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GUN LAWS  

Idaho Gun Laws

Monday, April 13, 2020

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - Article 1, Section 11.

“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.”

Gun Laws Overview

RIFLES & SHOTGUNS HANDGUNS
Permit to Purchase No No
Registration of Firearms No No
Licensing of Owners No No
Permit to Carry No No*

*A permit to carry is available, but it is not required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed.  

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

RECIPROCITY NOTES: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington State recognize Idaho’s ENHANCED permit only. Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and South Carolina recognize Idaho’s RESIDENT permits only. Out-of-state residents must have their state concealed weapons license/permit on their person when carrying a concealed weapon in Idaho --Idaho Code § 18-3302(5)(g). 

STATE STATUS
Castle Doctrine Enacted
No-Net Loss No Legislation
Right to Carry Confidentiality Provisions Enacted
Right to Carry in Restaurants Legal
Right To Carry Laws No Permit Required
Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition Outright Recognition
Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions With Provisions
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Select Map
Click on a State to see the Gun Law Profile

 

Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

Purchase

There is no state permit required for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

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State law prohibits a convicted felon from purchasing any firearm, unless the conviction has been nullified by expungement, pardon, setting aside or other comparable procedure by the jurisdiction where the felony conviction occurred, or where the right to bear arms either specifically or in combination with other civil rights has been restored by any other provision of Idaho law. Idaho Code § 18-3316.

It is a crime to sell or give a firearm to any person that the seller or giver knows to be a gang member. Idaho Code § 18-8505.

It is a misdemeanor crime to sell, “directly or indirectly,” a pistol, revolver or gun to anyone under the age of 18 years without the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. Idaho Code § 18-3302A.

It is a misdemeanor crime to sell or give to anyone under the age of 16 years any firearms, gunpowder, or shells or fixed ammunition of any kind (except shells loaded for use in shotguns and for use in rifles of .22 caliber or smaller) without first obtaining the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. Idaho Code § 18-3308.

Residents of the state of Idaho may purchase rifle and shotguns in another state, provided the sale complies with federal law, the law of the state of purchase, and Idaho law. Residents of other states may purchase a rifle or shotgun in Idaho so long as the purchase conforms to federal law and applicable laws of Idaho and the purchaser’s state of residence. Idaho Code §§ 18-3314 and 18-3315. 

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Possession

No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

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It is unlawful for any convicted felon to possess or control a firearm. This does not apply to any person whose conviction has been nullified by expungement, pardon, setting aside the conviction or other comparable procedure, or whose civil right to bear arms has been restored. Idaho Code § 18-3316.

It is a misdemeanor to possess any deadly weapon with intent to assault another. Idaho Code § 18-3301.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess any weapon (dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or gun) unless the minor has the written permission of a parent or guardian to possess the weapon, or is accompanied by his parent or guardian while he has the weapon in his possession. Any minor under the age of 12 years in possession of a weapon must be accompanied by an adult. Idaho Code § 18-3302E.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess any handgun and, except as provided by federal law, to possess a sawed-off rifle or sawed-off shotgun or a full automatic weapon. Idaho Code § 18-3302F.

Idaho Code § 18-3302G contains exemptions; the prohibitions regarding possession by minors in Idaho Code §§ 18-3302E and 18-3302F (handguns only) do not apply to:

  • patrons firing at lawfully operated target concessions at amusement parks and similar locations, if the firearms to be used are firmly chained or affixed to the counters;
  • any person in attendance at a hunter’s safety course or a firearm safety course;
  • any person engaging in practice or any other lawful use of a firearm at an established range or any other area where the discharge of a firearms not prohibited by state or local law;
  • any person engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or participating in or practicing for such competition;
  • any minor under 18 years of age who is on real property with the permission of the owner, licensee, or lessee of the property and who has the permission of a parent or legal guardian or the owner, licensee, or lessee to possess a firearm not otherwise in violation of the law;
  • any resident or nonresident hunters with a valid hunting license or other persons who are lawfully engaged in hunting; and
  • any person traveling to or from any of these activities with an unloaded firearm in his possession.

