Fair Is Fair: Washington State Recognizes Idaho CCW Permits.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

With the adoption of Idaho’s ‘Enhanced CCW’ permit, the neighboring states of Idaho and Washington now fully recognize each others’ (enhanced) CCW licenses. Now if we can just get grumpy old Oregon on board . . .

Idaho has offered a ‘basic’ CCW license since 1990. It’s been liberally (in the ‘generous’ sense of the word) issued to just about anyone over the age of 18 without a disqualifying conviction. Local LEO’s had the choice of whether to require any specific training to qualify for a basic Idaho CCW, and most chose not to.

This, ahem, ‘liberality’ has caused most other states to deny CCW reciprocity to Idaho CCW holders. States typically only grant reciprocity to other states with CCW laws that are as equally stringent as their own. And those that also recognize the first state’s CCW permits. Idaho’s ‘problem’ was that few other states issue CCWs to anyone under 21 years old, and many of them have some form of training requirement as well. Under either prong, Idaho’s basic process wasn’t strict enough to be granted reciprocity by most states.

This smacked of inequity, since Idaho was just as generous at recognizing other states’ CCWs as it was at handing out its own. Idaho’s reciprocity rules are simple and generous: if you have a CCW from any jurisdiction in the country, you can pack in Idaho. God bless the Gem State.

Despite this generosity, Idaho’s legislature saw that its citizens were getting the fuzzy end of the stick when it came to reciprocity. Last summer they decided to authorize a new ‘Enhanced’ CCW process, in order to encourage more states to recognize Idahoans’ CCW permits. The new Idaho ‘Enhanced’ CCW licenses require some training, and are only issued to qualified applicants over the age of 21.

The old ‘basic’ Idaho CCW is still available (though not widely recognized outside the state) but the ‘Enhanced’ CCW is now granted reciprocity by 30 states including Washington.

Not among them? Oregon. The Beaver State is a real party-pooper on reciprocity because Washington and Idaho recognize Oregon CCWs, but Oregon doesn’t recognize theirs. Adding insult to injury, many larger Oregon counties have slightly anti-gun sheriffs who use their discretion (if not their judgment) to deny most nonresident CCW applications.

This CCW snobbery can be circumvented if Washingtonians and Idahoans apply for CCWs from the handful of Oregon jurisdictions (including Grant and Columbia counties) which routinely issue Oregon CCWs to nonresidents.

Isn’t it awesome to see a state government actually working to protect and enhance the 2nd Amendment freedoms of its citizens? I almost want to move to Idaho after writing this, but Boise is stinking hot in the summer (and bitter cold in the winter) and I promised my wife I’d never take another Bar Exam again.

But I digress. Hopefully all of this state-by-state reciprocity talk will be redundant someday when we can celebrate nationwide reciprocity or right-to-carry, but for now it’s at least another step in the right direction.


  1. avatar Will says:

    I’m wondering why Washington no longer recognizes Florida CCW permits? Anyone know why?

    1. avatar Samuel Leoon Suggs says:

      I got the impression it was prompted by the T vs. Z case. I could be wrong though.

      1. avatar Erik says:

        You are wrong,

        the law gives Washington’s attorney general no authority to recognize or not recognize a state, a state is automatically recognized for reciprocity if

        1)The state recognizes Washington
        2) the state does a fingerprint background check before issuing the license
        3)the state does not issues licenses to those under 21 years of age.

        since Florida now issues licenses to those under 21 who are in the military, they no longer meet the requirements spelled out in law.

        1. avatar Will says:

          I guess I’ll be getting an out of state WA CCW. Thank you for the reply.

        2. avatar BillC says:

          Not true, Texas qualifies for all of those but Washington gives the finger to Texas.

        3. avatar SteveInCO says:

          A lot of states recognize other states, that will recognize them. Which brings up an interesting scenario. State A and B both have that clause in their law. State A says to state B “I won’t recognize your permit becuase you don’t already recognize mine.” State B can say the same thing to A. I should hope the law is written in one or the other of the states to allow for recognizing a permit from a state that WOULD recognize your permit, if you recognized theirs.

        4. avatar Julian says:

          Also, mental health on the background check. My understanding is that is what has kept WA from honoring ID’s standard CPL, I would guess it’s the same with TX.

        5. avatar pyratemime says:


          Texas issues CHLs to under 21 in the military or a veteran with proof of proficiency.

        6. avatar Joe says:

          You would think the libs would be ok with themilitary getting a permit, but the state is ran by liberal,s who hate military personal

      2. avatar Kevin says:

        The problem that Washington has with Florida is that we issue concealed carry permits to 18 year old’s if they are active duty or honorably discharged from the military. The rest of the citizens of the sunshine state must wait until they are are 21 and take an approved training class.

