Idahoans who want to pack heat under wraps have a new licensing option. Starting Monday, July 1, Idaho’s enhanced concealed weapons license law—approved by state lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session—goes into effect.
Backed by the National Rifle Association and introduced by Meridian Republican Rep. Joe Palmer, the new concealed weapons license option includes stricter requirements and training, including at least eight hours of training from an instructor certified by the NRA or another nationally recognized organization that certifies firearms instructors (or who is certified by the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Council) in areas such as use of deadly force, self-defense principles and laws regulating firearms. Live fire training of at least 98 rounds is also required.
Once completed and approved, applicants for the enhanced license will receive a card not unlike a driver’s license, with personal identification data, a photograph of the licensee and driver’s license number. Licenses, issued by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, are valid for five years.
According to backers of the new license option, requiring additional training is intended help make Idaho’s enhanced concealed weapons permits recognized in more states.
Though the state’s existing concealed weapons permit will remain available—requiring that applicants prove that they have completed some training, including hunter safety, law enforcement-sponsored firearms education courses or other training from a recognized firearms expert—only 18 states have traditionally recognized the permit without a reciprocity agreement, including:
Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin
The Idaho State Attorney General’s Office, meanwhile, reports that it has signed reciprocity agreements with 11 more states: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
Idaho recognizes concealed weapons permits from every state, regardless of reciprocity.
Interest in the permitting law change has been high, as evidenced by calls to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office concealed weapons hotline on the morning of July 1, which were met with a recorded message stating: “We are receiving an extremely high volume of telephone calls.”