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I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Idaho, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
Based on our most recent research, the USCCA has identified just two states with statutes against carrying a concealed firearm while wearing a mask: California and Illinois (although sheriffs and county prosecutors in Illinois have made statements indicating that wearing a mask to protect others from COVID-19 while carrying a gun isn’t illegal as long as the wearer isn’t wearing the mask while committing a crime). Due to the large number of inquiries, some states have publicly addressed their laws regarding wearing masks, clarifying that they actually refer to individuals concealing their identity with the intention to commit illegal acts or to specifically hide their identity, and do not address wearing a mask while legally carrying a concealed firearm. Although we have not conducted an exhaustive search, we found no statute in Idaho addressing masks.
If you have further questions, we recommend that you reach out to your local law enforcement office, or district attorney.
Idaho is a shall-issue state for concealed carry. Concealed weapon licenses are issued at the local level by county sheriffs.
No permit is needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual, no background check is required, there is no waiting period, and there is no firearms registration in the state. Background checks are required if purchasing a handgun from a FFL dealer. However, an Idaho Concealed Weapons License (CWL) exempts the holder from the federal requirement of a background check prior to purchase of a firearm.
Open carry is legal in Idaho for anyone at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm. Some areas are off-limits, including elementary schools and courthouses.
House Bill 516 was signed by the Governor on 3/25/2020 and will allow any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who can legally possess a firearm, to lawfully carry a concealed firearm for self-defense without a permit. The new law appears to take effect immediately. Idaho offers two types of CWL’s, both of which require the applicant to be at least 18 years old. An Enhanced CWL is available for those who wish to travel out of state. A CWL covers concealed weapons including any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or any other deadly or dangerous weapon. In terms of reciprocity, some states will only accept the enhanced version of Idaho’s permit. Idaho issues CWLs to residents and non-residents. Concealed carry permits require a firearms training course that has been state-approved or experience with a firearm through participation in an organized shooting competition or military service.
Idaho is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. A law-abiding citizen may stand his or her ground and protect himself or herself or a third party anywhere he or she has a legal right to be.
Defense of Self and Others No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting one’s self or family by reasonable means necessary, or when coming to the aid of another whom he reasonably believes to be in imminent danger of or the victim of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, murder or other heinous crime. The defense of self or of another does not require a person to wait until he or she ascertains whether the danger is apparent or real. A person confronted with such danger has a clear right to act upon appearances such as would influence the action of a reasonable person.
Defense of Place A person using force or deadly force in defense of a habitation, place of business or employment, or occupied vehicle is presumed to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the force is used against a person whose entry or attempted entry therein is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.
Liability A person is released from liability when protecting himself or herself or his or her family by reasonable means necessary or when coming to the aid of another whom he or she reasonably believes to be in imminent danger of or the victim of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, murder or other heinous crime.
“Habitation” means any building, inhabitable structure or conveyance of any kind, whether the building, inhabitable structure or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile — including a tent — and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, including a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest, and includes the curtilage of any such dwelling.
“Place of business or employment” means a commercial enterprise or establishment owned by a person as all or part of the person’s livelihood or is under the owner’s control or under control of an employee or agent of the owner with responsibility for protecting persons and property and shall include the interior and exterior premises of the place of business or employment.
“Vehicle” means any motorized vehicle that is self-propelled and designed for use on public highways to transport people or property.
Yes. House Bill 516 was signed by the Governor on 3/25/2020 and allows any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who can legally possess a firearm, to lawfully carry a concealed firearm for self-defense within city limits without a permit. The new law appears to take effect immediately.
Open Carry Permitted?
Is open carry permitted in Idaho?
Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry.
If Idaho requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?
Shall-issue. Idaho officials shall issue concealed carry permits provided that the applicant meets all qualifications.
Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?
What is the minimum age in Idaho to get a concealed carry permit?
The minimum age to apply for an Idaho Concealed Weapons License is 18.
Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?
Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Idaho with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?
Yes. (a) "Concealed weapon" means any deadly weapon carried on or about the person in a manner not discernible by ordinary observation; (b) "Deadly weapon" means: (i) Any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger or firearm; (ii) Any other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance that is designed and manufactured to be readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury; or (iii) Any other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance that is intended by the person to be readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
Can you carry a firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Idaho?
Yes, there is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry, unless posted and provided you are not under the influence.
Carry/Possess at a hotel?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Idaho?
A hotelkeeper has the right to evict a person, whether or not the person is a guest of the hotel, who seeks to bring a firearm into the hotel. The hotelkeeper is not required to provide accommodations, facilities or privileges of the hotel to any such person. Therefore, the individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See theHandgunsat Hotels page for additional information.
Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Idaho?
No. There is no requirement to inform law enforcement that you are carrying a firearm in Idaho.
Magazine Limits for Handguns?
Does Idaho have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?
No. There are no restrictions on magazine capacity in Idaho.
