Idaho Concealed Weapons Permit FAQs
We are very fortunate to live in a state where everyone from law enforcement, to congress, the Attorney
General, and the public, support our right to carry a concealed weapon. Idaho allows “open” carry of a firearm
provided you are permitted to own a handgun under current state and federal laws.
We prefer concealed carry-which respects citizens who are afraid of guns, prevents children becoming
alarmed, and most importantly, provides you with a path of freedom in terms of being “checked-out” by law
enforcement. You must omit, openly carrying a gun in public is a sure way to raise concern and curiosity from
local law enforcement and citizens.
The Idaho Office of Attorney General has published a Frequently Asked Question page related to concealed
weapons in Idaho. While there’s no reason to reinvent the list, we felt it was important to create our own-many
of the questions answered DO NOT provide in-depth answers! We have therefore used the Attorney General’s
FAQs as a starting point, but will add our own Q&A as well.
Can a person in Idaho carry a weapon on their person?
Yes, a person in Idaho may carry a weapon on their person without a carry permit provided it is clearly
visible. This means you cannot have any garments, such as a jacket or sweater, which prevents the
weapon from being seen and easily identified.
May I carry a firearm in my vehicle without a carry and
concealed weapons license?
Yes, you can legally carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, in your vehicle provided it is in plain sight. This
does not mean you have to place it on your dashboard for others outside the vehicle to plainly see-you
can place it on the middle console, on the seat, or on the back seat-it cannot be placed in the glove
compartment or in the side panel of your door. If you can walk up to the driver side window and see the
firearm, it’s generally considered to be in plain sight.
What if I don’t want someone to see my firearm in my vehicle
when I make a stop, like shopping or visiting a friend, can I place
it in the glove box?
No, that’s technically concealing your weapon which means you should have a recognized carry and
concealed weapons license. However, you can technically store your firearm in the glove compartment
provided it is disassembled, unloaded or both. Be very careful with this exception! If the gun is
unloaded, be sure there’s no ammunition around the gun.
Do I need a concealed weapons license if I am hunting?
No. If you are outside the city limits and are hunting, fishing, trapping, or engaged in any lawful outdoor
activity, you are not required to have a concealed weapons license. However, there are certain
restrictions when visiting state and federal parks-check with your attorney to see if these restrictions
How do I obtain a concealed weapons license in Idaho?
Idaho offers resident and non-resident carry and concealed licenses.
Idaho has two carry and concealed weapons licenses-standard and enhanced
To apply, you must go to the local county Sheriff’s office in which you reside
Idaho Standard Carry and Concealed Weapons License
A standard license requires evidence you have attended a hunters safety course conducted
by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, or similar organization, or;
You have attended and passed a recognized safety or training
A state recognized firearms safety or training course offered by a law enforcement agency, a college,
community college, university, private, or public school or firearms training school, or;
A law enforcement firearms training course offered for security guards, investigators, law enforcement,
special deputies, law enforcement agencies, or security enforcement agencies.
Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed Weapons License
An “Enhanced” license requires additional training. In addition to the standard
requirements, the class you attend must:
Consist of 8-hours of classroom instruction, and;
Have a “Legal Instruction” lecture presented by a licensed Idaho Attorney, a POST 3 Firearms Training
Instructor, or an member of the Idaho State Bar.
Demonstrate firearm efficiency by the applicant, which is the safe and efficient discharge of 98+ rounds
of ammunition in the presence of a state-authorized firearms instructor.
National Rifle Association Courses which qualify for these requirements are the
What is the difference between the Idaho “Standard” and the
Idaho “Enhanced” Carry and Concealed Weapons Licenses?
Aside from the amount of training involved, an Idaho Standard Carry and Concealed Weapons License
is limited in states in which honor your training and acceptance. The Idaho Standard License is very
broad and very applicable for most citizens who carry in Idaho and occasionally travel out-of state.
An Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed Weapons License adds additional states which honor the
license. For example, the Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed License adds Nevada, New Mexico,
South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington State as “accepted” states in which the holder may
carry a concealed firearm.
