See our Concealed Carry policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
In 2016, Idaho repealed its requirement that people carrying hidden, loaded guns in public first obtain a permit and pass a background check. Three years later, the state lowered the age at which a person can carry a gun in public without a permit from 21 to 18.1
Idaho allows an individual to carry a hidden, loaded handgun in public without a permit provided the individual is:
- Over eighteen (18) years of age;2 and
- A citizen of the United States.3 (In 2020, the legislature broadened the category of people who are eligible to carry firearms without a permit from an Idaho resident to any United States citizen.)
Additionally, the individual must not be:
- Ineligible to own, possess or receive a firearm under state or federal law;
- Formally charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- Adjudicated guilty in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- A fugitive from justice;
- An unlawful user of marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance as defined by federal law;4
- Currently suffering from, or has been adjudicated as having suffered from any of the following based on substantial evidence (unless the person has successfully petitioned for relief from the firearm prohibition):
- Someone who has received a withheld judgment or suspended sentence for punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year, unless the person has successfully completed probation;
- Someone who has received a period of probation after having been adjudicated guilty of, or received a withheld judgment for, a misdemeanor offense that has as an element the intentional use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, unless the person has successfully completed probation;
- An alien illegally in the United States;
- Someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship;
- Free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal or sentencing for a crime which would disqualify her or him from obtaining a concealed weapons license; or
- Subject to a protection order issued under state law that restrains the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child.9
Concealed Carry Licenses
The 2016 law retains the licensing process to allow individuals who wish to carry concealed handguns outside of Idaho to do so in states that require licenses. Whether the state recognizes Idaho permits, however, depends on the law of that state.
Under the 2016 law, individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 may also obtain a license to carry a loaded, concealed handgun10. Individuals over 18 years of age, however, are not required to have a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the limits of or confines of any city, if the person is not otherwise disqualified.11
Idaho is a “shall issue” state, meaning that a county sheriff must issue a concealed weapons license if an applicant meets certain qualifications.12
Any person applying for original issuance of a license to carry concealed weapons must submit his fingerprints with the completed license application. Within five days after the filing of an application, the sheriff must forward the applicant’s completed license application and fingerprints to the Idaho State Police.13 The State Police must conduct a national fingerprint-based records check, an inquiry through the NICS database, and a check of any applicable state database, including a check for any mental health records for conditions or commitments that would disqualify a person from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, and return the results to the sheriff within 60 days.14
Additional application requirements, as well as permit suspension and disqualification information, are detailed under Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302.))
Firearm Safety Training
A county sheriff may also require an applicant to demonstrate familiarity with a firearm.15 An applicant may meet demonstrate familiarity if he or she “[i]s licensed or has been licensed to carry a firearm in [Idaho] or a county or municipality, unless the license has been revoked for cause.”16
Duration & Renewal
Idaho concealed weapons licenses are valid for five years from the date of issuance.17 Licenses may be renewed for five-year periods, and renewal applicants must complete an application and undergo a new background check.18
Disclosure or Use of Information
Upon issuing a license under the state law, the county sheriff will notify the ISP on a form or in a manner prescribed by the ISP.19 Information relating to an applicant or licensee received or maintained pursuant to state law by the county sheriff or ISP is confidential and exempt from disclosure under state law.20
Idaho also makes confidential any information relating to a retired law enforcement officer that is maintained or received pursuant to a concealed weapon permit or application for a permit.21
Any person who has a valid permit from a state or local law enforcement agency or court authorizing him or her to carry a concealed weapon in another state does not need to obtain a concealed weapons license under state law.22 However, a permit issued in another state will only be considered valid if the permit is in the licensee’s physical possession.23 Under state law, the state attorney general is required to negotiate reciprocal agreements with other states in order to recognize out-of-state licenses to carry concealed firearms.24
For a list of states with which Idaho has signed formal reciprocity agreements, see the Idaho Permit Reciprocity page, maintained by the Idaho Attorney General.
Enhanced Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons
Idaho enacted a law in 2015 providing for the issuance of “enhanced” licenses to carry concealed weapons.25 The rules and application procedures applicable to licensed to carry concealed weapons above are generally applicable to enhanced licenses as well, except that enhanced license holders must also be over the age of 21, have been a legal resident of the state of Idaho for at least six consecutive months immediately before applying for a license, and must have successfully completed a qualifying handgun course within the 12 month period immediately preceding filing the application.26 County sheriffs must issue an enhanced license to applicants who meet these qualifications.27
- See 2019 ID H 206, effective July 1, 2019, amending Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(4)(f).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(4)(f).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(4)(f)(ii).
- See 21 U.S.C. § 802.
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-210.
- See Idaho Code Ann. § 66-317.
- See Idaho Code Ann. § 66-317.
- See Idaho Code Ann. § 15-5-101(a).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(11).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(20).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(3)(d).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(7), (20).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(10).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(9).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(7) .
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(16).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(1), See Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302.
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(1). See Idaho Code Ann. §§ 18-3302, 9-338.
- Idaho Code Ann. §§ 18-3302H(14), 9-340B.
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(5)(g).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(23).
- 2015 ID H.B. 301, enacting Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302K.
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302K(4). Requirements regarding qualifying handgun courses are outlined in Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302K(4)(c).
- Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302K(1).