Idaho Open Carry

Idaho Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training


Idaho stands out as a state that allows open carry of firearms without the need for a permit. Unlike concealed carry, which requires a permit, open carry in Idaho is legally permissible for individuals who are at least eighteen years old.

However, there are essential regulations and guidelines that must be followed when exercising this right. In this article, we will explore Idaho’s gun laws, open carry regulations, permitted locations, and other crucial considerations for gun owners in the state.

Idaho Gun Law Summary

Before diving into the specifics of open carry, let’s briefly go over the key points of Idaho’s gun laws:

  1. Idaho offers concealed carry licenses for both residents and non-residents.
  2. The application process for the concealed carry license is overseen by the local county sheriff closest to the applicant’s residence.
  3. Idaho follows a shall-issue policy, meaning applicants must meet all requirements to obtain an approved firearm permit.
  4. Unlike some states, Idaho does not require a purchase permit or impose a waiting period for buying firearms.
  5. A criminal record background check is necessary when purchasing firearms from federal or state-licensed dealers, but private sales do not mandate this check.
  6. Owning a concealed carry permit exempts individuals from undergoing a background check when purchasing firearms.
  7. The minimum age requirement for a concealed carry permit is twenty-one years, while individuals must be at least eighteen years old to possess a firearm in the state.

Is Open Carry Legal in Idaho?

Yes, open carry is legal in Idaho. As long as you are eighteen years old or older, you can openly carry a firearm in the state. However, certain locations are off-limits for open carry, and it is crucial to be aware of these restrictions.

See also  Missouri Gun Permit

Open Carry Laws in Idaho

Idaho is considered a permissive open carry state, meaning individuals can openly carry firearms without the need for an issued license. Additionally, the state permits the ownership, buying, and selling of machine guns and similar firearms, as long as they are registered and handled according to state statutes.

However, it is important to note that antiques and similar firearms are treated like ordinary firearms, and open carrying them is allowed.

Idaho Open Gun Laws Quick View

Here is a quick overview of key gun laws in Idaho related to open carry:

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carryNoNoIdaho does not issue a permit to open carry in the state.
Firearm registrations for open carryNoNoNo firearm registration in Idaho; no roster for approved firearms in the state.
Assault weapon for open carryPartialPartialMachine guns and semi-automatic weapons allowed with the appropriate license.
Magazine limitNoNoThe state does not have a statute for magazine limits for firearms.
License for the owner of a firearmNot requiredNot requiredA license is not required for open carry unless using an assault weapon.
Red flag lawNoNoIdaho does not have court restrictions or protection orders.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesIdaho enforces the castle doctrine for self-defense in dwellings, businesses, or vehicles.
Background check for private dealersNoNoA criminal record background check is not required for private firearm sales.
Pre-emptionYesYesState laws supersede municipal or county laws regarding firearm regulation.
Concealed carry permitNoYesA concealed carry permit is required for concealing a shotgun or pistol.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesConcealed carry is allowed in personal vehicles with a valid permit.
Open carry in schoolsNoNoFirearms are not allowed in schools, colleges, or universities.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Idaho?

While open carry is generally allowed in Idaho, there are specific locations where it is permissible to do so:

  1. Restaurants and bars: Open carry is permitted in restaurants and bars unless prohibited by management or if the individual is under the influence of alcohol.
  2. Personal vehicle: Individuals can open carry in their cars, provided that the firearm is in plain sight at all times.
  3. Along roadsides: Open carry is allowed along roadsides in the state.
  4. State parks and forests: Open carry is permissible in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.
  5. Worship places: Open carry is generally allowed in places of worship unless otherwise prohibited.
See also  Montana Open Carry

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Idaho?

There are several places where open carry is prohibited in Idaho:

  1. Schools and colleges: Open carry is not permitted in publicly or privately owned schools, colleges, universities, or technical institutions, including their residence halls, recreational areas, and school transport.
  2. Care homes: Open carry is not allowed in care homes for children or veterans in the state.
  3. Courthouse: Open carry is prohibited in courthouses and during court proceedings.
  4. State prison: Open carry is not permitted in prisons, jails, or any other detention facility in the state.
  5. Private properties with signage: Open carry is not allowed on private buildings or properties that explicitly prohibit firearms.
  6. Prohibited places: Open carry is not allowed where federal law prohibits the possession of firearms.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Idaho

In addition to the basic gun laws, some specific regulations and statutes regarding open carry should be noted:

  1. Pre-emption Law: Idaho state laws hold authority over open carry and firearm use, though local areas can adopt some regulations within their territories. State laws, however, prevail over local regulations.
  2. Brandishing Of Firearms: Pointing a firearm at another person in a threatening manner, without malice, is a state prosecution offense. Exceptions apply for self-defense or lawful situations.
  3. Open Carry While Under The Influence: Using or possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana or controlled substances, is illegal.
  4. Miscellaneous Laws: Firing guns on shooting ranges near property purchased afterward is restricted. Responsible and cautious firearm handling is expected, despite the legality of open carry.
See also  California Open Carry

Hunting In Idaho

Idaho permits open carry for hunting purposes, but residents must comply with the state’s hunter harassment laws. These laws prohibit disrupting legal hunting activities or interfering with wildlife while hunting.


Open carry in Idaho is a right enjoyed by individuals who meet the age requirement of eighteen years or older. While open carry is generally allowed in the state, there are important regulations and prohibited locations that must be adhered to. Understanding the laws surrounding open carry is essential to ensure compliance with Idaho’s firearm regulations and enjoy the responsible exercise of this right.


Q1. Is a permit required for open carry in Idaho?

No, Idaho does not issue a permit for open carry. Individuals who are at least eighteen years old can open carry without a permit.

Q2. Can I open carry a machine gun in Idaho?

Yes, you can lawfully own, buy, and sell machine guns in Idaho as long as they are registered and handled according to state statutes.

Q3. Can I open carry in restaurants and bars?

Yes, open carry is allowed in restaurants and bars unless management prohibits it or if you are under the influence of alcohol.

Q4. Is open carry allowed in state parks and forests?

Yes, open carry is permitted in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas in Idaho.

Q5. Can I open carry in schools or colleges?

No, open carry is not allowed in schools, colleges, universities, or any other educational institution in the state.

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