      3. avatar MichaelB says:

        @BillC- Texas allows under 21 CC, just like Florida. Hence the non-likey by WA RCW.

  2. avatar dleavitt says:

    Oregon doesn’t honor ANY state’s permit. We’re kinda jerks that way.

    1. avatar PT Stud says:

      Oregon does it because you’re jerks. Here in Ca, it’s done because they’re damn dirty commies.

      1. avatar louringe says:

        Actually it is because the State of Ca. doesn’t issue CCW permits, that the real problem

      2. avatar Dan A says:

        For an out of state gun owner, Oregon sucks. But if you live there it has among the best gun laws in the country.

  3. avatar Salwolff says:

    I wish is was country wide ccw acceptance.So difficult to travel protected.

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Or even better, nationwide constitutional carry, what say ye?

      1. avatar wes Casto says:

        Agreed, $85.00 charged for National CCP.
        if your State has “Ever” had criminal activity, the State or Federal Governments shouldn’t be able to deny A USA citizen with a genuine concern for self preservation ,or general personal safety,
        their constitutional right to arm themself
        I wouldn’t really cringe at $100. Every 3 years to go
        Federal Concealed Carry Permits.
        just to give Oregon the bird..

      2. avatar Wes Casto says:

        Agreed, $85.00 charged for National CCP.
        if your State has “Ever” had criminal activity, the State or Federal Governments shouldn’t be able to deny A USA citizen with a genuine concern for self preservation ,or general personal safety,
        their constitutional right to arm yourself
        I wouldn’t really cringe at $100. Every 3 years to go
        Federal Concealed Carry Permits.
        just to give Oregon the bird..

  4. avatar Adam says:

    I live in Idaho and while the Gun laws here are great the enhanced CCW isn’t really worth it. It costs more money plus it requires more expensive training. The best bang for your buck is to just get a Utah permit.

    The training I did for the Utah permit covered the basic Idaho permit ( I already had mine though with a DD214), the Utah permit, and satisfied the requirements to get a Oregon permit as well. It’s retarded, I know, but for the cost of ~$150 I can get the Idaho basic and the Utah, which is a much more recognized permit then even the Idaho enhanced.

    On a side note, the reason WA will not recognize Idaho’s basic permit isn’t because of the training. It is because WA has codified into law what is required for reciprocity. 1. Recognize WA permit. 2. Not issue to person under 21. 3. Require fingerprint backgrounds.

    It was the under 18 section that kept them from recognizing Idaho’s basic permit. Idaho has a line in it’s law that says sheriffs “may” issue to person between the age of 18 and 21 (They “shall” issue to over 21). That may issue part has kept WA from recognizing our permit. The enhanced permit is only available for those 21 and over.

    Oregon won’t offer reciprocity because their law requires CCW holders to be US citizens and most other states don’t specifically require that.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Interesting info. I was wondering why Oregon and Washington didn’t recognize AZ’s permit.

      1. avatar Erik says:

        Because Arizona’s law authorizing licenses doesn’t require the sheriff to conduct the background check via fingerprints….

        1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          I wonder if the law has changed in the past 7 years? It’s been a while since AZ required fingerprints, but my original permit did require it and so did (at least) my first renewal. Even then I remember WA didn’t recognize AZ’s permit. I used to have to go to Spokane occasionally for my old job, so I was always interested before I flew up there.

        2. avatar Vhyrus says:

          I got my AZ permit in 2011 and it required fingerprints at that time.

        3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          @ Vhyrus: My last renewal didn’t require a new set of fingerprint cards. My first renewal did (as did the initial permit). I can’t remember when it changed (probably around the same time it went from a 2 year renewal w/ a required refresher class to a 5 year renewal and no class requirement). Good info though about your recent ccw process. I get people asking me about the permitting process occasionally. Most travel quite extensively, so they want the permit for reciprocity purposes.

    2. avatar Bill Baker says:

      Article is also in error when saying the basic permit isn’t recognized generally outside the state. The number of states recognizing are basically equal in number, but one or two has been added to the new ‘enhanced’ while one or two dropped recognition of our basic when we passed it.

    3. avatar Jared says:

      Oregon law does not require US Citizenship. They don’t recognize out of state license because there is no provision for them to do so in ORS 166.291 or subsequent sections.

  5. avatar Excedrine says:

    In the meantime, we’ll just have to have some Congress critter introduce national reciprocity every session until it’s finally passed.

    Unless and until States are barred from imposing restrictions on the right to bear arms, yes I said right (as I know the inarticulate sock-puppets of the civilian disarmament industrial complex are reading these comments), national “Constitutional Carry” will remain a pipe dream.

