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Getting the right Concealed Weapons License:

 

Idaho CWL or Enhanced CWL

 

By SSgt. Doug Sugden

 

Getting your concealed weapons license (CWL) has become important to a lot of people as of late. The problem is many people are misinformed about which CWL to get and what state to get. I hope by the end of this article you will be more informed and have a better understanding of what your CWL needs are.

 

The first thing I will address is the reciprocity of the current Idaho CWL. Idaho currently has reciprocity with 34 states, 7 of which only honor the Enhanced CWL. As of July 1, 2015, Arizona and Wisconsin no longer honor the standard CWL, only the Enhanced CWL. Many people are under the impression some out of state concealed weapons licenses are better in more states. I would encourage you to do your research before endeavoring to get one of those licenses. Although Idaho honors CWL’s from any state (as long as it is valid and on your person while carrying), some states do not honor a CWL if it is not your state of residence. Therefore, you lose some states in which you may be most interested in having the ability to carry.

 

Now that you know what our current reciprocity situation is, let’s talk about the Enhanced Idaho Concealed Weapons License (ECWL). The ECWL law went into effect July 1, 2013. To get the ECWL you will have to take an 8 hour class. The class consists of two parts: a legal portion which tells you about the CWL laws and use of deadly force, and a shooting portion where you must shoot at least 98 rounds. The class will have to been taken within one year prior of applying for your ECWL. The ECWL has added 7 additional states to our current CWL. Of the surrounding states, Oregon is still not accepting the ECWL. Classes for the ECWL are currently being offered by a few establishments in the Magic Valley area. When looking for a class, BEWARE of out of state courses that make claims their CWL is honored in more states. Again, do your research and find the facts before you spend your money. BEWARE of “on-line” courses making those claims as well. Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office (and some other counties) will not honor them for proof of fire arms training. ECWL’s have to be obtained in your county of residence.

 

So which CWL should you get?

 

The cost and procedure for obtaining your Idaho CWL or ECWL are the same. So which CWL should you get? You need to look at your travel and recreation activities. If your travel and recreational activities are restricted to Idaho and the states that already recognize Idaho’s CWL, the regular CWL may be your best option. If your travel and recreational activities take you into the other states opened up with the enhanced, apply for the ECWL. My recommendation: Get the training and the ECWL. The ECWL offers the most ability to carry in the most states.

 

At the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office we do CWL by appointment only. We do this to ensure no long wait in line, especially with the large quantity of CWL’s I am processing. 

 

The key is deciding what your needs are so you don’t have to waste your valuable time and money taking the wrong course, and getting multiple permits.

 

A complete list of states that honor Idaho's Enhanced and Regular Concealed Weapons License is available at the Idaho State Police website- Click on "License to Carry Concealed Weapon" at the following link:

 

http://www.isp.idaho.gov/BCI/index.html