Here’s who can carry a concealed gun in Idaho starting Friday
BOISE – Starting Friday, Idaho will become the eighth state in the nation to allow most residents age 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit – even inside cities, in bars and in most government buildings.
The new law is the latest result of decades of efforts to liberalize gun laws in Idaho, a gun-loving state that already had some of the most permissive gun laws in the nation. The state constitution bans gun licensing or registration, and open carrying of firearms is allowed even in the state Capitol.
“Out here in the West, most people have grown up with guns – they see no issue,” said Vaughn Killeen, executive director of the Idaho Sheriffs Association and the former longtime sheriff of the state’s most populous county. This year, the Sheriffs Association, which long had concerns about permitless concealed carry, backed the new law.
Killeen can remember when, as Ada County sheriff a quarter-century ago, he had issued only 15 concealed weapon licenses. Today, that number tops 30,000 in Ada County, and more than 130,000 statewide. State laws that once required people to justify to their local sheriff why they needed to carry a concealed gun changed in 1990 to require that sheriffs “shall issue” permits to anyone who qualifies. Further changes broadened exemptions for anyone engaged in hunting or other outdoor pursuits, culminating in a law passed last year that removed the requirement for concealed weapons permits for anyone 18 or older who is outside any city limits.