    Even then, some states (we all know how they are by now) will invariably foot it tooth-and-nail on 10th Amendment grounds, which will be literally the only time in the last century that they’ll ever even so much as acknowledge the existence of the Constitution, and only to twist its words to make it mean things that they damned well know that it doesn’t by any stretch of anybody’s imagination. Even those as vivid as, say, Nancy “You’re ALL Terrorists” Pelosi, Janet “Waco” Reno, Dianne “Guns For Me And Not For Thee” Feinstein, or Eric “Fast & Furious” Holder.

  6. avatar peirsonb says:

    On the bright side, I suppose, Idaho TRIED to do right by the citizens. It may be ineffectual but in reality they could have just changed the rules of the basic license. So at least they tried without adding additional requirements….

  7. avatar James R says:

    Idaho allows carry at 18 with no proof of formal training? That state must be a bloodbath! Shootout at the O.K. Corral! Wait… its not? How can that be?

    1. avatar Jay Snider says:

      You talk about the OK Corral or a bloodbath, wait until the Feds try to take away the guns in Idaho, Utah, and several other states. It will be worse than the Civil War.

  8. avatar Roscoe says:

    Maybe Oregon is nicknamed the “Beaver” state for reasons other than the water borne creature.

  9. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Interestingly, since Idaho introduced their enhanced ccw permit, PA has dropped their reciprocity agreement with Idaho, with no explanation. How could stricter requirements lead to losing reciprocity? Answer: Kathleen Kane, PA’s leftist AG. PA voters, pay attention to what Kane does.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      Is she another Kamala Harris?

      1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

        Kane is a Hillary acolyte, and she’s bought and pair for by Bloomberg. PA law constrains the damage she can do for now, but she will do what she can.

  10. avatar Ing says:

    Good news for all the border dwellers. Now Oregon needs to start being more neighborly. I can understand if they want to keep the Californicators out, but the California residents with CCW permits aren’t the ones they need to be worried about.

  11. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    i love old maps.

    1. avatar LongPurple says:

      I know what you mean. A snapshot of the past. Even imaginary maps, like Tolkien’s Middle Earth, are intriguing.

  12. avatar NWGlocker says:

    “This CCW snobbery can be circumvented if Washingtonians and Idahoans apply for CCWs from the handful of Oregon jurisdictions (including Grant and Columbia counties) which routinely issue Oregon CCWs to nonresidents.”

    Done! Thanks for posting this

  13. avatar Gun_Chris says:

    Washington doesn’t recognize Oregon’s license. Where did you hear that?

    Oregonians, and even most of their lawmakers, want reciprocity as a bill has passed the house a time or two with good bipartisan support. The only catch is the whole thing is being held hostage by one anti-rights nut in the Senate, the judiciary committee chair, Floyd Prozanski.

  14. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Adding to the discomfort level for Idaho’s few Dems (about 20% of the population), our Legislature is currently working on a bill that will require state/public colleges and universities to recognize the Idaho enhanced CWL (concealed weapon license) for carry on campus. University administrator and faculty apoplectic head explosions are expected.

    As an aside, one of the neat things about our CWL is that it means “weapons” – you want to carry a switchblade, you can carry one.

    1. avatar Venator Magnus says:

      I was formerly employed as an adjunct professor at one of Idaho’s public universities, where I taught for two years. There are many faculty members who carry knives or firearms for protection. In my old department, five out of approximately 15 instructors had active restraining orders against former students. There was only one time I honestly felt threatened, and I never left my house again without a knife in my pocket. That went on for three semesters. I’ve taken an alternate career route for now, but should I return to teaching in the near future, I’d feel much more comfortable knowing that I’m allowed to carry on campus if I am properly licensed with the state.

      The good folks down at ISU seem to be somewhat open to it. http://www.localnews8.com/news/idaho-lawmakers-consider-concealed-carry-laws-for-college-campuses/-/308662/24170920/-/ykk1s7/-/index.html

  15. avatar rlc2 says:

    Anyone from Oregon interested in a successful strategy for encouraging standardization among the counties,

    to help the more “careful” sheriffs or their “progressive” masters change from what is essentially the abuse of individual sheriffs own interpretation of ‘may issue’,
    to instead follow a more rational set of standards, along the lines of “shall issue” to follow a standardized policy statewide, that is not an infringement of 2A RKBA, should check out Calguns legal efforts in CA to do same.

    Its working, slowly but surely. This also saves taxpayer money for not having to fight the legal battle county by county, focuses law enforcement on chasing criminals instead of the law abiding, and encourages public safety.

