BOISE - Fifteen states have agreed since July 1 to honor Idaho concealed weapons permits when Idahoans visit, and two more have agreed to recognize only the new “enhanced” Idaho permit enacted this year.
Eight states have said no, and Idaho’s waiting to hear from the rest.
Idaho lawmakers passed the enhanced permit law to persuade more states to grant reciprocity to visiting, gun-carrying Idahoans. Before, there were 30. Now, two that previously said no are saying yes, one that previously said yes is saying no, and two that previously recognized Idaho permits are only going to recognize the enhanced version, which requires more training.
“We sent out a letter to every other state and we sent them our laws,” said Stephanie Altig, deputy Idaho attorney general for the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement. “We’ve gotten 25 or 26 responses back.”
Altig said the bill required the office to contact every state to request reciprocity.
Idaho’s letter and the responses are posted on the department’s website, www.isp.idaho.gov, under the link to “fingerprinting and background checks.”
Washington, Montana, Oregon and Nevada haven’t responded yet.
The Idaho House and Senate voted unanimously in favor of the bill to create the new, optional enhanced permit, with backers saying they hope it will lead to as many as 40 states recognizing Idaho permits. Idaho already recognizes concealed weapons permits from all other states.
“We’ve had nos, mostly from the east,” Altig said. Maine, for example, said it wouldn’t recognize Idaho permits because the state doesn’t have a requirement matching Maine’s for an assessment of the “good moral character” of the permit holder every five years.
“I don’t know what they mean by that, because we do background checks,” Altig said. “They do this ‘good character’ thing. Since Idaho did not do that, they turned us down. Connecticut also turned us down, New York.”
The two states that previously didn’t recognize Idaho concealed weapons permits but now do are New Mexico and Kansas. The Kansas attorney general’s office said the state now recognizes all states’ permits. New Mexico signed a formal agreement saying the two states’ laws are equivalent, so both will recognize each other’s. The two that switched to recognize the enhanced permit only are Wyoming and South Carolina.
Pennsylvania previously recognized Idaho permits, but now it won’t.
Robert Mulle, Pennsylvania’s chief deputy attorney general, wrote, “Upon review of Idaho’s relevant statutory provisions, we have determined that mutual reciprocity will no longer be extended to the state of Idaho.”