Gun Laws in Idaho
Idaho gun laws specify who is allowed to own a gun and whether or not you need a permit. These laws cover everyone from adults to minors.
Idaho’s gun laws are generally considered to be more permissive than those of many other states. Here are a few key ways in which Idaho’s gun laws compare to those of other states:
- Permitless carry: Idaho is one of several states that allow individuals to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, provided they are not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law.
- Stand Your Ground: Idaho has a “Stand Your Ground” law that allows individuals to use deadly force in self-defense if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent serious bodily harm or death.
- No waiting period: Idaho does not have a waiting period for firearm purchases, meaning individuals who pass a background check can purchase a firearm and take it home the same day.
- Background checks: Idaho requires background checks for most firearm sales but not for sales between private individuals.
- Open carry: As I mentioned earlier, Idaho allows individuals to open carry firearms in public without a permit, except in certain prohibited locations.
It’s important to note that gun laws can vary widely from state to state and that the specific provisions of Idaho’s gun laws may be more or less permissive than those of other states, depending on the issue.
Idaho is located in the Rocky Mountains in the northwest United States. It has a little over 1,600,000 residents. At the northernmost portion, Idaho has a short boundary with British Columbia, Canada. The other states it borders are Montana and Wyoming to the east. Utah and Nevada bound it in the south. Oregon and Washington are the states that make up its western boundary. Open carry is legal in Idaho, even without a license to carry.
The following are the gun laws as stated in the Idaho statutes:
Basic Gun Laws
- It is not necessary to register or to purchase a permit for shotguns or rifles.
- It is necessary to register and to purchase permit for a handgun whether it is concealed or not.
- NCIS and/or FBI check of criminal record is required if purchasing a handgun.
- Individuals permitted to carry handguns must carry permit at all times the individual is carrying the handgun.
- It is illegal to possess firearms of any kind will on a school campus, building, stadium or any structure within any school property. This law applies to anyone, including adults and minors of any age.
- It is illegal to possess firearms on a school bus.
- It is illegal to possess firearms at any school-sponsored event, regardless of location.
- It is illegal to possess firearms at courthouse, juvenile facilities, jail, and/or any private or public school or university.
- Gun permits are available for purchase and/or application at any county sheriff’s office. However, specific laws apply to become approved for these permits. Those who may not apply for these permits include:
- Any individual who is charged with a crime for which the punishment exceeds a one year conviction.
- Any individual who is a fugitive of justice.
- Any individual with a previous felony conviction.
- Any individual who unlawfully uses marijuana, depressants and/or stimulants, alcohol, or any other narcotic or control substances.
- Any individual who is mentally ill, gravely ill, or lacking mental capacity.
- Any individual who is an illegal alien living in the United States or United States citizen who has renounced their citizenship.
- Any individual subject to criminal judgement, pending trial, and otherwise prohibited to carry a handgun.
- Any individual subject to a protection order due to harassing and/or stalking another individual(s).
- Any individual charged with violent crimes including misdemeanors.
Carrying Firearms in Vehicles
Idaho allows anyone legally to possess firearms to carry them openly in a motor vehicle without a permit. Someone without a permit may carry a long gun. Still, handguns may not be concealed carry within city limits unless they are either disassembled or unloaded and secured in a locked container.
Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
Yes. You are allowed to carry into any establishment that serves alcohol, including bars. You are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.
Idaho has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place. You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle.
In Idaho, it is legal to openly carry a firearm in public without a permit, except in specific locations where firearms are prohibited. Here are some of the key provisions of Idaho’s open carry laws:
- Permitless carry: As mentioned, no permit is required to open carry a firearm in Idaho.
- Age restrictions: It is legal to openly carry a firearm in Idaho if you are 18 or older.
- Prohibited locations: There are some locations in Idaho where it is illegal to carry a firearm, even with a permit, openly. These locations include schools, courthouses, and certain government buildings.
- Restrictions for felons and domestic abusers: People convicted of certain felonies or domestic violence offenses are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under federal law. In Idaho, these individuals are also illegal to open carry firearms in public.
- Restrictions for mentally ill individuals: Individuals adjudicated as mentally ill or committed to a mental institution are also prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law. In Idaho, these individuals are also illegal to carry firearms openly in public.
It’s important to note that while open carry is generally legal in Idaho, it’s still important to exercise caution and be mindful of other individuals’ feelings and concerns.
Open carry is legal in Idaho. Places listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. You may carry openly without a permit in a vehicle or on foot.
Gun Laws Regarding Minors
- It is illegal to sell guns to persons under the age of 18.
- It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess a shotgun or rifle unless the following circumstances apply:
- Minor is at least 12 and is hunting with the written consent of parent(s).
- Minor is at least 12 and is accompanied by parent(s) or an adult with written consent of parent(s).
- The gun in question is a shotgun or rifle that is not sawed off.
- It is illegal for a minor under the age of 18 to possess a handgun under any circumstances.
- Minors are allowed to use guns under these circumstances:
- The gun is chained, strapped, or otherwise affixed to a counter at a target concession and/or game at an amusement park and/or fair.
- The gun is used during hunting and/or firearms safety class.
- The minor is hunting with a valid license.
- The gun is used on real property with the owner’s and parental consent.
Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?
No. “No Firearm” signs in Idaho do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property mentioned explicitly in state law as being off-limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a genuine property interest, a retailer has the right to limit and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possessing a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to arrest for criminal trespass.
Idaho will recognize another state’s license to carry if the licensee has it in his or her physical possession:
“The requirement to secure a license to carry a concealed weapon under this section shall not apply to the following persons: (g) Any person who has a valid permit from a state or local law enforcement agency or court authorizing him to carry a concealed weapon. A permit issued in another state will only be considered valid if the permit is in the licensee’s physical possession.”