Ensuring safe implementation of concealed weapons usage statewide

A concealed weapon means any deadly weapon carried on a person in a manner not discernible by ordinary observation. A deadly weapon means any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, firearm, or any other device designed or intended to be capable of causing death or serious injury. A deadly weapon is not a knife or cleaver or other instrument used by a person in processing, preparing or eating food, or a knife with a blade of 4 inches or less, or a taser, stungun, pepper spray or mace.

There are two types of
Concealed Weapons Licenses (CWL) in Idaho. A regular or basic CWL and an Enhanced CWL. Both must be applied for separately and if a person possesses a basic CWL and applies for an Enhanced CWL they must go through the entire application process including providing fingerprints again. The enhanced CWL requires 8 hours of specified training (see 183302K(4)(c))To determine which states recognize Idaho’s CWL licenses, both regular and enhanced, the Attorney General contacts the appropriate regulating agency in each of the 50 states and territories. You may access Idaho State Police for more information on CWL license reciprocity. Idaho recognizes all other states CWL’s.

CWL agreements with other states is a work in progress and may change if statutory language changes. It is important to consider contacting the state police of any state you plan on travelling to to determine if your Idaho license will be acceptable. Some states, such as California, Oregon and New York do not recognize out of state CWL licenses. 

Idaho law allows any U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older who would normally qualify for an Idaho Concealed Weapons License to carry concealed without a license. If a person chooses to obtain a basic license for travel purposes, they should be able to demonstrate that they are familiar with firearms. This can be done in several ways, one of which is taking the Idaho Sheriffs online Handgun Safety Course. Most Idaho Sheriffs’ Offices require firearms familiarity, however it is recommended to call before purchasing a course certificate of completion to confirm the purchase is necessary.

An E-CWL applicant must apply and complete the entire process regardless whether they possess a regular CWL license. The eight hour minimum training required for an E-CWL license can be satisfied through the NRA personal protection course; by another nationally recognized organization that customarily certifies firearms instruction; or by an instructor certified by the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST). The course must be taught in person for a minimum of eight hours including Idaho law relating to firearms and the use of deadly force, basic concepts of the safe and responsible use of handguns, self defense principles, and live fire training with at least 98 rounds fired. It is important to note that the legal training must be provided by a licensed Idaho attorney or an Idaho peace officer with a minimum Intermediate POST certificate.  Applicants must apply in person.

CWL applications are submitted to your local sheriff’s office.

CWL Reciprocity with Other States

CWL Questions and Answers

Where do I take my completed concealed weapons license (CWL) application?

Your local sheriffs office. Only sheriffs can process CWL’s in Idaho.

I lost my CWL. How do I replace it?

Contact the sheriff’s office where you originally applied and who issued your original license to replace your concealed weapons license.

How do I find out who instructs enhance CWL classes in my area?

Numerous instructors teach enhanced classes around the state. The best way to determine who teaches in your area is to contact your local sheriff’s office concealed weapons license unit. Most units work in the same area as driver’s license services.

Can I apply for my concealed weapons license online or mail in the application?

Idaho doesn’t have an online or mail in process for applying for a concealed weapons license. If you are renewing a CWL you may be able to do so by mail. Contact your local sheriff’s office to determine if they accept renewals by mail.

I’m not an Idaho resident, but can I get an Idaho concealed weapons license?

Yes. Idaho doesn’t distinguish between resident and non-resident licenses. They are the same.

I’m going to be visiting Idaho in the near future. Can I carry a firearm?

If you would normally qualify for an Idaho CWL and are a U.S. citizen you can carry a firearm openly or concealed without a license. Qualifications generally include being 18 or older, no felony convictions and not under any charges for violence. If in doubt, don’t carry.

When can I renew my concealed weapons license?

A person can renew up to 90 days before their CWL expires or within 90 days after expiration. Renewal can also be done up to 180 days following expiration, but a penalty fee is then attached for renewal. After 180 days a new application must be submitted including fingerprints.

I’m an NRA certified pistol instructor. Do I need to take the 8 hour course to get an enhanced concealed weapons license?

Yes. The 8 hour course is specific to Idaho law as part of the course dealing with the use of deadly force must be taught by an Idaho licensed attorney or a certified Idaho peace officer.

What states recognize Idaho’s concealed weapons license?

Most states recognize Idaho’s CWL. A list of states is available on the Idaho State Police website.

Can I just drop into a sheriff’s office with my concealed weapons license application or should I call first?

You should call first. Some sheriff’s offices take applications by appointment only.

I’m a Canadian citizen and visit Idaho from time to time. Can I get a concealed weapons license?

No. A foreign citizen visiting in the U.S. is not eligible to possess a firearm unless they have specific authority as a licensed hunter. A foreign citizen with a resident visa can possess a firearm and is eligible for a CWL.

Who do I need to contact to renew my concealed weapons license?

Only sheriffs’ offices issue CWL’s so it’s best to contact your local sheriff’s office although you can apply at any one of Idaho’s 44 sheriffs’ offices.

I moved and want to change my address on my concealed weapons license. How do I do that?

Contact your local sheriff’s office, preferably the one who issued your CWL.

I’m living out of state now. How do I renew my concealed weapons license?

Depending on whether the sheriff’s office accepts renewals by mail, you can submit your renewal by mail; however once approved you must return in person to the sheriff’s office for your photograph and signature.