Idaho Concealed Carry and Constitutional Carry
The Gem state is one of the most amenable states to gun owners and carriers, and as a result Idaho concealed carry is actually very easy. Just recently, Idaho became a constitutional carry state.
However, there are a few things to know, because it isn't like one can cross the border into Idaho and start concealed carrying without a permit. Bear in mind that this is not legal advice, but rather a discussion for purposes of sharing information.
Concealed Carry In Idaho Requires Licensure or Residency
When it comes to concealed carry, Idaho is a very liberal state compared to, say, California, which is legally inimical to the citizens being able to arm themselves.
Some might have also noticed, as mentioned, that Idaho recently enacted legislation making it the eighth state in the union to have permitless carry, or as it is sometimes called "constitutional carry." The legislation was passed in early 2016 and - at the time of this writing - has only been in effect for a few weeks.
The constitutional carry provisions only extend that privilege to Idaho residents. Residents of other states will still need a permit, so long as the state of Idaho recognizes or reciprocates with the permit that a person is carrying.
The good news on that front is that Idaho recognizes all state permits. Therefore, so long as a person has a valid permit issued to them by their state of residence or another state...the state of Idaho will recognize their license.
Also, just because the state of Idaho has gone all constitutional and so on regarding concealed or open carry doesn't mean citizens still can't get permits. Idaho offers both a standard and an enhanced license for residents and non-residents, if said non-residents are willing to take the classroom instruction in Idaho and go to an Idaho county sheriff's office to submit the necessary paperwork and be fingerprinted.
For Idaho citizens, no permit is required for those 21 years of age or older, so long as they are able to legally possess a firearm. Those between 18 and 21 years of age can still be issued a permit if they otherwise meet the requirements, but could open carry (if they so chose) without needing a permit. Concealed carry without a permit is also allowed for those between 18 and 21 years of age outside city limits.
Restrictions on Idaho Concealed Carry
As with any state in the union, there are a few limits on Idaho concealed carry - mostly on where one can carry.
Federal buildings remain off-limits, as do primary and secondary schools and other areas designated gun-free zones by federal law.
As for state buildings, concealed carry isn't allowed in courthouses, detention facilities of any kind including prisons, juvenile detention facilities and prisons, and primary or secondary schools.
As far as concealed carry on campus, the law allows holders of the enhanced license to carry on college campuses. Those holding a base license or legally carrying without a permit are prohibited from carrying. However, colleges are allowed to set their own policy in Idaho, and some allow concealed carry in accordance with state law; others do not.
Idaho Concealed Carry Permit
While Idaho is a constitutional carry state, the rights and privileges of a permitless carrier are fewer than those of a person who holds an Idaho concealed carry permit, whether standard or enhanced.
Attaining either permit allows the permit bearer to conceal a loaded pistol in their vehicle. Though concealing without a permit is legal in Idaho while afoot, concealing in a vehicle is not while a handgun is loaded. To transport a loaded handgun in a vehicle, it must be in plain sight if the person carrying it lacks a permit.
As with a number of other states, obtaining a concealed carry permit (either the base permit or the enhanced permit) qualifies for a Brady Act exemption for NICS checks. Idaho residents with permits, therefore, don't have to go through a background check when purchasing a gun; legal permitless carriers will still have to.
Additionally, there is the matter of CCW reciprocity. The constitutional carry statute enjoys basically none - except in Oklahoma, where constitutional carriers may carry without a permit so long as they have a valid ID from the constitutional carry state they reside in, and other constitutional carry states that extend permitless carry to non-residents. This includes Maine and Vermont.
Permit holders from Idaho - resident or non-resident - enjoy some of the widest-ranging reciprocity and recognition among all U.S. states. In total, 28 states reciprocate with or recognize the standard license, and 8 more with the enhanced license for residents. Non-residents holding an Idaho permit can enjoy reciprocity or recognition from 26 states for the standard permit and 8 more for an enhanced permit.
Requirements for obtaining a permit are that a person must be at least 18 years of age and can't be a felon nor convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, nor can be a habitual substance abuser or person adjudicated mentally defective.
The standard license has a minimum training standard, often satisfied by an NRA Basic Pistol course, hunter's safety course or approved courses for the standard license. After completing the requisite training, applicants must apply in person at their county sheriff's office or any county sheriff's office if a non-resident. There is a minimal amount of range time required.
The enhanced license requires classroom instruction in Idaho firearms and self-defense law. There is also a required range portion of enhanced license training, wherein enrollees must demonstrate proficiency with a firearm though qualification (meaning attaining a minimum score in scored shooting) is not required. Application is the same; a person must submit proof of the required training and apply in person at the same locations.
All permits include both fingerprinting and a background check. However, fees are very reasonable; either permit costs $20.
As with any state that issues permits but also allows permitless carry, it's up to the individual to determine if the cost of the training and licensure is worth the benefits.
Idaho Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Idaho concealed carry reciprocity is very generous, compared to many other states in the union. The state of Idaho recognizes any valid license issued by another state, so anyone with a valid concealed carry license can carry in Idaho. State law does, however, require a person to carry their license on their person at all times.
Idaho is a constitutional carry state, but this is only extended to residents of the state, so anyone from out of state looking to carry there will have to have their license to do so.
Idaho offers two licenses - regular and enhanced - which has a bearing on states that recognize Idaho's licenses. Granted, Idaho licenses enjoy some of the widest-reaching recognition of any license issued in the United States. All told, 37 states overall recognize Idaho's license. Of those, 9 states recognize the enhanced license only.
The Gem State, in many regards, is one of the most gun-friendly states in the union.
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About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..