It is unlawful for any person to possess a firearm on the property of a private or public elementary or secondary school; in the parts of any building, stadium or other structure on school grounds that are being used for an activity sponsored by or through a school; while riding school-provided transportation; or for a student to possess a firearm while attending or participating in any school-sponsored activity, program or event, regardless of the location. For purposes of enforcing this prohibition, employees of a school district “have the right” to search all students or minors, including their belongings and lockers, that are reasonably believed to be in violation of this prohibition, or applicable school rule or district policy, regarding the possessing of a firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon. Idaho Code § 18-3302D(1)-(3).

The school prohibition does not apply to law enforcement officers; persons participating in a program, event, activity or other circumstance approved by the school’s board of trustees or governing board; any adult (non-student) in lawful possession of a firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon, secured and locked in a private vehicle “in an unobtrusive, nonthreatening manner;” a person in lawful possession of a firearm or other deadly or dangerous weapon in a private vehicle while delivering minor children, students or school employees to and from school or a school activity; and any employee of the school or school district or other person who is authorized to carry a firearm with the permission of the board of trustees of the school district or the governing board. Idaho Code § 18-3302D(4).

It is unlawful for a child under ten years old to have in his or her possession any shotgun, rifle, or other firearm while in the fields or forests or in any tent, camp, auto or any other vehicle, except that the holder of a valid hunting license or a participant in a mentored hunting program as prescribed by rules of the Idaho fish and game commission, if accompanied by an adult licensed to hunt in the state of Idaho, may possess a firearm for hunting while in the fields or forests. Idaho Code § 36-1508.

Under Idaho Code § 39-1809 and § 39-1805(2), a hotelkeeper is not required to provide hotel accommodations or facilities to any person reasonably believed to be bringing property into the hotel “which may be dangerous to other persons” (such as firearms) or whose possession of which is unlawful, and may evict such persons.

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Carrying

Idaho permits the open carrying of firearms.

Idaho law permits both residents and non-residents who are at least 18 years old to carry concealed weapons, without a carry license, outside the limits of or confines of any city, provided the person is not otherwise disqualified from being issued a license to carry.

A person may also carry concealed weapons on or about his or her person, without a license, in the person’s own place of abode or fixed place of business, on property in which the person has any ownership or leasehold interest, or on private property where the person has permission to carry from any person who has an ownership or leasehold interest in that property. 

State law also allows any resident of Idaho or a current member of the armed forces of the United States to carry a concealed handgun without a license to carry, provided the person is over 18 years old and not disqualified from being issued a license to carry concealed weapons under state law. An amendment to state law that takes effect on July 1, 2020 changes the reference in the above law from “a resident of Idaho” to “any citizen of the United States.”  

 

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The restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon without a license also do not apply to weapons located in plain view; any lawfully possessed shotgun or rifle; a firearm that is not loaded and is concealed in a motor vehicle; a firearm that is not loaded and is secured in a case; and a firearm that is disassembled or permanently altered such that it is not readily operable. Idaho Code § 18-3302(4).

Idaho has additional exemptions from the carry license requirement for officials of a city, county or the State of Idaho; any publicly elected Idaho official; law enforcement officers; members of the armed forces or the national guard when in performance of official duties; persons with a valid carry license from another state, and others listed at Idaho Code § 18-3302(5).

Idaho is a “shall issue” state respecting the issuance of concealed carry licenses.

Licenses to carry are issued by the sheriff in the county in which the applicant resides. The sheriff must issue the license within 90 days of the filing of an application by a person who is not disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm under state or federal law. Licenses are valid for five years.

A sheriff of the county where an applicant resides may also issue a “temporary emergency license” for good cause pending review of an application for a five-year license to carry. A temporary emergency license is valid for not more than 90 days. Idaho Code § 18-3302(6).

Idaho also has an “enhanced license” available to persons who are at least 21 years old, who are not disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm under state or federal law, and who satisfy the specific training for an enhanced license (in-person training of at least 8 hours, with a live-fire component and that meets the other requirements in Idaho Code § 18-3302K(4)(c)).

