Iowa code 702 - Expandable Baton Laws

by Reno

Iowa code 702

In Iowa, it is considered carrying a concealed weapon, generally a misdemeanour, to conceal an expandable (telescoping) baton unless you are in law enforcement on duty.

however, It remains legal to OPEN carry a baton, bludgeon, billy, or whatever you wanna call them. My issue is what exactly constitutes open or UN Concealed carry. Pretty much all good expandable batons come with a belt sheath and I use mine on private property, So I would like to know if I must tuck in my T shirt on public property so as for it to be legal, or if my shirt can legally hang down a few inches, as they usually do, and cover the top half. Its weird though because whenever people see me with my baton on my belt and my shirt tucked in, they think its a flash light. The law doesn't state what open carry is, and law enforcement has lied to me about Iowa code 702.

- Reno


Thanks for the info Reno.

Here is Iowa Code 702 regarding dangerous weapons.

A "dangerous weapon" is any instrument or device designed
primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or
animal, and which is capable of inflicting death upon a human being
when used in the manner for which it was designed, except a bow and
arrow when possessed and used for hunting or any other lawful
purpose. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort
whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate
that the defendant intends to inflict death or serious injury upon
the other, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death
upon a human being, is a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapons include
but are not limited to any offensive weapon, pistol, revolver, or
other firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, knife
having a blade exceeding five inches in length, or any portable
device or weapon directing an electric current, impulse, wave, or
beam that produces a high-voltage pulse designed to immobilize a

I am a bit surprised that there is no mention of billys, clubs, batons or any other bludgeon in this law. The way the law is written I am sure that they are included within their "dangerous weapons" category. I did some searching for additional information on bludgeons in Iowa and did not find any concrete answers.

Normally on your properly you can carry as you wish, but I would be careful of partially concealing a baton. I am sure it would be considered concealed if your shirt covers the top half of the baton.

I would suggest contacting an attorney to get a solid answer on this. I would go on the side of caution and not partially conceal the weapon just to limit your chance of spending a few nights in jail. As I am sure you know, not all officers know every aspect of the law especially when it comes to telescopic batons, expandable batons and bludgeons.


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Dec 02, 2013
More about Iowa concealed law
by: Reno

That is solid advice. I thank you for that and I will take your advice and ask an attorney. I Feel that I have some positives here since Iowa law does allow me to carry and conceal a 5 inch knife, which would almost certainly be considered a lethal force weapon if used for self defense, where as a baton or billy would not generally be lethal. Its silly that the law puts more blame on those who choose to carry a bludgeon than those who carry a blade. Shouldn't bludgeons be LESS scrutinized?

I did some additional research and found in Iowa code 724 it states that a "pocket billy" is a dangerous weapon and therefore cannot be concealed. I have little idea what exactly a "pocket billy" is, however im gonna assume that it is a small or telescoped bludgeon. The legal dictionaries do not say what a "pocket billy" is. In the mean time, I have tucked in my shirt as you said, and am currently looking for a leg strap style sheath or system that would be in plain sight on my leg even if I had a winter coat on. Another solution to your Iowa viewers like me would be to consider getting a fixed full size knight stick or Baton and maybe even an escrima or kali martial arts stick. These all deliver HUGE amounts of kinetic energy upon impact, however, it would get old to have to wriggle around a 26" knight stick on my belt while im at work.

I ask anyone who reads this and knows Iowa to tell me if you have the answer as to what a "pocket billy" is and also what exactly constitutes open carry here. The law makes it sound as if I must carry it in my hand held high, and I would like a more practical solution. More practical than carrying a 5" blade which is much too deadly for a reasonable person to use for self defense (most of the time).


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