Introduction.

There are numerous firearm crimes contained within Idaho Law. I cannot include all of the offenses within this article and will instead focus on those crimes I most commonly see. If you are charged with a crime not defined below, please contact me for a further explanation and analysis. Additionally, a person must understand the distinction between state firearm rights and federal firearm rights. In a nutshell, federal law controls when it comes to firearms. This means even though you may have a state right to possess and use firearms, you can still be precluded from possessing a firearm because of federal law. This area of the law can be very confusing so a person should contact an attorney to help guide them through this process.

State Charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

A person who previously has been convicted of a felony who purchases, owns, possesses, or has under his custody or control any firearm shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a period of time not to exceed five (5) years and by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars $5,000.

"Convicted of a felony" includes a person who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or who has been found guilty of any of the crimes enumerated in Idaho Code § 18-310 (seebelow), or to a comparable felony crime in another state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States.

"Firearm," as defined for this section of state law, includes any weapon from which a shot, projectile, or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas, and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable.

What crimes are listed in Idaho Code 18-310?

  • (a)  aggravated assault (18-905, 18-915, Idaho Code);
  • (b)  aggravated battery (18-907, 18-915, Idaho Code);
  • (c)  assault with intent to commit a serious felony (18-909, 18-915, Idaho Code);
  • (d)  battery with intent to commit a serious felony (18-911, 18-915, Idaho Code);
  • (e)  burglary (18-1401, Idaho Code);
  • (f)  crime against nature (18-6605, Idaho Code);
  • (g)  domestic battery, felony (18-918, Idaho Code);
  • (h)  enticing of children, felony (18-1509, Idaho Code);
  • (i)  forcible sexual penetration by use of a foreign object (18-6608, Idaho Code);
  • (j)  indecent exposure, felony (18-4116, Idaho Code);
  • (k)  injury to child, felony (18-1501, Idaho Code);
  • (l)  intimidating a witness, felony (18-2604, Idaho Code);
  • (m)  lewd conduct with a minor or child under sixteen (18-1508, Idaho Code);
  • (n)  sexual abuse of a child under sixteen (18-1506, Idaho Code);
  • (o)  sexual exploitation of a child (18-1507, Idaho Code);
  • (p)  felonious rescuing prisoners (18-2501, Idaho Code);
  • (q)  escape by one charged with, convicted of or on probation for a felony (18-2505, Idaho Code);
  • (r)  unlawful possession of a firearm (18-3316, Idaho Code);
  • (s)  degrees of murder (18-4003, Idaho Code);
  • (t)  voluntary manslaughter (18-4006(1), Idaho Code);
  • (u)  assault with intent to murder (18-4015, Idaho Code);
  • (v)  administering poison with intent to kill (18-4014, Idaho Code);
  • (w)  kidnapping (18-4501, Idaho Code);
  • (x)  mayhem (18-5001, Idaho Code);
  • (y)  rape (18-6101, Idaho Code);
  • (z)  male rape (18-6108, Idaho Code);
  • (aa) robbery (18-6501, Idaho Code);
  • (bb) ritualized abuse of a child (18-1506A, Idaho Code);
  • (cc) cannibalism (18-5003, Idaho Code);
  • (dd) felonious manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver, or possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance (37-2732, Idaho Code);
  • (ee) trafficking (37-2732B, Idaho Code);
  • (ff) threats against state officials of the executive, legislative or judicial branch, felony (18-1353A, Idaho Code);
  • (gg) unlawful discharge of a firearm at a dwelling house, occupied building, vehicle or mobile home (18-3317, Idaho Code);
  • (hh) unlawful possession of destructive devices (18-3319, Idaho Code);
  • (ii) unlawful use of destructive device or bomb (18-3320, Idaho Code);
  • (jj) attempt (18-306, Idaho Code), conspiracy (18-1701, Idaho Code), or solicitation (18-2001, Idaho Code), to commit any of the crimes described in paragraphs (a) through (ii) of this subsection.
  • (kk) The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to those persons convicted of the enumerated felonies in paragraphs (a) through (jj) of this subsection on or after July 1, 1991, except that persons convicted of the felonies enumerated in paragraphs (s) and (t) of this subsection, for any degree of murder or voluntary manslaughter, shall not be restored the right to ship, transport, possess or receive a firearm regardless of the date of their conviction if the conviction was the result of an offense committed by use of a firearm.

If the felony I was convicted of is not included in the list do I still have my firearm rights?

No. A sentence of custody to the Idaho State Board of Correction suspends all the firearm rights of the person so sentenced. However, upon final discharge, a person convicted of any Idaho felony shall be restored their firearm rights, except that for persons convicted of treason or those offenses enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (jj) of Idaho Code § 18-310 the right to ship, transport, possess or receive a firearm shall not be restored. "Final discharge" means satisfactory completion of imprisonment, probation, and/or parole. Your firearm rights may be restored automatically if you successfully completed probation or parole. You will want to contact an attorney to help walk you through this process and, depending on the facts of the case, you may not be able to restore your federal firearm rights.

What is the federal firearm charge?

18 U.S.C. § 922(g) makes it unlawful for any person to possess a firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.  This law applies to any person:



    • (1)   who has been convicted, in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
    • (2)   who is a fugitive from justice;
    • (3)   who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in § 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 802));
    • (4)   who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
    • (5) who, being an alien,

      • (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
      • (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa (as that term is defined in § 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(26)));

    • (6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
    • (7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
    • (8) who is subject to a court order that–

      • (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to   participate;
      • (B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such        intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
      • (C) (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be   expected to cause bodily injury; or

    • (9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce.


What is the definition of "firearm" under federal law?

"Firearm" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3) as: (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device.

What is the penalty for a federal violation?

The maximum penalty is 10 years of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary.

Can my firearm rights be restored?

Maybe. In Idaho, firearm disability shall not apply to a person whose conviction has been nullified by expungement, pardon, setting aside the conviction, or other comparable procedure by the jurisdiction where the felony conviction occurred; or whose civil right to bear arms either specifically or in combination with other civil rights has been restored by any other provision of Idaho law.

There is a specific procedure under Idaho Law that allows a person to petition the court to restore their firearm rights. Another provision allows the restoration to occur automatically upon final discharge or probation or parole. The distinction is fact specific and depends on the nature of your individual case. You should contact an attorney to help you review your case and to determine your eligibility to possess a firearm.

Under federal law, the issue of restoration of firearm rights is evaluated under the law of the jurisdiction in which the conviction was entered. In Idaho, if your petition is successful, or if your case fits into the automatic restoration provision, the result should also restore your federal firearm rights.

Can the court enhance a sentence when a deadly weapon or firearm is used during the commission of the crime?

Yes, Any person convicted of a violation of sections 18-905 (aggravated assault defined), 18-907 (aggravated battery defined), 18-909 (assault with intent to commit a serious felony defined), 18-911 (battery with intent to commit a serious felony defined), 18-1401 (burglary defined), 18-1508(3), 18-1508(4), 18-1508(5), 18-1508(6) (lewd conduct with minor or child under sixteen), 18-2501 (rescuing prisoners), 18-2505 (escape by one charged with or convicted of a felony), 18-2506 (escape by one charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor), 18-4003 (degrees of murder), 18-4006 (manslaughter), 18-4015 (assault with intent to murder), 18-4501 (kidnapping defined), 18-5001 (mayhem defined), 18-6101 (rape defined), 18-6501 (robbery defined), 37-2732(a) (delivery, manufacture or possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver) or 37-2732B (trafficking), Idaho Code, who displayed, used, threatened, or attempted to use a firearm or other deadly weapon while committing or attempting to commit the crime, shall be sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment. The extended term of imprisonment authorized in this section is computed by increasing the maximum sentence authorized for the crime for which the person was convicted by fifteen (15) years.

How is firearm defined in this section of state law?

"Firearm" means any deadly weapon capable of ejecting or propelling one (1) or more projectiles by the action of any explosive or combustible propellant, and includes unloaded firearms and firearms which are inoperable but which can readily be rendered operable.

What are some other common firearm laws?

Exhibition of a deadly weapon: Every person who, not in necessary self-defense, in the presence of two (2) or more persons, draws or exhibits any deadly weapon in a rude, angry and threatening manner, or who, in any manner, unlawfully uses the same, in any fight or quarrel, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A violation of this law can result in a $500 fine and up to six months of county jail.

Carrying a Concealed weapon: Except in the person's place of abode (that is, where the person lives) or fixed place of business, or on property in which the person has any ownership or leasehold interest, a person shall not carry a concealed weapon without a license to carry a concealed weapon. For the purposes of this section, a concealed weapon means any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or any other deadly or dangerous weapon. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any lawfully possessed shotgun or rifle. A violation of this law can result in a $500 fine and up to six months of county jail.

Carrying a concealed weapon under the influence of alcohol or drugs: It is unlawful for any person to carry a concealed weapon on or about his person when intoxicated or under the influence of an intoxicating drink or drug. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor. A violation of this law can result in a $500 fine and up to six months in the county jail.