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What are the Gun Laws in Idaho

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms


As of June, 2006

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to purchase handgun? No.
  • Registration of handguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No.
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.
*A permit to carry concealed is not needed outside the limits of cities or towns. (see CARRYING)

Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change.

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

A resident of the state of Idaho may purchase rifle and shotguns in a state contiguous to Idaho. Residents of those states may purchase a rifle or shotgun In Idaho.

It is unlawful to directly or indirectly sell to any minor under the age of eighteen years any weapon without the written consent of the parent or guardian of the minor.

It is unlawful to sell or give to any minor under the age of sixteen years any gunpowder, or any shells or fixed ammunition of any kind, except shells loaded for use in shotguns and for use in rifles of twenty-two (22) caliber or smaller, or any firearms of any description, without the written consent of the parents or guardian of such minor first had and obtained.

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

It is unlawful to possess or carry any concealed weapon while intoxicated.

It is unlawful for any 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 either specifically or in combination with other civil rights has been restored.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen years to possess or have in possession any weapon, unless he has the written permission of his parent or guardian to possess the weapon; or is accompanied by his parent or guardian while he has the weapon in his possession.

An adult shall accompany any minor under the age of twelve years in possession of a weapon.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess or have in possession any handgun. Except as provided by federal law, a minor under the age of 18 years may not possess a sawed-off rifle or sawed-off shotgun; or a full automatic weapon. The prohibitions in this paragraph do not apply to the following:

  • Patrons firing at lawfully operated target concessions at amusement parks and similar locations provided that 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’s 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 while on the property of a school or in those portions of any building, stadium or other structure on school grounds which, at the time of the violation, were being used for an activity sponsored by or through a school in this state or while riding school provided transportation. This prohibition also applies to students of schools while attending or participating in any school sponsored activity, program or event regardless of location.

It is unlawful for a child under 12 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 for the holder of a youth small game license or youth hunter education graduate license may possess a firearm for hunting while in the fields or forests, if accompanied by an adult licensed to hunt in the state of Idaho.

Except in the person’s place of abode or fixed place of business or on property In which the person has any ownership or leasehold Interest, a person shall not carry a concealed weapon without a license to carry a concealed weapon.

For the purposes of this section, a concealed weapon means any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver, or any other deadly or dangerous weapon. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any lawfully possessed shotgun or rifle.

While in any motor vehicle, inside the limits or confines of any city, a person shall not carry a concealed weapon on or about his person without a license to carry a concealed weapon. This shall not apply to any pistol or revolver located in plain view whether it is loaded or unloaded. A firearm may be concealed legally in a motor vehicle so long as the weapon is disassembled or unloaded.

"Upon or about ones person" has been defined by the Idaho courts as encompassing the physical carrying of the weapon in clothing or handbags as well as going about with the weapon in close proximity and readily accessible for prompt use. The test for concealment is whether the weapon is carried so as not to be discernible by ordinary observation.

The county sheriff issues concealed carry permits. The sheriff must issue the permit within ninety days of the filing of an application by a person, over 21, who is not disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm under state or federal law.

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