Idaho is a Constitutional Carry state, which means that we have the ability to carry a firearm without government restriction. No license or training needed, just you and your firearm are enough. If you need permission to carry a gun, it is a privilege and not a right. The Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms. So the term – Constitutional Carry is used to describe that right.
Idaho law permits Idaho residents over the age of 18 without disqualifications to carry a firearm without a license. This makes about 75% of Idaho’s residents eligible to open carry. Disqualifications are defined in the statute and are fairly intuitive: convicted felons, fugitives, etc.
Critics are concerned with the number of accessible guns in the general public. They argue that more guns on hips and in purses create a higher likelihood of violence. That argument misses the point – the right to carry a firearm is not a right that must be restricted simply out of fear. It may actually create a higher level of accountability among gun owners because no one really knows who has a gun. Constitutional Carry states may have significantly lower violent acts compared to states that that restrict the right to carry. Criminalizing concealed carry does not stop criminals from carrying. It only restricts law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves.
Recently, there was a shooting at a church in Texas. A man pulled a gun out at a church and shot two victims. The incident ended in six-seconds because of a church member that was armed. He stopped a bad actor from causing further harm because he was ready to protect society. The more this message is sent to bad actors, the safer society is.
Idaho law allows Idaho Residents to conceal carry without a license, but what about nonresidents? Nonresidents are not allowed to conceal carry in the state of Idaho without a concealed weapons license from their state. They must also have their concealed weapons permit on them at all times that they are carrying a concealed weapon. Idaho accepts ALL out of state concealed weapons licenses. This will change in July when nonresidents will be able to carry concealed without a license.
Since Idaho Residents do not need a license to carry in the state, what is the point of having one? It can be helpful for travel because other states recognize the Idaho license and allow licensed Idahoans to carry in those states. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know for traveling around the country:
Idaho residents with a basic concealed weapons license can carry in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
These states require an Idaho Enhanced license to carry in their state: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.