Gun laws in North Dakota

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Location of North Dakota in the United States

Gun laws in North Dakota regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of North Dakota in the United States.[1][2]

Summary table[edit]

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Owner license required? No No
License required for concealed carry? N/A No North Dakota is a "shall issue" state for concealed carry. Permitless concealed carry (for residents only) effective August 1, 2017. Class 1 & 2 permits will still be available. Permit still required to carry openly.
License required for open carry? No Yes Open carry of long guns is generally permitted. Open carry of a loaded handgun is permitted only by individuals with a valid concealed weapons license. Non permit holders may carry one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset provided the firearm is unloaded and in plain sight.[3]
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No
NFA weapons restricted? No No NFA-compliant automatic firearms must be registered with the county sheriff and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Binary triggers are not considered machine guns.[4]
Shall Certify? Yes Yes 62.1-05 Shall certify within 30 days.
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Concealed carry[edit]

North Dakota is a "shall issue" state for concealed carry. The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) shall issue a concealed weapon permit to a qualified applicant. The applicant must pass a written exam and submit an application to the local law enforcement agency, which conducts a local background check before forwarding the application to the BCI. The permit is valid for five years. A concealed weapon permit is required when transporting a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Concealed carry is not allowed in the part of an establishment that is set aside for the retail sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Concealed carry is allowed in the restaurant part of a liquor establishment if an individual under twenty-one years of age is not prohibited in that part of the establishment. Concealed carry is also not allowed, unless permitted by local law, at a school, church, sporting event, or public building.[5][6][7][8]

Constitutional concealed carry[edit]

On March 23, 2017, a bill permitting constitutional carry[9] was signed by Governor Burgum. As of August 1, 2017, people carrying concealed without a concealed weapons license will need to carry a form of state-issued photo ID, must be a North Dakota resident for at least 1 year, must inform police about their handgun upon contact, and must not otherwise be prohibited from possessing a firearm by law. The existing concealed weapons licenses, Class 1 & 2, will continue to be available to allow cross state reciprocity. Open carry of a loaded handgun will still require a permit. Carrying in a vehicle was originally thought of as requiring a permit but Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued an opinion interpreting the law as allowing for constitutional carry within vehicles.[10] This was codified in 2019.[11]

Other laws[edit]

North Dakota has state preemption of firearms laws. No political subdivision may enact any ordinance relating to the purchase, sale, ownership, transfer of ownership, possession, registration, or licensure of firearms and ammunition which is more restrictive than state law.[12]

Firearms manufacturers, distributors, and sellers are not liable for any injury suffered because of the use of a firearm by another. However, they may be sued for breach of contract or warranty, or for defects or negligence in design or manufacture.[2]

Firearm buyback programs are prohibited by state law.[13]


  1. ^ "State Gun Laws: North Dakota", National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "North Dakota State Law Summary", Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  3. ^ "CHAPTER 62.1-03 HANDGUNS" (PDF).
  4. ^ "North Dakota Bill Actions: HB 1308". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  5. ^ "North Dakota Attorney General – Concealed Weapons Permits". Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  6. ^ North Dakota Concealed Weapons Permits manual
  7. ^ North Dakota Concealed Carry CCW Laws and Information on Archived November 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "North Dakota Concealed Carry Permit Information on". Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Gov. Burgum signs Constitutional Carry Bill into law". KFYR TV. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  10. ^ NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | North Dakota: Ruling Issued Approving Constitutional Carry in Vehicles". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  11. ^ "North Dakota Bill Actions: HB 1042". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  12. ^ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – State Firearms Laws – North Dakota
  13. ^ "North Dakota Bill Actions: HB 1381". Retrieved 2019-05-19.