For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: August 15, 2013

Idaho Concealed Weapons Reciprocity at 23 States and Counting

(Boise) – Twenty-three states now grant reciprocity to Idaho Concealed Weapons Licenses (CWLs), Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today. Only 11 states have declined reciprocity. Wasden said his office is continuing to communicate with the remaining 15 states.

As of July 1, Idaho offers two types of CWLs. Idaho’s original or “regular” CWL has been available since 1990. It may be issued to qualified persons 18 years of age and older. County sheriffs are granted discretion as to whether to require any kind of training in the handling and use of firearms before issuing a regular CWL.

In 2013, the Legislature created a second type of CWL, known as the “enhanced” CWL. The enhanced CWL requires specific training in person and by persons deemed to be qualified to provide such training. The enhanced CWL is available only to qualified persons 21 years of age and older.

The Legislature hoped that more states would grant reciprocity to Idaho’s enhanced CWL due to its specific training requirements and the fact that they are not available to persons under 21 years of age.

On July 3, Attorney General Wasden sent letters to all of the states inviting them to enter into reciprocity agreements with Idaho. As of August 12, 34 states have responded.

The following 20 states have recognized both types of Idaho CWLs: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. As a result, Idaho residents with either type of concealed weapons license may carry concealed weapons in those states, subject to the laws of those states.

Three states, Nevada, New Mexico and South Carolina, will honor only the enhanced Idaho Concealed Weapons License. Those states do not recognize the “regular” Idaho Concealed Weapons License.

The following 11 states have declined to honor Idaho CWLs: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. As a result, neither Idaho CWL is valid in those states and carrying of concealed weapons is governed by the laws of those states.

The Legislature charged the Idaho State Police as the keeper of the CWL reciprocity records, and it had done so by creation and maintenance of a specific and easily accessible website. The Attorney General’s invitation letter and the responses received from other states are available at www.isp.idaho.gov. Click on the concealed weapons link, then click on a state name and date to see the details of that state’s response. Additional responses will be posted as they are received.

For Idaho CWL licensees who wish to carry a concealed weapon in other states, the Attorney General cautions them to do so only as those other states’ laws permit and according to any restrictions their laws may impose, including any county or city ordinances and codes that may apply.

“Any time you plan to travel out of state and want to carry a concealed weapon, check with that state to verify if that state has granted reciprocity to Idaho (regular or enhanced CWL) and what that state’s laws are in regard to concealed carry,” Attorney General Wasden said. “For example, Idaho defines “weapon” for concealed weapons licensing purposes as “any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or any other deadly or dangerous weapon.” In some other states, such as Louisiana and Nebraska, only handguns may be carried under their concealed weapons law.”

Idaho CWL licensees who carry a concealed weapon in reciprocal states are also subject to the decisions of law enforcement officers in those states in deciding who to arrest or why, and to the decisions of prosecutors in those states in deciding who to prosecute and what to prosecute for based on their interpretation of their state laws. To emphasize the importance of these points regarding other state laws, the Idaho State Police concealed weapons license reciprocity website provides the following:

CAUTION! Gun laws may vary greatly in different states and even in counties and municipalities within those states. Therefore, if you have an Idaho Concealed Weapons License and are planning to visit a state that has concealed weapons license reciprocity with Idaho, remember that you are subject to the laws of that state, including any county or city ordinances, that apply to concealed weapons licenses and concealed weapons carry. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with those laws, ordinances and codes and comply with them. Concealed weapons license reciprocity in any form is simply that, reciprocity, and it does not immunize a person from criminal or civil consequences for breaking the law.

Attorney General Wasden was assisted in this effort by Deputy Attorney General Stephanie Altig and Paralegal Kevin Burnett.

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