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North Dakota Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in North Dakota

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Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. All individuals . . . have certain inalienable rights, among which are . . . to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational, and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed.”

Concealed Carry

North Dakota is a shall-issue state, meaning authorities are required to issue a concealed carry permit to qualified applicants. Unlike many states, where the minimum age for receiving a permit is 21, North Dakota requires permit holders to be at least 18. The state also requires a written exam and a background check.

Application is made through the local sheriff’s department — and police departments, for applicants living within a city — and permits are issued within 30 days at a cost of $25. They are valid for three years.

Permits are not issued to anyone barred from possessing a gun. In addition to those barred by federal law, state law bars gun possession by persons who have been convicted of a felony and have been imprisoned or on probation within 10 years, persons who have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor involving violence or intimidation and the use of a firearm and have been imprisoned or on probation within five years, and a person who has been committed or confined due to mental illness, except for persons who have not suffered from that illness within three years.

North Dakota’s concealed carry permits are honored by the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

North Dakota honors concealed carry permits from the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

Castle Doctrine

North Dakota enacted a self-defense law based on the castle doctrine in 2007. Within one’s home, vehicle or place of business, the law has a “stand-your-ground” clause that permits the use of deadly force against persons breaking in without a duty to retreat. The law, which was lobbied for by the National Rifle Association, provides immunity to persons who use deadly force in such situations.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Open carry is generally restricted in North Dakota; loaded weapons cannot be carried except by those with a carry permit.

The state does have a preemption law that prevents municipal or county governments from enacting gun laws more restrictive than state law, and also has a law protecting firing ranges.

Restrictions

Gun bans: None.

Waiting periods for gun purchases: None.

License or permit to purchase guns: None.

Registration of guns: none.

Places in North Dakota where carrying is off limits, with or without a permit, include:

  • Gaming sites
  • Places that sell alcohol
  • Sporting events
  • Churches
  • Schools or school events
  • Political rallies
  • Parks
  • Concerts
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