you are 21 and not a prohibited possessor you can carry concealed without a permit.

  • New-deputy-4c_story_max50

    bigfoot

    over 3 years ago

    48 Comments

    So by your reasoning the people who had the guns stolen from their homes are not responsible gun owners? Even if they were locked in a safe. As for removing the gun gun removes the gun violence, so if we completely remove guns and people start getting beat to death with baseball bats do we then ban baseball bats?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Feitosa

    over 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    Okay, this will be the last time I comment on this topic. Although that is not exactly what you said, it was implied through your old proverb quote and the "firearms....difference between honor and cowardice" quote. As far as someone coming to my home and attempting to bring harm to my family, of course, I will do everything in my power to fight back even to the point of death.
    As far as my research being debunked, you have not proved this. I put articles on gun violence because I was trying to show what happens when you have so many guns that can easily get into the wrong hands. In terms of the articles I put, once you remove the gun from the equation its not that its inconclusive, its that you have no gun violence. I mean just turn on or read the news, the more guns we have in this country, the more gun violence we will have whether its intentional, accidental, self-inflicted, etc.

    An in-depth analysis of responsible and legal gun owners vs street-level gun possession or irresponsible gun ownership would be extremely difficult to do for a few reasons. Mainly because its subjective. For instance, a legal gun owner may feel as though putting his gun in his closet under some clothes is a safe spot as opposed to another guy who may feel that putting it in a locked safe is a better option. You would also have to find legal gun owners who would be willing to disclose their information about how their gun(s) is stored or kept.
    Also, no, I do not feel it is fair to punish innocent people by banning their firearms because of the irresponsible people. Its just that too many people who think that they are responsible with their guns end up having something happen. There was a couple who lived a couple towns over from me who went on vacation not to long ago. They kept a couple rifles and shotguns in their home and when their son came to check on the house, he found all of their firearms had been stolen. I don't know if the guns were in a safe or not but I can bet that couple believed they were responsible gun owners.
    I do not know what the answer is to our gun problems in America. But I don't think that allowing more people to have guns will help this situation.

    Lastly, the point I have been trying to make in reducing not just gun violence but crime in general, particularly in the urban communities is fixing the institutions that breed criminal behavior. This also goes along with the "broken windows theory." When I talk about education reform, I'm talking about fixing our under-performing schools, raising the minimum wage, changing the way we punish offenders who commit non-violent crimes, etc. Fear of crime pervades our lives constantly. It affects the way we think, the way we act, the way we respond to each other. It has a troublesome effect on our relations with others, making us wary of small acts of kindness toward strangers. There is no easy answer or quick-fix solution to reducing crime, but a good place to start is looking at ourselves to see how we can make a change.

  • Droopy_max50

    BigRed68

    over 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    Well put HeadShot well put Thank you for making it clearer not that anyone set in their way will see . But that's THEIR choice however it's not right for THEM to infringe on law bidding citizens freedom of choice . If you don't want to own or carry FINE Feitosa but by what right do YOU have at taking away my right of choice to own & carry as a law bidding American citizen HUH ?? What right do you or anyone else have ?? HeadShot couldn't make it more plain . Feel free to be set in your ways but DON'T infringe on the freedoms of us who choose to own & carry . I don't care what your liberal ivy league research says They ALWAYS have agendas on removing freedoms we have . Just like nothing I say or do will change your mind nothing people like you say or do will change mine and thats the bottom line

  • Headshot_max50

    HeadShot

    over 3 years ago

    736 Comments

    You misquoted me. I did not state that owning or possessing a firearm makes a person honorable, or lack of a firearm makes them a coward.

    I said "I will die before someone comes into my home and threatens my way of living or my family. That's the difference between honor and cowardice."

