Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law on Friday that allows citizens to "constitutional carry," or legally carry firearms in public without obtaining permission from the government.
"Today I signed legislation that protects the 2nd Amendment rights of Iowa's law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals," said Reynolds. "This law also takes greater steps to inform law enforcement about an individual's mental illness helping ensure firearms don't end up in the wrong hands."
Reynolds also argued that no legislative measure could "outlaw or prevent every single bad actor from getting a gun" but emphasized that her administration would protect rights and life by ensuring "law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights."
Previously, an Iowa resident needed to pass a background check to obtain a permit in order to purchase or carry firearms. Residents also needed a separate permit in order to conceal carry a firearm.
Residents will still complete a background check when purchasing a weapon from a firearms dealer and the state has other laws on when and where personal carry is prohibited.
At least 15 other states have such constitutional carry laws, including Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Mississippi.
The new law also protects firearm manufacturers from the criminal misuse of their legal products.