Idaho Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Idaho.

In Idaho, adults may purchase and openly carry handguns without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun in your vehicle or on (or near) your body, unless you are on your own property, or in your own home or place of business. (Id. Code Ann. § 18-3302(7).)

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Idaho.

How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License in Idaho

To obtain a concealed handgun license, you must apply at the sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • legally reside in the U.S.
  • demonstrate familiarity with a firearm (by taking an approved training course or having received military training), and
  • be eligible to possess a firearm under state and federal law.

Additionally, you must not:

  • have been a U.S. citizen who has renounced your citizenship
  • be a convicted felon, or formally charged with a felony
  • have been found guilty for certain violent misdemeanors within the past three years (unless you have received a pardon)
  • be free on bond pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a crime that would disqualify you from obtaining a concealed handgun license
  • be subject to certain protection orders
  • be a fugitive from justice
  • unlawfully use controlled substances
  • be currently suffering from mental illness, lack mental capacity, be gravely disabled or incapacitated, or
  • have been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.

(Id. Code Ann. § 18-3302.)

Does Idaho Recognize Concealed Handgun Licenses From Other States?

Yes. Idaho recognizes out-of-state licenses, as long the license holder physically possesses the license when carrying a weapon.

(Id. Code Ann. § 18-3302(12)(g).)

As of July 1, 2013, residents can also apply for a separate permit called the “Enhanced Concealed Weapons License,” which is designed to meet additional criteria required for reciprocity with other state’s concealed carry permit requirements. In order to obtain an enhanced license the applicant must:

  • apply with the sheriff of the county where the applicant resides (or if not an Idaho resident with the sheriff of any county)
  • be a resident of Idaho for at least 6 months before the application or the holder of a current license to carry a concealed weapon issued by the applicant’s state of residence
  • successfully complete a qualifying handgun course (which includes training on Idaho law, basic concepts of handgun safety, self-defense principles, and live fire training including the firing of at least 98 rounds).

(Id. Code Ann. § 18-3302 (K).)

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License

It is a misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in Idaho without a concealed carry permit. (Id. Code Ann. § 18-3302(14).) Penalties include a fine, up to one year in jail, or both.

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Idaho, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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