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Carrying Concealed in Idaho
This portion of our web site is to provide a general overview of some of the most important gun laws that exist in our country and in the State of Idaho.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES THE DISCUSSION ON GUN LAWS IS TO BE INTURPRETED AS LEGAL ADVISE OR TO BE DEEMED LEGALLY ACCURATE.
CONTACT A LOCAL ATTORNEY IN THE STATE IN WHICH YOU RESIDE FOR A LEGAL OPINION AND INTERPRETATION OF FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GUN LAWS.
If you reside in Idaho or intend to apply for the Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed Weapons License, Level 1 Firearms Safety and Training has a class dedicated to the legalities of gun ownership which meets the state of Idaho requirements. Please contact us if you are interested in attending this class.
This section covers miscellaneous discussions related to carrying in Idaho and while away from home.
While mentioned previously, you should never fire a warning shot for a number of reasons. To begin with, there is likely a local law against discharging a weapon, especially if you are within city limits. Firing a warning shot has no purpose other than to waste a round and to "scare" your attacker. Firing a warning shot implies your life is not under immediate threat of attack or death, but rather, you are anticipating you may soon come under attack and are demonstrating you are armed. Firing a warning shot could mean you have the time to retreat to a safer location, talk the attacker down, or you have other options you have not attempted. If you do, in fact, fire a warning shot, if it hits an innocent bystander or some ones property, you could be legally responsible for an unintentional death or property damage.
Power of Arrest
Any U.S. Citizen, armed or unarmed, can effectuate an arrest. However, having a concealed weapon does not grant you special authority to use your weapon to effectuate an arrest. Note also, whether you use your firearm or not, you may be opening yourself up to a potential lawsuit or criminal charges while possibly endangering the lives of others around should the person you're attempting to arrest resists. For all practicable purposes, do not attempt an arrest, instead, be a good witness. Call the police and let the police do what they are trained to do.
A concealed license permit gives you the right to protect yourself from an unprovoked, life-threatening situation. Carrying a concealed weapon does not give the individual the right to seek out and prevent criminal activity or to become the cities next crime fight vigilante. Be a smart, responsible, gun owner who uses their common sense and avoids looking for trouble.
Dealing with Police
Idaho does not require citizens with an Idaho Carry and Concealed Weapons License to disclose that information to law enforcement officers. This is true if you are stopped on the street or stopped in your vehicle. This is where common sense tells you to inform the officer in a safe and discreet manner that you are a licensed firearm owner. You accomplish this when the officer asks for identification. Simply present your Idaho Drivers License or ID along with your Idaho Carry and Concealed License with absolutely no fanfare involved--keep it simple, low keyed, and ALWAYS have your hands in plain view. In you are in your vehicle, simply keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times unless asked for additional documentation.
Allow the officer to make the initial decision on how to handle the situation. The officer may say nothing, may ask if you are armed today, or may ask where your firearm is located. Look the officer straight in the eyes, answer the question directly, and if it appears appropriate, ask the officer what he would like you to do or how he would like to handle the encounter, in a very respectful manner. If the officer asks you to exit your vehicle so he can take possession of the gun temporarily during the encounter, by all means be cooperative and polite. He may handcuff you for his own protection, but this is seldom the case. Usually they will ask you to remain in your car with your hands in plain sight.
Finally, a police officer may stop you because he noticed what appeared to be a concealed weapon under your clothing. The officer does not know you have a permit, if you are a violent criminal, or another law enforcement officer. If this is the purpose the officer stopped you, you should review your concealed carry method.--even a trained officer should not be able to determine a person is carrying a firearm if it is carry and concealed correctly.
Traveling Outside of Idaho
While many of Idaho laws transfer over in some form or another to other states, concealed carry laws differ between states. While visiting out-of-state, your Idaho Concealed Carry Weapons License may be valid in the state you are visiting, however, you are required to follow the concealed carry laws of that state, not Idaho. If you are traveling for the first time to another state that accepts your Idaho CCW license, be sure you contact a local attorney and discuss any additional laws you may need to follow. For example, some states do not allow you to carry with "one-in-the-chamber" or to enter a family restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages.