Andrew Crighton


Introduction and Editor’s Note:

The Bengal is introducing a series where our staff will be conducting long-term research and investigation into the topic of the concealed carry of firearms on campus by those who are not law enforcement or public safety officers.

I would like to make a brief note at the very beginning of this series: It is not our intent to muckrake. It is understood by everyone on staff that gun rights are a sensitive and important topic and it is the first priority of this series to remain impartial. The personal opinions of those involved in writing this series will not appear in print unless it is clearly labeled as an editorial.

The purpose of this series is to make clear what is an unclear topic to many individuals who spend hours every day on campus.

Specific areas of research will include: Idaho state gun laws, requirements to carry on campus, where and where not you are permitted to carry, the process and experience of obtaining an Idaho enhanced concealed weapons license, the opinions of students, faculty and staff and the professional input from public safety and law enforcement officers.   

Part 1: Idaho Gun Laws

There are two ways to carry a firearm, open and concealed. Open carry is where the firearm is clearly visible and not covered by any type of clothing or concealment device. This is legal for all people over the age of 18, statewide without any form of licensing, but this is not the subject matter for this series.

A concealed weapon is defined in Idaho state law as, “… any deadly weapon carried on or about the person in a manner not discernible by ordinary observation.”

Previous to July, 2016 a license was required for a person to conceal carry in the state of Idaho; however effective after this date a law commonly called constitutional carry became the new precedence.

According to constitutional carry, any Idaho resident 21 years or older can conceal a handgun statewide without a permit; while those ages 18 to 20 or non-Idaho residents over the age of 21 can conceal carry a handgun outside of city limits. The term ‘statewide’ refers to inside and outside city limits.

Any person who would be disqualified from receiving a CWL is also prohibited from concealed carry under constitutional carry.

There still remain two types of CWL in Idaho, the standard license and Enhanced-CWL.

In order to apply for a standard CWL you must fill out an application available at the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association website and submit it to your local county sheriff’s office in person. At that time you will have to be fingerprinted and provide proof of basic familiarity with firearms. This can take the form of an Idaho hunter education class, National Rifle Association safety class or any class taught by a certified NRA instructor or law enforcement officer.

Fees for a license can vary by county. In Bannock County the price for a new license is approximately $60. Licenses are valid for five years after approval.

In order to be eligible for an E-CWL there are additional requirements.

To apply for a E-CWL you have to submit the same application as for the standard license, but in addition you must also submit a training certificate. In order to complete this certificate you must attend a training course that meets the following requirements.

The total time must be a minimum of eight hours, broken down into two sections. The first is a classroom environment where concepts of Idaho law relating to firearms and the use of deadly force, basic safety concepts and handgun use and self defense principles.

The second section is live fire training where a minimum of 98 rounds must be fired.

The course must be taught by a certified NRA instructor or law enforcement officer while the legal section must specifically be taught by a licensed Idaho attorney or someone with an Intermediate level certification from the Peace Officers Standards and Testing Council.

These classes typically cost around $150 and are usually organized in such a manner that the entire certification can be completed in one Saturday. 

When applying at the sheriff’s office, fees will still need to be paid.

This series will focus on E-CWLs because in order for a student to conceal carry on a state university campus in Idaho they must have a valid E-CWL.

Idaho CWLs and E-CWLs are available to all U.S. citizens unless you have been disqualified according to state or federal law.

According to state law a license can be denied or revoked if the individual has been formally charged with or adjudicated by any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, uses any controlled substance unlawfully, is a fugitive from the law, has been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military or is a U.S. citizen who has previously renounced their citizenship.

After receiving either variety of CWL there are several places where carrying that weapon is prohibited, license or not. These areas include courthouses, juvenile detention and adult correctional facilities, jail, prison or primary and secondary schools both private and public.

Most federal buildings do not allow concealed carry either.

There are additional disqualifications, and the laws and all forms necessary to apply for a CWL are available in their entirety at

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