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The state of Utah, one of Idaho’s neighbors to the south, has seen a steady rise in concealed weapons permits over the past few years that highlight some differences in how the states handle letting citizens carry firearms.

A key difference between Idaho and Utah is portability—people who hold Utah’s concealed weapons can use those permits to legally carry a gun in 32 states across the country, including Idaho. Idaho’s permit is good in just 26 states, according to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Idaho also recognizes a concealed weapon permit issued by any state in the U.S.

“Utah is very aggressive… at getting more and more states to honor their permits,” said Mike Wirth, who teaches handgun classes in Parma and Nampa with A & M Shooting Academy. Wirth is one of the more than 30 certified instructors in Idaho who can teach a half-day class required to apply for Utah’s permit.

“It’s just a way so that if people travel a lot or go on a road trip, they can legally carry their concealed firearm across state lines,” Wirth said about Utah’s permit. He said his class doesn’t include shooting a gun.

People don’t need to be a Utah resident or go to Utah to get a Utah concealed weapons permit. More than 40 states, from Alaska to Florida, have Utah-certified firearm instructors. Demand has risen for Utah’s permits during the last few years. Utah issued 246,831 valid concealed carry permits as of the end of June. That number increased almost 70,000 from June 2009. The Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), which issues Utah’s concealed carry permits, doesn’t publish statistics of how many permits are given to people in Idaho or other states.

Source: Brad Iverson-Long for the Idaho Reporter.

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