More than 148,000 people in Iowa applied for a permit to carry a weapon in public in the past two years, and 99.6 percent gained approval, says the Des Moines Register. Records from Iowa's 99 county sheriffs show that just 621 permit applications were denied during the first 24 months in which a state law — designed to give law enforcement officers little leeway in determining who is allowed to carry a weapon — was in effect. The analysis is the first examination of how the new law is working. Even Iowa officials had been unable to determine what percentage of permits were granted, because the state does not keep track of denied permits.
The paper said 6 percent of Iowa's adult population can now legally carry a weapon such as a handgun in public. The number of Iowans who can carry or conceal weapons has increased by more than 100,000 since the new law took effect. Of the individuals who were denied permits, 18 percent had domestic assault convictions. Twenty-five counties denied no permits during the two years reviewed. In a followup story, the Register reported that sheriffs in O'Brien or Woodbury counties had no record of gun permit-holders because they routinely return or destroy the only copies of the applications once they are processed.