Idaho To Allow 18-Year-Olds To Carry Firearms

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

In Washington state, legal adults are denied one of their civil liberties. They’re not allowed to purchase a firearm of any type. While federal law prevents them from buying handguns, state law now bars them from purchasing long guns.

Meanwhile, just across the state line, Idaho is taking a completely different tact. Rather than treating 18-year-olds like children, it’s recognizing they’re actually adults and should probably be treated as such.

Legislation lowering from 21 to 18 the age limit for carrying a concealed handgun within city limits in Idaho without a permit or training has been signed into law by Republican Gov. Brad Little.

Little signed the law Tuesday backers say is needed to align gun laws in urban areas with rural areas where those 18 and older can already carry a concealed handgun.

Opponents for the law argue there’s a huge difference between rural Idaho and urban Idaho.

Funny how those differences only matter in one direction, isn’t it? I mean, urban centers throughout the nation think nothing of imposing their will on the more rural areas of the state in places like New York, California, Washington, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, for example. Why should it matter when the rural votes carry the majority and not the other way around?

I somehow suspect I’ll die of old age before getting an answer that’s little more than, “Because I said so!”

Needless to say, the law was applauded. Gun Owners of America sent out a press release celebrating the new law.

GOA Applauds Idaho for Expanding Constitutional Carry

Springfield, VA — Gun Owners of America (GOA) today congratulated the people of Idaho, after Gov. Brad Little signed legislation expanding Constitutional Carry to Idaho’s 18-20 year old residents, who can now carry without permits in Idaho’s cities.

“We are very pleased to see Idaho expand permitless carry to its 18-20-year old adults, so they can Constitutionally-conceal carry throughout all of Idaho,” GOA Executive Director Erich Pratt said. “This legislation simplifies Idaho’s carry laws and expands freedom to all adults in the Gem State.”

Previously, Idaho’s 18-20 year old adults could Constitutionally-open carry throughout Idaho. However, in order to conceal carry in Idaho’s cities (which compose less than one percent of the state), young adults in Idaho had to get special government permission.

Gun Owners of America mobilized the grassroots in the state in favor of HB 206 — and some of the GOA alerts are viewable herehere and here.

“I also want to thank the tireless efforts of Greg Pruett of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance for his work supporting this bill,” Pratt continued. “And I appreciate pro-gun Representative Christy Zito for introducing and carrying the bill through the legislature.”

This continues a trend of states eliminating legal barriers to concealed carry. Earlier this year, three states — South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Kentucky — adopted full Constitutional Carry legislation.

I agree with Pratt. I’m thrilled to see this.

However, we also need to note that there’s a profound push throughout the country to strip this very same age group of their constitutionally-protected rights. They’re being punished for the actions of a single individual, the Parkland killer. They’re not getting credit for the millions of other people aged 18 to 21 who did nothing wrong at all.

That’s a fight we’re also in the middle of, so while we should enjoy this victory in Idaho–one, admittedly, few of us outside the state had much to do with–we need to remember the broader fight.

Apr 13, 2021 5:30 PM ET