Idaho Gun Law Summary

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.

Disqualified persons include anyone who is:
  • Formally charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; adjudicated guilty in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  • A fugitive from justice;
  • An unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance; currently suffering or has been adjudicated as mentally ill, gravely disabled or otherwise incapacitated or lacking mental capacity;
  • Dishonorably discharged from armed forces;
  • An illegal alien or if a U.S. citizen, has renounced their citizenship;
  • The subject of a withheld judgment for a crime prohibiting a carry license;
  • Or released pending trial, appeal or sentencing for a crime prohibiting a carry license;
  • The subject to a protection order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the intimate partner or person; or
  • Has been adjudicated guilty of or received a withheld judgment or suspended sentence for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, unless three years has elapsed since disposition or pardon has occurred prior to the date on which the application is submitted.
The license application shall be in triplicate, in a form to be prescribed by the director of the Idaho state police, and shall ask the name, address, personal description and signature, date of birth, military status, and driver’s license number or state identification card number.

Listing one’s social security number is optional.

The permit allows concealed carry of a weapon for the purpose of protection, or while engaged in business, sport, or while traveling.

The basic license fee is $20.00, but the Sheriff shall require fingerprinting for an initial license, in which case an additional fee may be charged.

The term of the license is four years for those whose license was issued before July 1, 2006. Those licenses issued after July 1, 2006, the term of the license is five years and it may be renewed for a fee of $15.00.

The applicant may be required to show proficiency with a firearm by completing a firearm safety or hunter safety course.

The sheriff of the county of the applicant’s residence may issue a temporary emergency license for good cause pending review.

The sheriff may issue a license to carry a concealed weapon to those individuals between the ages of 18 and twenty-one years who in the judgment of the sheriff warrants the issuance of the license to carry a concealed weapon. Such issuance shall be subject to limitations which the issuing authority deems appropriate and shall be easily distinguishable from regular carry licenses.

A concealed weapon, even with a permit, cannot be carried while one is intoxicated; nor can it be carried into a courthouse; juvenile detention facility; jail; or public or private school or school activity areas or school provided transportation.

A valid license to carry a firearm concealed issued to a nonresident by another state shall be honored as long as the license is in the licensee’s physical possession while carrying the concealed weapon.

Antiques And Replicas

Idaho statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.

Machine Guns

It is lawful to possess, purchase, or sell a machine gun that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.


  • It is unlawful to ship a loaded firearm on any common carrier.
  • It is unlawful to operate a firearm in a “careless, reckless, or negligent manner or without due caution and circumspection” when such operation results in discharge and injury to any person.
  • It is unlawful to shoot from or across a public highway.
  • A hunting license may be revoked under the following circumstances:
    • Careless handling of a gun causes an accident and injury to any person, property, or livestock.
    • Careless injury to a human being by gunfire.
    • Causes accidental injury or death to another person by gunfire and flees or fails to render assistance.
  • No city or county may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, or transportation of firearms when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by state law.
  • During a declared disaster emergency, neither the Governor nor any agency of any governmental entity or political subdivision shall impose restrictions on the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage display or use of firearms and ammunition.