Does Idaho have ammunition restrictions?
No. There are no special restrictions on the types of ammunition you may use in your concealed carry handgun in Idaho.
"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Idaho? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
No. "No Weapons Allowed" signs are not enforced in Idaho.
Does Idaho have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?
Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, and, except a county may adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the discharge of firearms within its boundaries, under most circumstances.
Every person who, not in necessary self-defense, in the presence of two or more persons, draws or exhibits any deadly weapon in a rude, angry and threatening manner, or who, in any manner, unlawfully uses the same, in any fight or quarrel, has committed a crime.
Does Idaho have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or drugs?
Not while intoxicated or under the influence of an intoxicating drink or drug. Licenses may be denied to an unlawful user of marijuana or any depressant, stimulant or narcotic drug, or any controlled substance as defined in 21 U.S.C. 802.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Idaho?
No. No permit is required to purchase a handgun in Idaho.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Idaho?
No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.
Idaho Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current Idaho concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Idaho?
No. There is no waiting period to purchase a handgun in Idaho.
Do handguns need to be registered in Idaho?
No. Idaho does not require handguns to be registered.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Idaho?
18 years old.
It is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen (18) years to possess or have in possession any weapon, as defined in section 18-3302A, Idaho Code, unless he or she:
Has the written permission of his or her parent or guardian to possess the weapon; or
Is accompanied by his or her parent or guardian while he or she has the weapon in his possession.
Intentionally interfere with the lawful taking or control of wildlife by another;
Intentionally harass, bait, drive or disturb any animal for the purpose of disrupting lawful pursuit or taking thereof;
Damage or destroy in any way any lawful hunting blind with the intent to interfere with its usage for hunting; or
Harass, intimidate or threaten by any means including, but not limited to, personal or written contact, or via telephone, e-mail or website, any person who is or was engaged in the lawful taking or control of fish or wildlife.
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State Constitutional Provision
The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person, nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony."
Since Idaho has permitless carry, any person who is at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm may open or concealed carry a firearm without a permit.
Idaho recognizes all other states’ validly issued and current concealed weapons licenses/permits. Out-of-state residents must have their state concealed weapons license/permit on their person when carrying a concealed weapon in the state of Idaho.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
Residents of Idaho can carry a concealed defensive firearm in the state of Oklahoma without any type of permit/license. Oklahoma recognizes Permitless Carry States statutes allowing residents to carry without a permit in their state of residence. To carry in Oklahoma, you must carry your state-issued ID.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Idaho
Idaho offers resident and non-resident permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Idaho resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).
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; or
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; and
Idaho issues CWLs to residents and non-residents. The requirements are similar for both. Contact the sheriff’s office in the county where you intend to apply. Non-residents with permits issued by their home state may apply for enhanced CWLs.
Contact the sheriff’s office in your county.
Contact the sheriff’s office in your county.
The enhanced CWL requires additional training than the standard Idaho CWL. It is intended to allow permitholders to carry in more states than the standard CWL.
An state-approved, 8-hour course attended in-person and not through electronic or other means, that includes instruction in:
Idaho law relating to firearms and the use of deadly force, provided by a state-approved trainer;
The basic concepts of the safe and responsible use of handguns;
Self-defense principles; and
Live-fire training, including the firing of at least 98 rounds by the student.
Moving to Idaho and interested in applying for a resident license? How soon can you apply? Idaho doesn't distinguish between resident and non-resident licenses, so you can apply for a license at any time. In order to obtain an Idaho resident license, you must be a resident of Idaho for at least six months.
Moving from Idaho and have an Idaho resident license? Does that license transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Idaho license remains valid? If a person with an Idaho concealed weapon license establishes residency in another state, the license is valid until it expires provided he or she contacts the sheriff’s office in their county.
A county sheriff may require that you demonstrate familiarity with a firearm, which may be through 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; or
Other training the sheriff deems appropriate.
No additional training is required for permit renewals.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
In Idaho, per Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(5)(h), the local county sheriffs are responsible for LEOSA matters. There is no state-mandated qualification course, so retired officers shoot their department qualification course or the qualification course in use by the local county sheriff’s office where they qualify.
Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted, and provided you are not under the influence.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes.
Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes.
Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Idaho?
Places off-limits even with a permit/license
A dormitory, residence hall or public entertainment area of a public college or university, provided that proper signage is conspicuously posted [Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(a)];
A private or public elementary or secondary school or a school-sponsored activity (except adults who lawfully possess a firearm in a private vehicle while delivering minor children, students or school employees to and from school or a school activity or secured and locked in a private vehicle)
In Idaho, anyone 18 years or older can open carry any knife. You cannot conceal carry a Bowie, dirk, dagger or dangerous weapon with a blade longer than 6 inches unless you have a weapons permit. Knives can be a deadly weapon, but Idaho law does not state what types of knives are deadly weapons. The places listed as off-limits for CWL should also be assumed to apply to knives.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email email@example.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
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.
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