A stun gun (popularly also known as a Taser, the main maker of stun guns) is any portable device or weapon directing an electric current, impulse, wave, or beam that produces a high-voltage pulse designed to immobilize a person.
(Iowa Code § 702.7.)
This article describes Iowa state law regarding who may not have a stun gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a stun gun is illegal in the state.
To learn more about how stun guns work, and how permitting laws vary by state, see States Requiring a Stun Gun Permit.
In Iowa, most people may purchase, openly possess, or use a nonlethal stun gun for self-defense without obtaining a permit.
In Iowa, it is illegal to carry a concealed stun gun without a concealed weapons permit unless you are located on your own property. Peace officers, members of the armed forces, and correctional officers are exempt from this rule.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 724.4.)
For more information on concealed carry laws in Iowa, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Iowa.
It is illegal to carry a stun gun (openly or concealed) with the intent to use the stun gun on another person, without justification.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 708.8.)
Iowa law also prohibits the possession of stun guns(openly or concealed, even with a valid concealed weapons permit) in state buildings on the capitol complex. Peace officers and members of the armed forces are exempt from this rule.
(11 Iowa Administrative Code 100.2.)
Anyone who displays, without justification, a stun gun in a threatening manner toward another is guilty of assault. Penalties range from a fine of $65 and up to 30 days in jail to a fine of $10,000 and up to ten years in prison, depending on the stun gun possessor’s intent and extent of bodily injury (if any) experienced by another person.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 708.1, 708.2, 903.1, 902.9.)
Anyone who removes or attempts to remove a stun gun from a peace officer acting within the scope of his or her normal duty is guilty of disarming a peace officer. Disarming a peace officer is a Class D felony, punishable by a fine of $750 (and up to $7,500), up to five years in prison, or both. If the stun gun is discharged during the course of disarming the peace officer, it is a Class C felony, punishable by a fine of $1,000 (and up to $10,000), up to 10 years in prison, or both.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 708.13, 902.9.)
Anyone who possesses a stun gun while committing a burglary on an occupied structure in which no one is present is guilty of second degree burglary. Second degree burglary is a Class C felony, punishable by a fine of $1,000 (and up to $10,000), up to 10 years in prison, or both.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 713.5, 902.9.)
It is a Class D felony to carry a stun gun (openly or concealed) with the intent to use the stun gun, without justification, on another person. Penalties include a fine of $750 (and up to $7,500), up to five years in prison, or both.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 708.8, 902.9.)
It is an aggravated misdemeanor to carry a concealed stun gun without a concealed weapons permit. Penalties include a fine of $625 (and up to $6,250), up to two years in prison, or both.
(Iowa Code § § 702.7, 724.4, 903.1.)
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to purchase, carry, or use a gun in Iowa, or if you are facing charges for a stun gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.