Idaho prohibits any person under age 18 from possessing any handgun.1 In addition, anyone under age 18 is prohibited from possessing a weapon (defined under state law to include any “pistol, revolver or gun”) unless he or she: 1) has the written permission of his or her parent or guardian to possess the weapon; or 2) is accompanied by his or her parent or guardian while he or she possesses the weapon.2 Any person under age 12 in possession of a weapon must be accompanied by an adult.3
The possession prohibitions concerning minors do not apply to any:
- Patron firing at a lawfully operated target concession at an amusement park or similar location, provided that the firearm to be used is firmly chained or affixed to the counter;
- Person in attendance at a hunter’s safety course or a firearms safety course, including while traveling to or from these activities with an unloaded firearm;
- Person engaging in practice or any other lawful use of a firearm at an established range or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited by state or local law, including while traveling to or from these locations with an unloaded firearm;
- Person engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or participating in or practicing for such competition, including while traveling to or from these activities with an unloaded firearm;
- Minor under age 18 who is on real property with the permission of the owner, licensee, or lessee of the property and who has the permission of a parent or legal guardian or the owner, licensee, or lessee to possess a firearm not otherwise in violation of the law, including while traveling to or from the location with an unloaded firearm; or
- Resident or non-resident hunters with a valid hunting license or other persons who are lawfully engaged in hunting, including while traveling to or from such hunting activities with an unloaded firearm.4
In addition, no person under age 12 shall have in his or her possession any shotgun, rifle or other firearm while in the fields or forests or in any tent, camp, auto or any other vehicle in the state of Idaho, except that the holder of a youth small game license or youth hunter education graduate license, if accompanied by an adult licensed to hunt in Idaho, may possess a firearm for hunting while in the fields or forests.5
Additionally, as of July 1, 2016, state law requires the sheriff of a county to issue a license to carry a concealed weapon to those applicants between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years who meet the eligibility requirements of Idaho Code Ann. section 18-3302K.6
Federal law prohibits the sale by a licensed firearms dealer of a handgun or handgun ammunition to anyone under age 21.7 This provision does not prohibit private sellers (sellers not federally licensed) from selling handguns and handgun ammunition to persons under age 21, however.
For additional information, see the Idaho Trafficking section.
See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.