Enhanced licenses are valid for five years, and allow the holder to carry at public colleges and universities, except within any building of a “public entertainment facility” with appropriate signage conspicuously posted at each point of public ingress to the facility, or within a student dormitory or residence hall. A “public entertainment facility” means an arena, stadium, amphitheater, auditorium, theater or similar facility with a seating capacity of at least 1,000 persons, primarily designed and used for artistic, theatrical, cultural, charitable, musical, sporting or entertainment events and owned or operated by the board of regents of the university of Idaho, a board of trustees of a state college or university, the state board for career technical education or a board of trustees of a community college, but does not include publicly accessible outdoor grounds or rights-of-way appurtenant to the facility, including parking lots within the facility.

Persons who are disqualified under state law and ineligible for a license include:

  • Anyone under 21 years old. However, the sheriff shall issue a license to a person aged between 18 and 21 years old if the applicant meets all the requirements for issuance of an enhanced license, apart from age. These licenses expire on the holder’s 21st birthday and are distinguishable from regular carry licenses. Idaho Code § 18-3302(20).
  • Those formally charged with or adjudicated guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term over one year.
  • Anyone who has received a withheld judgment or suspended sentence for a crime punishable by imprisonment of over one year, unless the person has successfully completed probation.
  • Anyone who has 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.
  • Anyone who is a fugitive from justice, or is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a crime which would disqualify the person from obtaining a license.
  • An unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.
  • Anyone currently suffering from or who has been adjudicated as having suffered from (as defined by law) mental illness, being an incapacitated person, being gravely disabled, or lacking mental capacity.
  • Anyone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
  • Any alien illegally present in the United States.
  • A U.S. citizen who has renounced their citizenship.
  • Those subject to a protection order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child.
  • Anyone that, for any other reason, is ineligible to own, possess or receive a firearm under Idaho or federal law.

However, where the applicant’s firearm rights have been restored under operation of law or legal process in respect of a conviction, guilty plea or adjudication, or a finding or adjudication of mental illness or involuntary commitment, the person is not disqualified as an applicant due to that conviction, plea, adjudication or finding. Idaho Code § 18-3302(11), (12).

A person with a regular license to carry or a resident who is carrying pursuant to the permitless carry provision in Idaho Code § 18-3302(4)(f) is prohibited from carrying a concealed deadly weapon in a courthouse, juvenile detention facility or jail, or public or private school, unless the person is authorized to carry a firearm by a person, board or other entity having authority over the building or facility, and in the case of a school, by the board of trustees of the school district or the governing board. Idaho Code § 18-3302C.

Regarding carrying at institutions of higher education, state law forbids the board of regents of the university of Idaho, the boards of trustees of the state colleges and universities, the board of professional-technical education and the boards of trustees of each of the community colleges established under chapter 21, title 33, Idaho Code, from regulating or prohibiting the otherwise lawful possession, carrying or transporting of firearms or ammunition by persons licensed to carry as qualified retired law enforcement officers or carrying pursuant to an Idaho enhanced license. State law prohibits persons with an enhanced permit from carrying within a student dormitory/residence hall and within a “public entertainment facility” building, as defined, that is properly posted at points of entry.  Idaho Code § 18-3309. There are exceptions for persons otherwise permitted to carry under Idaho Code § 18-3309(2)(c).

It is unlawful to carry any concealed weapon while intoxicated or under the influence of an intoxicating drink or drug.” Idaho Code § 18-3302B.

Idaho recognizes validly issued and current concealed weapons licenses/permits of all other states. 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. Idaho Code § 18-3302(5)(g).

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Machine Guns, Assault Weapons, Magazines, Ammunition

Idaho has no state laws regulating "assault weapons" or "large capacity" magazines. It is lawful to possess, purchase, or sell a machine gun that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.