    The people who have the "let the police handle it" mentality are cowards. I do not need a firearm in order to protect my family. I can improvise, use a knife, my hands, etc. But a firearm is a necessary tool in proper protection. If you can honestly tell me that if someone came to your home, armed, and began to restrain your spouse and children, that you would not try to stop them, and would just wait for the police, then that is the mark of a coward. This is all of our society, and we should not have to rely on one entity to do our work for us. That is what has helped a rise in street-level assaults and robbery: people fail to act and the bad guys have no fear because of this.

    As for your research, I have read those before and they have also been debunked. All of the research focuses on gun violence, not violence in itself. Once the gun was removed from the equation, the studies were inconclusive. Such as states with higher gun ownership have higher gun-death rates. Of course, that's an obvious. Thats like saying, highways with more vehicular traffic have higher traffic accident rates and motor vehicle fatatilites. The studies have also failed to provide an in-depth analysis of responsible and legal gun owners versus street-level gun possession or irresponsible gun ownership. These studies are performed with too many variables to provide an articulate and in-depth representation of the firearm argument.
    I am not trying to sway your opinion, as I can see it is set, which is fine. I am merely trying to open your mind to not believing anti-"insert anything' research by numbers alone. There has yet to be reliable research performed on this issue, as it never includes all of the variables.
    Also, is it really fair to punish innocent people by banning their firearms because of the irresponsible people? You've suggested education reform as a way to help stop gun violence. That is fine, but in a realistic approach, if a person is set on causing harm to another, education will not stop them from achieving it, as well as the type of weapon used. There have been many cases of Ivy League men/women murdering their spouses by means other than firearms.
    I will agree with you that we have a huge gun violence problem in America, but taking away everyone's guns is not the answer, and there is plenty of firearm education as well as anti-violence education. And not every person is willing to adhere to their education..people themselves are variables and will do what they feel, regardless of the rules or teachings.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Feitosa

    over 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    As far as a study that shows people with guns in their homes are more likely to die by homicide, check out
    1) American Journal Of Epidemiology (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/10/929.full?vm=r)
    2)Also take a look at the issue of accidental gun deaths: http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html?vm=r
    3) Living in a home where there are guns increases the risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%: http://www.lcav.org/statistics-polling/gun_violence_statistics.asp?vm=r#14
    4)Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest compared with the lowest household gun ownership. (Harvard School of Public Health)
    5) An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present (http://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644%2803%2900256-7/abstract)
    6) States with the highest levels of gun ownership have 114 percent higher firearm homicide rates and 60 percent higher homicide rates than states with the lowest gun ownership: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17070975
    7) Higher gun ownership puts both men and women at a higher risk for homicide, particularly gun homicide: Harvard School of Public Health: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/index.html
    8) Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:
    -11 times for completed and attempted suicides.
    -7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
    -4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9715182
    9) More than 40% of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/90/4/588?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&volume=90&firstpage=588&resourcetype=HWCIT
    10) Americans own 200 million firearms, and 35 percent of homes contain at least one gun. In 2007, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more than 1.7 million children live in homes with loaded and unlocked guns.
    11) States with higher gun ownership and weaker gun laws have more gun deaths while states with a lower percentage of households with guns and strong gun laws have lower numbers of gun deaths: http://www.vpc.org/press/1006gundeath.htm
    As far as this talk about "honor and cowardice," I do not feel that someone who chooses not to have a gun is more of a "coward" than someone who chooses to have one. In my opinion, I don't think that a man is a "pussycat" because he does not want to keep a gun in his home. Like I said before, I personally know of no one other than law enforcement who keeps a gun. Since when is the difference between honor and cowardice dependent on whether one is able to use a gun in a confrontation? Maybe I'm crazy but if that's how you feel about others then fine its your choice.

