Idaho House Passes Bill to Expand “Constitutional Carry” Law

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BOISE, Idaho (Feb. 28, 2020) – Yesterday, the Idaho House passed a bill to expand a current “constitutional carry” law, and let any U.S. citizen over 18 who can legally own a gun carry concealed in city limits without a permit.

Currently, anyone over 18 can carry a concealed weapon without a permit in most places in Idaho, but only Idaho residents can do so within city limits.

In 2015 lawmakers passed a bill allowing permitless concealed carry outside of city limits. In 2016, they got rid of the requirement for Idaho residents to need a permit to carry concealed within city limits. In 2019, the age for concealed carry in city limits was reduced from 21 to 18.

If signed into law, House Bill 516 (H516) would extend the broad concealed carry protections in the state to all U.S. citizens.


While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.

The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions such as passing H516 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.


H516 will now move to the Senate, where it will first need to pass out of committee before the full chamber can consider it.

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