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Idaho gets mixed response on gun permit reciprocity

Sat., July 27, 2013

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.

“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.

Washington, Montana, Oregon and Nevada haven’t responded.

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. “Connecticut also turned us down, New York.”

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.

Wyoming and South Carolina will now recognize only the enhanced permit.

Pennsylvania previously recognized Idaho permits, but now it won’t.

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