  • Headshot_max50

    HeadShot

    over 3 years ago

    736 Comments

    Feitosa, where did you find your case study on your previous comment that people with guns in their homes are more likely to die by homicide? I'm not trying to start a petty argument, but you are also asking the same question when others have stated that open-carry states have less violent street crime rates. It is only fair to ask of your research methods, as well.
    As far as the idea of firearm ownership goes, I will revert to an old proverb: I would much rather die like a tiger, than to live like a pussycat. Firearms are one of my lethal options (I still have my hands and blades around my house) and I will die before someone comes into my home and threatens my way of living or my family. That's the difference between honor and cowardice.
    Yes, there are going to be some guys and gals out there who want to carry a gun without truly appreciating how much training and practice, as well as the amount of responsibility that is required. Do I want every person to be able to carry a gun? No, because there are many people who cannot handle themselves with a weapon and risk others getting hurt/killed. The same goes with people and cars. The key is not to prevent the right people from possessing guns, but to enforce strict sanctions against those that should not carry. Gun violence is not caused by responsible gun owners, just like vehicular manslaughter is not caused by responsible drivers.
    Many people have forgotten the lessons of history in the debate of firearms. Every dictatorship starts by the people's weapons being seized (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist USSR, just to name a few). It's not a radical idea to believe that the people possessing weapons can help deter a free government from becoming corrupt and totalitarian.
    I have had buried good friends after gun violence, and I still feel that responsible, law abiding, well-trained citizens should be able to carry firearms. It is fear, confusion, and miseducation that holds the stigma of anti-gun beliefs. I would almost venture to say that you have never owned, shot, or handled a weapon in a proficient matter, but I do not know you, so I can't be for sure. Once you have become well-trained with the handling of a weapon and understand exactly how the responsibility plays a key role, I would imagine you would be less inclined to throw a blanket policy on gun ownership.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Feitosa

    over 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    To BigRed68 and anyone else who is for gun permits: What proof do you have that "places with the right to carry have LOWER crime rates cause it's much easier for a criminal to attack unarmed citizens then ones that can fight back?" Did you do an in depth study on this or can you site and Criminologists that have found this? I live in a suburban New Jersey town and nobody I know has a gun and in my town, we have not had a shooting, homicide or any gun related crimes in God knows how long. I've only heard gunshots when I went outside my town to the city where crime is significantly higher. I have not found any criminal justice studies that have shown that in gun totting states like Texas and Arizona, violent crime has gone down because more citizens have the right to carry. To understand the criminal mind, you have to realize that if a criminal is determined to commit a crime, they are going to do it whether they live or die because most of them have nothing to live for anyway. When have you ever heard a criminal say "Gee, the family in that house has a permit to carry, I don't think we should rob them" or "Man, so many people are getting gun permits, maybe we should stop committing crimes and get real jobs." They don't know whose carrying a gun or not, all they know is take, and take with force if necessary. Try watching some prison diaries, to better understand this. Moreover, the issue at hand is not crime, because we will always have crime, the issue is rather how we DEAL with crime. Getting more guns is not going to make criminals fearful of retribution if they are caught. When confronted by a gunman, an individual who does not want to cooperate because he has his own gun is not only risking his own life, but others around him/her as well, especially family members. Call the police and let them deal with it. The answer to our problems is not repaying violence with violence. It is not resorting to the same type of actions that criminals resort to so we can "fight back." It starts with fixing the institutions that breed criminal behavior. This includes our school systems with education reform, after school programs, community involvement, reforming minimum wage, urban development, etc. I know this is challenging to do and will take time, but it is to better our nation. The easy thing to do is get a gun permit and shoot back. But actually helping those that we regard as less than us, that takes compassion.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    aussie4

    over 3 years ago

    5328 Comments

    Our country was founded on Americans protecting ourselves, but then only the bad guys had guns for along time, like in this story line, many sheriffs could refuse a ccw permit if for only the reason they didnt like you, or you supported another person for sheriff, etc., I am glad the good guys can protect themselves and their families better now.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 3 years ago

    19382 Comments

    Being prepared and training is the key to carry. It's not the number of cars but the jerks behind the wheel. Not having a license has not stopped people from driving and on and on it goes.