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However, a minor under the age of 18 years is prohibited from possessing a “full automatic weapon,” defined as any firearm “which fires, is designed to fire, or can be readily restored to fire, automatically more than one bullet, or other missile without reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” Idaho Code § 18-3302F.

It is a misdemeanor crime to sell or give to anyone under the age of 16 years any gunpowder, shells or fixed ammunition of any kind (except shells loaded for use in shotguns and for use in rifles of .22 caliber or smaller) without first obtaining the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. Idaho Code § 18-3308.

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Antiques and Replicas

Idaho statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.

Preemption

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-3302J, unless specifically authorized by state law, a “county, city, agency, board or any other political subdivision” of the State is prohibited from adopting or enforcing “any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance which regulates in any manner the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, transportation, carrying or storage of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition.”

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The preemption law allows a county to adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the discharge of firearms within that county’s boundaries. However, such ordinances may not apply to or affect:

  • A person discharging a firearm in the lawful defense of person or persons or property.
  • A person discharging a firearm in the course of lawful hunting.
  • A landowner and guests of the landowner discharging a firearm, when the discharge will not endanger persons or property.
  • A person lawfully discharging a firearm on a sport shooting range (an area designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder, archery, or any other similar sport shooting).
  • A person discharging a firearm in the course of target shooting on public land if the discharge will not endanger persons or property.

The preemption law allows a city to enact ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the discharge of firearms within its boundaries, but such ordinances may not apply to or affect a person discharging a firearm in the lawful defense of person or persons or property, or a person lawfully discharging a firearm on a sport shooting range.

In addition, the preemption law does not affect the ability of counties and cities to regulate the location and construction of sport shooting ranges, as consistent with chapter 26, title 55, Idaho Code. The preemption statute likewise preserves the authority of the Department of Fish and Game to make rules or regulations concerning the management of wildlife in the state.

A separate section, Idaho Code § 18-3309, on the authority of the governing boards of public colleges and universities regarding firearms, allows the board of regents of the university of Idaho, the boards of trustees of the state colleges and universities, the board of professional-technical education and the boards of trustees of each of the community colleges established under chapter 21, title 33, Idaho Code, to prescribe rules and regulations relating to firearms, with the exception of persons lawfully in possession, carrying or transporting firearms or ammunition pursuant to an Idaho enhanced license or a license authorizing a qualified retired law enforcement officer to carry. State law prohibits anyone with an enhanced license from carrying within a student dormitory or residence hall, as defined; or within any posted “public entertainment facility,” as defined, unless the person is otherwise permitted to carry under Idaho Code § 18-3309(2)(c).

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Restoration of Rights

Idaho has a restoration of rights procedure for persons under a mental health-based firearm disability. Gun rights lost due to a felony conviction may be restored upon final discharge from sentence, a pardon, or a “set aside” of a conviction or guilty plea and dismissal of charges under Idaho Code § 19-2604(1)(b).

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Firearm disability arising from mental health adjudication, commitment. Idaho Code § 66-356 allows a person who has been committed for involuntary mental health treatment, or has been the subject of another mental-health related adjudication or court order that results in a firearm disability, to petition the magistrate division of the court that issued such order, or the magistrate division of the district court of the county where the individual resides, to remove the person’s firearms-related disabilities.

A copy of the petition must be served on the director of the department of health and welfare and the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the original order, adjudication or finding occurred, so that they may, at their option, appear, support, object to and present evidence relevant to the relief sought by the petitioner.

The court must consider evidence, including evidence offered by the petitioner, concerning the circumstances of the original order, adjudication or finding; the petitioner’s mental health and criminal history records, if any; the petitioner’s reputation; and relevant changes in the petitioner’s condition or circumstances.

The court must grant the petition for relief if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the petitioner will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.

When a court issues an order granting a petition, the clerk of the court must immediately forward a copy of the order to the Idaho state police, which in turn shall immediately forward a copy to the FBI for updating the NICS database. (Under a separate section, Idaho Code § 67-3003(1)(i), the Idaho state police are given responsibility for electronically transmitting into the federal NICS database information relating to eligibility to receive or possess a firearm pursuant to state or federal law, and notifying NICS “as soon as practicable” of any updates or changes.)

