Idaho Dispatch

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OP-ED: Carrying a Gun and Wearing a Mask in Idaho: Legal or Not?

By • June 26, 2020

The internet has a fun way of asking strange questions that spread like wildfire.

Recently, a number of states and local governments have had citizens asking if wearing a mask and carrying a gun at the same time is legal.

Due to concerns over the Coronavirus, many states have gone to requiring face masks in public. Many of these same states have a lot of citizens who also carry firearms.

Recently, I have been sent a number of questions and been tagged on a number of social media sites about this issue.

Idahoans want to know if it is legal to carry a gun and wear a mask in Idaho.

The short answer is yes.

There is no Idaho statute which prohibits a citizen from wearing a mask and carrying a firearm at the same time.

The origins of the rumor that you can’t carry a firearm and wear a mask in Idaho is unknown. However, Illinois may be the reason the entire county is asking this question.

In Illinois, there is a law that hints at not being able to carry and it says.

a) a person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:

9) carries or possesses in a vehicle or on or about his or her person any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or firearm or ballistic knife when he or she is hooded, robed or masked in such manner as to conceal his or her identity

Even from Illinois law it is clear the intent of its law is to prohibit people from wearing masks with the intent to do harm.

For instance, this law may have been written in Illinois for the purpose of charging someone with a crime who walked into a convenient store wearing a ski mask. Wearing a ski mask to conceal one’s identity is often done by criminals.

Again, there appears to be intent in the law with criminality in mind and not just a blanket ban on carrying a gun and wearing a any kind of mask.

For Idahoans though, rest assured that there is no Constitutional provision or state statute that prohibits you from carrying your firearm and wearing a mask in public.

Greg Pruett is the President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.


Tags: Greg Pruett, Guns, Idaho, Masks, Prohibition