Iowa – Crime Control and Criminal Acts – Definitions. 702.7.
Dangerous weapon. A “dangerous weapon” is any instrument
or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death
or injury upon a human being or animal… Dangerous
weapons include, but are not limited to, any offensive
weapon… firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade
knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in
– 724.4. Carrying weapons.
1. Except as provided in this section, a person who goes
armed with a dangerous weapon concealed on or about the
person… commits an aggravated misdemeanor.
2. A person who goes armed with a knife concealed on or about
the person, if the person uses the knife in the commission
of a crime, commits an aggravated misdemeanor.
3. A person who goes armed with a knife concealed on or about
the person, if the person does not use the knife in the
commission of a crime:
a. If the knife has a blade exceeding eight inches in length,
commits an aggravated misdemeanor.
b. If the knife has a blade exceeding five inches in length
but not exceeding eight inches in length, commits a
4. Subsections 1 through 3 do not apply to any of the
a. A person who goes armed with a dangerous weapon in the
person’s own dwelling or place of business…
h. A person who carries a knife used in hunting or fishing,
while actually engaged in lawful hunting or fishing.
i. [valid permit]
– 724.1. Offensive Weapons… 5. A ballistic knife. A
ballistic knife is a knife with a detachable blade which
is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism, elastic
material, or compressed gas… Section 724.3. Any
person… who knowingly possesses an offensive weapon
commits a class “D” felony… (Also see Section 724.4.
Iowa Case Law:
– “Intent was essential element in determining whether
defendant who was found in possession of ten-inch kitchen
knife was guilty of crime of carrying a concealed weapon.”
– “Defendant, who was found carrying two pocketknives, one in
pocket and one on chain around his neck under his shirt,
could not be convicted of carrying concealed dangerous
weapons without proof of intent to use knives as weapons.”
– “Intended illegal use of knife cannot be inferred from
defendant’s bad reputation or former convictions for
– “Actual intent of user is not the issue in deciding whether
instrument or device is dangerous…” (1984)