If the petition is denied, the petitioner may appeal a denial of the requested relief, and review on appeal shall be de novo. A person may file a petition for relief under this section no more than once every two years.

Firearm disability arising from criminal conviction. Pursuant toIdaho Code §§ 18-310(1) and (2), a person loses the right to ship, transport, possess or receive a firearm under state law upon being convicted of a felony and during any period of parole or probation. These rights are restored under state law on final discharge of the person, unless the person’s conviction is for any of the Idaho felonies listed in Section 18-310(2).

For persons who have been convicted of some of these listed felonies, a pardon may restore firearm rights under state law. This is done by application to the Idaho Commission for Pardons and Parole. An application cannot be made until at least five years have elapsed after the date of the person’s final discharge. The commission cannot restore the firearm rights of any person convicted of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, or any felony listed in paragraphs (a) through (ii) of Section 18-310(2), where the sentence was enhanced for the use of a firearm during the commission of that felony. Idaho Code § 18-310(3).

Persons convicted of felonies in other states or jurisdictions do not have their firearm rights restored upon final discharge; the restoration above only applies to an Idaho felon. Idaho Code § 18-310(4).

However, under Idaho Code § 18-3316(4), the state law prohibition on purchasing, owning, possessing or having control over a firearm by anyone who has a felony conviction does not apply if a person’s “conviction has been nullified by expungement, pardon, setting aside the conviction or other comparable procedure by the jurisdiction where the felony conviction occurred; or whose civil right to bear arms either specifically or in combination with other civil rights has been restored by any other provision of Idaho law.”

For more information on pardons, expungement of records, and restoration of rights following a conviction, see https://parole.idaho.gov/restoration-of-firearms-rights-request-information/ and the federal and relevant state law page at https://ccresourcecenter.org/restoration.  

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Range Protection

Shooting ranges are protected against any type of lawsuit claiming nuisance or noise if the range was in operation before the adjoining property owner purchased their property.

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§ 55-2602. Sport shooting range--Nuisance action--Limitations

(1) Except as provided in this section, a person may not maintain a nuisance action for noise against a shooting range located in the vicinity of that person's property if the shooting range was established as of the date the person acquired the property. If there is a substantial change in use of the range after the person acquires the property, the person may maintain a nuisance action if the action is brought within three (3) years from the beginning of the substantial change.

(2) A person who owns property in the vicinity of a shooting range that was established after the person acquired the property may maintain a nuisance action for noise against that shooting range only if the action is brought within five (5) years after establishment of the range or three (3) years after a substantial change in use of the range.

(3) If there has been no shooting activity at a range for a period of three (3) years, resumption of shooting is considered establishment of a new shooting range for purposes of this section.

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Miscellaneous

It is unlawful to operate a firearm in a “careless, reckless, or negligent manner or without due caution and circumspection” when such operation results in discharge and injury to any person. Idaho Code § 18-3312.

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It is a misdemeanor crime for any person who, not acting 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.” Idaho Code § 18-3303.

It is unlawful to ship (as baggage or otherwise) a loaded firearm on any common carrier. Idaho Code § 18-3310.

It is unlawful to shoot from or across a public highway. Idaho Code § 36-1508(a).

It is a crime for any person found guilty of a felony who is not finally discharged from a sentence of imprisonment, probation or parole, or a convicted felon whose firearm rights have not been restored, to possess a “conducted energy device.” A “conducted energy device” means any item that emits an electrical current, impulse, wave or beam, which current, impulse, wave or beam is designed to incapacitate, injure or kill. Idaho Code § 18-3325.

During a declared state of emergency, neither the Governor nor any agency of any governmental entity or a political subdivision shall impose restrictions on the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage display or use of firearms and ammunition. Idaho Code § 46-1008(7).

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SOURCES: Idaho Code §§ 18-3301 et seq., 31-872, 36-401, 36-1508, 46-1008; 50-343.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.