  • Droopy_max50

    BigRed68

    over 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    It really gets old seeing people say the same ol ( This is all we need more guns on the street ) Like law bidding citizen are seen by these individuals as a bunch of liquor up uneducated hillbillies loading up in pickup trucks to go shoot at anything that moves . What you anti gun people REFUSE to see that in this country of high crime rate the only places it is the highest is where there was laws against the law bidding citizen to carry . There are several truths that people who are against the right to carry ( Ether Law officer or citizen ) REFUSE to see . NOT can't but REFUSE theres a difference #1 Places with the right to carry have the LOWER crime rates cause it's much easier for a criminal to attack unarmed citizens then ones that can fight back DUH #2 No matter what you try to change in society there will ALWAYS be criminals In all the things law officers have to worry about the one thing they DON'T have to EVER worry about is running out of criminals #3 Criminals don't just get firearms from sealing from law bidding citizens I've seen more then enough articles about criminals caught with firearms from LAW ENFORCEMENT agencies , MILITARY bases & on & on Dispite what you hard headed people think it is NOT possible to remove or keep firearms from criminals . They will ALWAYS find a way to have them if they even have to make them So GET OVER IT already#4 and more importantly Police officers & other law enforcement agent as WELL TRAINED as they are & I do respect them they cannot be EVERYWHERE at a seconds notice . It's not humanly possible there for theres NOT always going to be help when you need it the most DUH . GOD forbid if me or any law bidding citizen ever has to use deadly force ( In the guide lines of the law ) to defend ourselves or family . I pray I never have to BUT if it comes down to mine & my family's life or that of some drugged up psycho armed to the teeth then I guess I'd rather be an armed citizen following the statues of the law then being a statistic or victim like you anti gun people . You made your choices FREELY I might add to be a victim NOW let the rest of us LAW BIDDING FREELY choose NOT to be victims . Yes it comes with a HUGE responsibility but it's one we are willing to take responsively . Just because we were never trained by a police academy DOESN'T mean we don't know what we are doing ! It also doesn't mean we would turn it down if offered . I firmly believe the more training I can get the better . Theres always room for improvement . The bottom line is that this world you think of with NO firearms is nothing more then fantasy land . Bury your head in the sand if you must but don't hound those of us in the REAL WORLD where two things will ALWAYS remain . CRIMINALS & NEVER ENDING SUPPLY OF GUNS they will ALWAYS have . I realize I just typed a lot just to fall on BLIND eyes & hard heads but I felt compelled to never the less

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    The nay sayers always claim they are concerned about public safety, however they don't demand more training or proof of shooting skills in order to get the permit. Their solution is to disarm law abiding citizens. You know the old more guns more violence routine. However show me where these CCW folks are causing a huge problem, thats right nowhere!! I live in Ohio we have had CCW for 7 years, over 200,000 CCW permits issued and I only know of ONE arrest for a gun crime. I say that is a damned good record, even suprised me!! We also have open carry in Ohio and in all those years I have only seen two guys that were carring openly again not much of a problem, although I would not do it. I think most open carriers are activist type personalitys, who want to make a public pro gun statement, doesn't bother me, if thats their thing. I attend public shooting events (IDPA) and I can tell you that their are many highly skilled defensive handgun shooters out there that are not Police officers or military veteran's.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    trippletap

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    I've been a LEO for the past 11 years in a state that has always allowed open carry and went to "Shall Issue" concealed carry permits over 15 years ago. I've never had to arrest anyone who was open carying out in public for anything. Every concealed gun I have dealt with criminally so far has been in the posession of a felon or someone not authorized to carry conceled to begin with.
    The people getting these permits aren't who we need to worry about. We need to worry about the scrotes, since they are going to carry concealed anyway. They don't worry about following the laws to begin with, so why would they worry about getting a concealed carry permit?.
    The botom line is that giving law abiding citizens the ability to carry concealed handguns is a good thing...if it wasn't, the states that allow it would have reversed themselves by now.

  • Hawaii_pics_164_max50

    rickkd6

    over 3 years ago

    230 Comments

    One good statisitic: Concealed weapons permit holders are statisticaly far more law abiding then the average citizen.

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