This summer, Idaho will become the ninth U.S. state to adopt Constitutional Carry laws.
Idaho will join Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming when the permitless concealed carry law becomes effective July 1.
On March 26, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed Senate Bill 1389, which will allow unlicensed concealed carry across the state for people 21 years or older and legally able to possess a firearm.
But in signing the law, the governor urged Idahoans planning to carry to obtain training, and he said state lawmakers should have included such a training requirement in the bill.
The bill passed the Senate by a 27-8 vote just a week after introduction and the House vote of 54-15 last week. From its introduction to Otter’s signature Friday, the legislative process for the new law took only 18 days.
Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, voted against the measure because of the lack of a training requirement.
“I believe if you’re going to hide your gun, then you need to be trained,” Lacey said.
Lacey is an enhanced concealed carry permit holder, and he said law enforcement statewide also supported a training requirement but that did not affect the vote.
“It’s an election year: Gun laws pass during election years,” Lacey said.
Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand said he also supports training for concealed weapons carriers.
“I support Second Amendment rights, but I also support the training portion,” Marchand said. “I don’t think requiring a permit violates Second Amendment rights.”
Idaho allowed permitless concealed carry outside city limits for individuals involved in hunting, fishing or outdoor activities, but the sporting requirement was dropped in 2015, though carry inside cities still required a permit.
The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance applauded Otter for signing Senate Bill 1389.
“Senate Bill 1389 is common sense gun legislation,” said Executive Director Greg Pruett. “Permitless carry has been legal outside city limits for many years in Idaho. SB 1389 simply allows law-abiding gun owners to put on a jacket without breaking the law when they are carrying inside city.”
Pruett said the ISAA rejected other drafts of permitless carry laws prior to SB 1389: One version raised the age for carry outside city limits and another required the carrier to notify property owners that they were carrying.
Additionally, SB 1389 allows Idahoans 18 years of age or older to obtain a concealed weapons license on a shall-issue basis by completing the training requirements for an enhanced permit.
“The ISAA has been working to pass this legislation since 2012,” said Pruett. “We are happy to see the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Otter stand up and support the will of law-abiding Idaho gun owners.”
Caribou County Sheriff Mike Haderlie said he’s glad to see the Constitutional Carry law signed into law as well.
Haderlie said the Constitutional Carry law does not extend outside the state where concealed carry permits are still required.
Pruett said the ISAA, which has about 1,000 members statewide, will analyze current issues before deciding where to spend future legislative efforts.
Current campus carry laws and the Stand Your Ground laws are among those areas being reviewed by the group.
“We would like to see permitless carry on campus, and currently guns are prohibited in housing units,” Pruett said. “Where are they supposed to keep their weapon if not in their house? It’s not safe to leave a gun unsecured in the car.”
Many states, including Idaho, have Stand Your Ground laws on the books that remove the duty to retreat before using force in self-defense.
“The Stand Your Ground law has been part of Idaho case case law for the past 107 years but it is not in statute,” Pruett said. “The law says that I’m under no responsibility to retreat.”
Idaho State Police Capt. Eric Dayley said state police will enforce whatever laws the legislature passes and the governor signs into law.
In an open letter to Otter posted on his website, Lance Earl, founder DallyPost Tactical Training in Rockland, thanked Otter on behalf of Idaho gun owners for signing SB1389, but he said the action was overdue.
“The Idaho State Legislature and Governor Butch Otter partially restored a right to the people,” Earl said in the letter. “Let us not forget that it was Idaho government who first stole this right from us. Led primarily by the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, thousands upon thousands of Idahoans, peacefully but boldly, demanded a return of that which had been stolen.”
The Eastern Idaho Chapter of Idaho Carry will meet for the first time next month.