It was the night before Thanksgiving, and my wife and I were heading to a local grocery store, when our SUV pulled up in front of us.
A few cops were on the scene, and as I pulled out my firearm, a cop in my car shouted “I have an order!”
My wife said, “What’s the order?” and I said, I don’t know.
“Then I looked at my wife, and she said, Oh, my God, that’s the only way we could get my license to carry.”
The next day, the Iowa State Patrol announced it was investigating what it called “unusual behavior” in a “few instances” involving a husband who had shot his wife in the head during an argument, and the Iowa City Police Department said it was reviewing an incident in which a woman’s hand was accidentally fired into the air by a deputy during a traffic stop.
In the aftermath of the shooting, some people have questioned the wisdom of the decision to keep a firearm in the home.
The Iowa Legislature, for instance, is currently considering legislation that would ban “the open carry of firearms” in Iowa.
But the fact is, there are a lot of things that make gun ownership in Iowa less likely than it might be in other states.
There are fewer people, less money, and fewer people with a college degree to draw upon to acquire the tools to protect themselves.
“If you’re going to get involved in the criminal justice system, you need a gun,” says James R. Hagg, an assistant professor of criminology at the University of Iowa.
“That’s not a problem for most people, but for the criminal-justice system, it’s a problem.”
The problem is that the laws are not set up to address this.
Iowa’s law does not explicitly allow people to carry firearms openly, and only allows people to “have the right to bear arms in certain areas, such as public areas, within the state.”
So while many people would consider carrying a firearm to be “open carry,” it’s still technically not legal.
So what’s going on?
Why is open carry in Iowa so difficult to achieve?
The answer lies in the state’s unique laws.
Iowa has a concealed carry law, but the concealed carry license holder has to show that they can’t carry a firearm “in or upon a motor vehicle.”
In other words, they have to have a specific reason to not be able to carry a weapon in their home.
That’s one reason, experts say, that Iowa has the highest rate of concealed carry permit holders in the country.
“We’re not even talking about people who just want to protect their children from guns,” says Gary Smith, a former Iowa State police chief and author of “Carrying Concealed: A History of Guns and the Law in America.”
“We have a concealed-carry law in place that allows people with valid concealed-possession licenses to carry their guns in their homes.”
If a person wants to go on vacation, go to a movie, or go on a business trip without having to carry in the car, there’s no reason for a person to not carry a gun in the house.
So when a law like Iowa’s does not provide for open carry, it can actually make it difficult for people who would otherwise be able carry a concealed weapon to do so.
And there are other problems with open carry.
As a result, the state has had to adopt a number of new laws to make it easier for people to get concealed carry permits.
“There’s a whole series of restrictions, not only on carrying guns, but also on carrying concealed firearms, and it’s not really clear what the rules are on what that means,” says Hagg.
And in many instances, the laws actually make concealed carry easier for the law-abiding.
“You can have a handgun on the street, but you can’t have a pistol on the streets,” says Smith.
“It’s really difficult for law enforcement officers, for people looking to protect them, to do a good job.
And that’s been the case.”
In Iowa, the law states that “no person shall be required to surrender his or her firearm unless authorized to do it by the officer or the police officer.”
So if a police officer wants to make an arrest, he or she must give permission to carry.
And when it comes to carrying concealed, the rules for carrying in Iowa are quite different.
“Iowa has very strict rules on carrying in a vehicle,” says David Haggs, a law professor at the Iowa School of Law.
“And when you go to buy a handgun, they’ll ask you to put it on your person, to show your license.
And if you don ‘t have a license, they will pull you over and ask for a gun.
They’re not allowed to have firearms in the vehicle.”
This creates a situation where a law-breaking person can be charged