New gun permit available July 1

An upgraded concealed weapons license could help Idahoans carry in more states.

kterhune@idahostatesman.comJune 28, 2013 

  • Take the training

    To get the new concealed weapons permit, applicants must first take the training course from an NRA-certified instructor. Class costs can range from $150-$200.

    The Ada County Sheriff's Office offers a list of instructors on its website (http://bit.ly/acsopermit). The Canyon County Sheriff's Office (http://bit.ly/ccsopermit) hopes to do the same thing but hasn't heard from instructors yet. A Thursday press release asked instructors to provide their credentials to the Canyon office before training certificates could be issued.

    Once your training is finished, bring proof of it back to your sheriff's office, along with a photo ID, where you'll fill out the application and be fingerprinted. Both counties warn that the process - including a background check - can take up to 90 days.

    The costs vary. For Ada County, you'll pay $42 when you apply and $22 to pick up the license. In Canyon, it's $41.50 for the application and $30 for the license.

The measure, which stipulates stricter training requirements, was passed by the Idaho Legislature and signed into law by the governor earlier this year.

Gun owners will be required to complete an eight-hour training course with an NRA-certified firearms instructor before being approved for the permit. Classes will cover law and safety, and they will require attendees to shoot at least 98 rounds.

Ada County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Terrall said the more stringent guidelines might prompt more states to honor Idaho's concealed weapons license, but there's no guarantee that will happen. Only 29 states recognize Idaho permits as valid, he said.

The sheriff's offices in Ada and Canyon counties have fielded a number of calls from people interested in getting the new license.

"We have people asking us all the time, all day long, about the new permit," said Debbie McRae of the Canyon County office.

An applicant must have been an Idaho resident for at least six months, or have a concealed carry permit in their home state.

Even if someone already has a concealed weapons permit, they still must go through the eight-hour training course and shooting requirements to upgrade, McRae said.

"It will be more consistent with what other states have in their laws," she said.

Firearms instructor Andrew Odom teaches in Boise and Nampa. Some of his students seek out a concealed weapons permit for self-defense reasons, but a majority of Idahoans taking the class want to travel across state lines with their firearms without running afoul of the law, he said.

Others just want it because it's available.

"There's a part of the community that just loves their Second Amendment rights and chooses to get whatever is the latest and greatest, and that's what this license will be," Odom said.

Odom's first two classes will be held July 13 and July 21 at Blacks Creek Range. Each will cost $150 per person.

Gun owners who take Odom's class will spend the first four hours of the course learning about the law. Attendees learn when they may draw their gun or use lethal force, as well as restrictions on what type of weapon they may carry and where they may take it.

The second half of the class focuses on firearm safety. The group will practice firing with each hand and get familiar with their guns, he said.

Odom said the more stringent training requirements will be a step in the right direction.

"For a long time, you could just turn in your military papers … or your hunter safety course you had when you were 12 years old, and just get the license," he said.

Most people who received their permits under those rules were not required to demonstrate proficiency or knowledge of gun laws, he said.

"I'm totally excited about the increased training, so that those carrying are more prepared to do so legally and legitimately," Odom said.

Katie Terhune: 377-6219

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