BY DAVE GOINS
Idaho News Service
BOISE — Fees are part of a 13-page bill in the state Legislature to create an option for an enhanced concealed-weapons permit in Idaho that would be valid in other states.
• A $20 per permit fee for original enhanced concealed weapons permits.
• A $15 fee for renewals of enhanced concealed weapons permits after the expiration of such permits in five years.
• A new $20 fee and application process if the enhanced concealed weapons permits have been expired for more than six months, plus a $10 penalty.
And while it’s not specifically stated in the legislation, the bill’s former lead sponsor, Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, said background checks and fingerprinting costing approximately $35 would have to be re-done in cases of expired concealed weapons permits.
Boyle said during an interview that obtaining reciprocity for Idaho concealed-weapons permits in all states — with the exceptions of California and Illinois — was one reason for creating the bill that gained the unanimous introductory approval of the House State Affairs Committee on Monday.
Most U.S. states don’t accept Idaho’s level of qualification for individuals obtaining concealed weapons permits as sufficient to make the permits issued by Idaho sheriffs valid in those states, the new bill’s co-sponsors said.
Only a handful of states accept the current Idaho-issued concealed weapon permit reciprocally, said Boyle and the measure’s new lead sponsor, Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian. Neither state lawmaker gave a list of which states specifically accept concealed weapons permits from Idaho.
Boyle said the legislation, if it becomes law, could aid K-12 school districts in Idaho in creating local in-school firearms policies giving educators access to enhanced firearms training along with the potential authorized possession of guns in classrooms.
“It should,” Boyle said. “And the reason actually for this, is to, you know, help the school districts. They can say ‘We would like you to have this enhanced permit, because you’re gonna get this extra training.’ I think it’s a really good idea.”
A member of the House State Affairs Committee, Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, said she would study the legislation further before it arrives back in the committee for a full committee hearing during the Idaho Legislature’s current session.
“I like the idea of more training than what is current,” for obtaining a concealed weapons permit in Idaho, Smith said. “But I need to find out exactly what the current training is, and how this enhanced permit, what the difference is … the sponsor of the (legislation) indicated that they would bring information to share on that.”
Smith added: “We didn’t get a lot of information. And, I think there’ll be a lot more questions in the public hearing.”
Still unknown according to Boyle were the costs for an eight-hour training course that would be required in Idaho for the enhanced concealed weapons permit. That training could be received from the National Rifle Association, or NRA, or the Idaho Peace Officers Standard training, Boyle said.
Neither were revenue generation estimates for the local sheriffs available, she said.
“There are a lot of people, though, that want to cover as many states as possible to travel for business, or to vacations, and they don’t want to have to be worrying about, ‘OK, I’m driving across the United States and so, I can’t drive in this state, but I can drive in that one,’” Boyle said.
Would the measure work toward preventing the federal government from setting new firearms requirements for Idaho?
“No,” Boyle said. “No, it is not. This is just for people who want to carry in other states, or just to have more training themselves.”
Currently county sheriffs in Idaho decide how much firearm training is needed for applicants to obtain concealed weapons permits, Boyle said.
Palmer said the proposed “Level 3,” concealed weapons permit would be an option for concealed weapons permit-holders; not replacing the availability of the basic, Level 1 concealed weapons permit currently issued in Idaho.