    Its a win-win all the way around, but citizens have to take grass roots action and get in the game – you cant expect liberal pols to go against their big-money donors…

    It was a “joe the plumber” movement – literally the first guy to stand up and get others organized was a plumber, who started the ball rolling in CO…

    If you dont have time to spend, send money. You know what walks.

  16. avatar Venator Magnus says:

    I live in Idaho. Most folks I know have received Utah’s CCW. If you want the mother of all permits for reciprocity, though, move to North Carolina.

    1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

      According to handgunlaw.us – the state with the most reciprocity for its residents’ permits is Arkansas (39 other states).

      1. avatar Jared says:

        Michigan is the most recognized license from last count.

    2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Funny how we’re jostling over which state recognizes the most permits of other states when in all actuality no permit should be required anywhere (in the world for that matter).

  17. avatar John E Davies says:

    “the handful of Oregon jurisdictions (including Grant and Columbia counties) which routinely issue Oregon CCWs to nonresidents.”
    True, but by Oregon law, you have to apply face to face and also RENEW face to face. My permit expires in five months, and I will have to again go to the Grant Co Sheriff’s office to renew (a six hr drive one way). And because it is such a teeny department, renewals for non-resident permits can only be done on Wednesdays by appointment, and there is a three month waiting list. While I appreciate the way Sheriff Palmer lets non-residents get a permit, he is doing nobody a favor by making it so darned hard to renew the thing! He needs to hire another person to process the renewal paperwork in a timely manner. I think I’ll just let mine expire.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA USA

  18. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    Oh, I yearn for the day where more and more of the country recognizes the right to carry. That said, I’m glad that Idaho gave its residents an option so that they can carry in more places in the country.

  19. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    C’mon Oregon, do the Great Pacific Northwest proud. My wife and I vacation down there regularly. It would be fantastic, if you recognized our WA cpls.

    1. avatar Dan A says:

      Legalize NFA items first.

  20. avatar Kevin says:

    Well this new Idaho Enhanced CWL is the key to Iatest CC on Campus bill(SENATE BILL 1254) this legislative session. So it might not be worth the enhanced for some people but, as a College employee, I would like legally carry while at work.

  21. avatar Jeff says:

    Every state I’ve driven though recognizes my WA CPL, even California. They just don’t know it.

    1. avatar louringe says:

      Then you never drive through California

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        I think you missed my point

  22. avatar Gun_Chris says:

    “The Beaver State is a real party-pooper on reciprocity because Washington and Idaho recognize Oregon CCWs, but Oregon doesn’t recognize theirs.”

    Washington doesn’t recognize Oregon’s CHL.

  23. avatar Hannibal says:

    What a stupid way to do things in a nation. Hey, let’s figure out if we can drive through NY to get to VT by seeing if NY recognizes my driver’s license from MD!

  24. avatar Gunr, from Oregon says:

    Adam from Idaho mentioned that he got help with his permit because of a DD-214.
    First time I have heard that a DD-214 had anything to do with getting a permit. When I got mine, no one asked me if I had a DD-214, or if I was ever in the service, At least that’s the way I remember it.
    Can anyone here elaborate?

    1. avatar Don says:

      For the Idaho basic permit the law identifies several things that qualify for the training aspect: military service, hunter safety course, etc. I was never asked for the DD-214 to prove it though.

    2. avatar Philip says:

      Yeah it’s pretty simple actually. If you had an MOS whose duty was to qualify and carry an M9 your DD214 reflects that. Some states recognize that qualification in lieu of the mandatory firearm safety class.

  25. avatar JoshuaS says:

    21 or older????

    I was just helping someone the other day get a CCW in California, in one of the non-coast counties. Requirements were 4 hrs of class, be a resident of the county and be 18….not 21.

    How many states are 21 rather than 18?

  26. avatar Mark Horning says:

    AZ just introduced a bill to allow military age 19+ and honorably discharged veterans age 19+ the ability to get an AZ CCW.

    AZ also considers your DD-214 sufficient proof of training to skip the class. Still have to pay the fee though. (there is always a fee)

    Folks are concerned that this will loose us recognition with other states. But frankly if I can trust a kid with an M1 Abrams I can trust him with a CCW.

  27. avatar Larry says:

    I got my Oregon license, My home state Washington license and my utah license to cover ay of the states Washington doesn’t cover.. Its a pain in the ass, but we gotta do what we gotta do

  28. avatar Jay Snider says:

    Where did I not use my real name. Where did I use my company name or keyword spam.

  29. avatar Jay Snider says:

    Has anybody ever asked Feinstein, Boxer, Harry Reid, John McCain, Hillary and the idiots in the White House why, if guns are not necessary, they do not give up their guns and also take the guns away from their body guards?

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