Getting the right Concealed Weapons License:
Idaho CWL or Enhanced CWL
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.
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: