The Pella Chronicle
---- — As of Friday, Dec. 13, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office had issued 2,632 non-professional permits to carry guns. A new law went into effect in 2011 that forces Iowa sheriffs to issue permit to carry guns to anyone who seeks such a permit, with a few specified exceptions for which the sheriff can deny the request. The Marion County office, prior to the new law, rarely denied requests without cause.
Before the law, Patty DeHeer, who handles many of the civil duties, such as this, for the office, said in the years before the new law, an average of 1,000 residents would have a permit. She is unsure why the number has increased. Each of the 2,632 permits are good for five years, unless the person commits an offense for which the permit can be revoked. This has happened to about 10 of the Marion County permit owners.
In addition to these private permits to carry, the office has issued 11 professional permits. These permits allow those employed as security or prison guards to carry weapons.
Active permits to acquire a handgun numbered 934 on Friday. These are good for one year and allow someone to buy a handgun. DeHeer said most reputable gun dealers require someone to obtain one of these permits from the sheriff before allowing someone to buy a gun.