BISMARCK, N.D. – Governor Doug Burgum today signed legislation allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed handgun if they have possessed a valid North Dakota driver’s license or state ID card for at least a year.
The “constitutional carry” authority provided under House Bill 1169 applies only within North Dakota’s borders. Those wanting concealed carry reciprocity with other states must apply for a Class 1 or Class 2 North Dakota concealed weapon license, for which the requirements remain unchanged.
Current law only requires an applicant for a Class 2 license to complete an open-book test, at a cost of up to $50, and undergo a criminal history records check. Class 1 licenses require firearms training and additional requirements. Both licenses carry a $60 application fee.
Under HB 1169, anyone who is eligible to possess a Class 2 firearm license and has had a valid driver’s license or state ID card for at least a year may carry a concealed firearm. Law enforcement officials recommended the state ID language, as well as the bill’s requirement that anyone carrying a concealed weapon inform law enforcement of the weapon during a traffic stop or other contact.
Someone who has been convicted of a felony or crime of violence will still be precluded from carrying a handgun under this new law. Individuals who initiate the purchase of a handgun from a federally licensed dealer are still required to undergo a federal background check, which runs their name and descriptive information through three national databases.
“North Dakota has a rich heritage of hunting and a culture of deep respect for firearm safety. As a hunter and gun owner myself, I strongly support gun rights for law-abiding citizens,” Burgum said. “House Bill 1169 allows citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution. It also is consistent with the North Dakota Constitution, which declares in Article I that all individuals have the inalienable right ‘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.’ ”
At the same time, Burgum – who has a Class 1 concealed weapons license that requires applicants to demonstrate firearms proficiency – noted that neither the existing Class 2 requirements nor HB 1169 have a firearms training component. He encouraged anyone considering carrying a concealed weapon to enroll in one of North Dakota’s many certified gun safety courses.
“Gun ownership is both a right and a responsibility, and that responsibility begins with individuals and families,” Burgum said.
No law enforcement agencies or groups testified against HB 1169. A representative of the North Dakota Peace Officers Association testified the bill is more enforceable because of the provision restricting it only to North Dakota residents and the requirement that those carrying a concealed weapon must inform a peace officer upon contact.
“I ask legislators and law enforcement officials to closely monitor this new law with a continual focus on public safety,” Burgum said.
The bill does not change the places designated in law as off-limits to conceal carry, including schools and publicly owned or operated buildings.
House Bill 1169, which passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support, takes effect Aug. 1, 2017.
More information about concealed weapon licenses is available on the North Dakota Attorney General’s website at https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/public-safety/concealed-weapons-licenses/obtaining-north-dakota-concealed-weapon-license/eligibility.