The situation isn't normal, but the only real hang up is not having a Texas DL, which seems to be easily rectified.
Thanks everybody for the information.
My bet is, unless you can declare residency in Texas and have a Texas ID , then it will have to be sent to an FFL in Iowa. Talk to an FFL locally, and find out what they tell you.
You must, by Federal Law, take posession of the Handgun, in the State of your residence. Residence, meaning where your driver's license is issued. One exception is that if you're current Active Military, you can take posession of the handgun in the State where you currently reside, with the presentation of your current military orders.
Example: You are on duty in Maine, The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, for upgrades and such, but your drivers' license says Tennesee. You can take possession of the handgun, providing you present your orders that say you're in the Shipyard for upgrades to your boat. See what I'm saying.
The same goes for a PG (Pistol grip) shotgun, you must take dilivery of it in your state of residence.
Now, you can buy a rifle or shotgun, do the paperwork and walk out the door, but handguns are different.
Just trying to help clear up any misconceptions
Thanks for all the information.
I am going to have to get a Texas identification card regardless, but I now have a clear understanding of how the process will work.
Another aspect is the good-ole-boy factor:
You don't want to buy a battery at WalMart and ask your local mom-and-pop auto parts store to charge it for you. Poor form...
In this case, the local gun shops have lost so many sales to the Internet that they have to have other income streams to keep the lights on (and keep the toys in the case for you to play with). FFL fees are rough, but they help the local guys stay afloat. Call it charity if you wish (and don't begrudge it).
On that matter, with the ffl fees plus the cost, I'd be into a used gun for more than a new one, so I'm just gonna purchase a new one locally.
Once I get my birth certificate from my safe deposit box in Iowa so I can get a Texas DL :(