Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed handgun permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing Idaho’s concealed carry laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting an Idaho Concealed Weapons License below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Weapons License Basics

Idaho is a shall-issue state. County sheriffs issue concealed weapons licenses (CWLs) at the local level. Open carry is legal without a license for anyone who is at least 18 years old and can possess a firearm. Idaho offers two types of CWLs. The standard concealed carry permit covers concealed weapons, and the Enhanced CWL is available for purposes of reciprocity for those who wish to travel out of the state.

As of March 2020, permitless carry is legal for any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who can legally possess a firearm. Purchasing a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) requires the buyer to have a background check done. However, the Idaho CWL exempts permit holders from that requirement prior to purchase.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Idaho?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Not be a person who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the firearm through a course
  • Have resided in Idaho for at least 6 months
  • Not have been formally charged or adjudicated guilty in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
  • Not have received a withheld judgment or suspended sentence for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, unless the person has successfully completed probation
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Not be an unlawful user of marijuana or any depressant, stimulant or narcotic drug, or any controlled substance as defined in 21 U.S.C. section 802
  • Not be currently suffering from or have been adjudicated as having suffered from any of the following conditions, based on substantial evidence:
    • Lacking mental capacity as defined in section 18-210, Idaho Code
    • Mentally ill as defined in section 66-317, Idaho Code
    • Gravely disabled as defined in section 66-317, Idaho Code
    • An incapacitated person as defined in section 15-5-101, Idaho Code
  • Not have been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions
  • Not have 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
  • Not be the subject of a withheld judgment for a crime prohibiting a carry license; or released pending trial, appeal or sentencing for a crime prohibiting a carry license
  • Not be subject to a protection order issued under chapter 63, title 39, Idaho Code
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training to Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Idaho?

A county sheriff in Idaho may require that you demonstrate familiarity with a firearm, which may be through concealed carry classes or other means. A sheriff must accept one of the following as evidence of familiarity with a firearm:

  • Completion of a hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game or a similar agency of another state
  • Completion of a National Rifle Association (NRA) firearms safety, training or hunter education course
  • Completion of a firearms safety or training course offered by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, university, private or public school or firearms training school, using instructors certified by the NRA or Idaho State Police
  • Completion of a law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class for security guards, investigators, special deputies, law enforcement agencies or security enforcement agencies
  • Evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service
  • A current Idaho license to carry a concealed weapon
  • Completion of a firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor
  • Other training the sheriff deems appropriate

Live-fire training, including the firing of at least 98 rounds by the student is required for an enhanced CWL. No additional training is required for license renewals.

Find a USCCA Certified Instructor or Firearms Training Class Near You

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Idaho?

Step 1: Complete a training course, if needed (required for enhanced CWL).

Step 2: Download the application form or pick up from your local sheriff’s office.

Step 3: Take the following documents to your local sheriff’s office:

    • Completed application
    • Proof of training
    • Photo ID

You will be fingerprinted.

You will be notified if your application has been approved.

For more information, visit the USCCA Idaho gun laws page now…


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.