Should I apply for an Idaho Standard Carry and Concealed
Weapons License or an Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed
That is an individual decision. If you travel to Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia, or
Washington State often, you should consider the Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed Weapons
License. Keep in mind, Idaho is a very low crime state-the chances of you using your firearm in Idaho is
extremely low. On the other hand, having a Carry and Concealed Weapons License implies your intent
to carry concealed. If you visit neighboring states where the crime rate is oftentimes triple that of Idaho,
we suggest going for the Idaho Enhanced Carry and Concealed Weapons license.
Do I need to take a test to receive an Idaho Carry and Concealed
No. When you arrive at the Sheriff department, you will be asked to present your completion of a
firearms course, The Sheriff accepts completion of your “formal” training as evidence you have met, or
exceeded, Idaho state requirements.
Am I eligible for an Idaho Carry and Concealed Weapons Permit?
In most cases, the average, law abiding citizen is eligible for an Idaho Carry and Concealed Weapons
License-those who feel they are not, have likely been arrested and convicted of a crime which prevents
them from carrying a firearm-they already know they cannot apply.
In general, if you have not been convicted of a Felony in any state, do not have a restraining order,
have not been convicted of domestic violence, have not been proven “mentally incompetent”, are not
currently attending a court imposed alcohol or drug counseling program, are not currently charged with
any of these types of crimes, you can apply for an Idaho Carry and Concealed Weapons License.
For further determination, we encourage you to contact a licensed Idaho attorney. You may also refer
encourage you NOT to be your own attorney! We have seen hundreds of applicants receive their
Idaho CCW License simply because what they interpreted as law did not actually apply to their
Can I apply for an Idaho Standard or Enhanced Carry and
Concealed License after a DUI Conviction?
Yes. Idaho is a very forgiving state. There are thousands of Idaho citizens who have received DUI
convictions and yet receive Carry and Concealed Weapons Licenses. The key here is the determination
of the case. If you received a misdemeanor offence, most Idaho Sheriffs will view these as a “one-time”
incident. Everyone is allowed to screw up once-a past DUI, provided it was not a Felony, is normally
“forgiven” in terms of a Carry and Concealed Weapons License; provided it was not a recent event
(there's no hard or fast rule). If you have a history of DUI convictions, that can make it a lot more
complicated-check with your personal attorney to evaluate your case. In general, one DUI will not
prevent you from receiving a license.
How long is an Idaho Carry and Concealed License Valid?
Can an Idaho Carried and Concealed Weapons License be
denied or revoked?
Not arbitrarily. The Sheriff must provide a compelling reason(s) the license has been denied or
revoked. However, in practicality, the Sheriff is the final word-if a license is denied or revoked, the
applicant has a very long road to travel. Idaho is a “shall issue” state, not a “may issue” state. If you
have met the minimum requirements, the Sheriff cannot deny you the right to carry concealed based on
his personal bias. The Sheriff can, however, deny your application provided:
There was intentional fraud or misrepresentation obtaining the license;
There is proof of misuse of the license, such as duplication or giving the license to an unauthorized
You are found guilty of any crime which would normally disqualify you from attaining an Idaho CCW
Are there places I cannot carry a weapon even with a license?
Yes. Both federal and state laws prohibit you from carrying a firearm into a courthouse, juvenile
detention facility, adult correctional facility, prison, public or private school.
Note: Idaho Colleges and University schools are currently under debate-check with your attorney. At
the time of this writing, there is proposed legislation that will allow Idaho Enhanced CCW license
holders to carry on campus. Equally important, this law has not passed!!! Check with your attorney.
Federal laws trump local laws. Carrying a firearm in a Federal Courthouse or airport is strictly
Does Idaho Recognize Out-of-State Carry and Concealed
Yes. You must have your out-of-state license with you anytime you carry and conceal in Idaho.
Does Idaho have reciprocity with other states?
If requested, Idaho will enter into a reciprocity agreement with another state that is mutually aligned
with the Idaho Carry and Concealed Weapons law. It’s important to note many states honor Idaho’s
Carry and Concealed Weapons License without a formal reciprocity agreement. On or about July 1,
2013 the Idaho State Police sent reciprocity request letters to each state-there responses have been
posted on their site. As of the time of this writing, the list is available on our site by clicking HERE.
Does an Idaho Carry and Concealed Weapons License apply
only to firearms?
No. The license covers any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, firearm, pistol, revolver, or any other
deadly or dangerous weapon. Note: Because the Idaho CCW covers all dangerous weapons, a few
states have opted not to honor the license.