U.S.A. — For years, North Dakota stood out as one of a couple of states which had Constitutional Carry but did not grant the right to carry without a permit to people who were not residents of the state. Wyoming restricted permitless carry to residents but reformed its law in 2021.
In the 2023 legislative session, the North Dakota legislature passed two bills restoring and protecting the right to keep and bear arms. Both bills were signed by Governor Doug Burgum (R) of North Dakota in mid-April. One of those bills, HB 1339 extended the Constitutional (permitless) Carry provisions to people who were not residents of North Dakota.
HB 1339 was enacted unanimously in the House, 93-0 and nearly unanimously in the Senate, 44-3. The bill was signed by Governor Doug Burgum on April 11, 2023. The bill changes the exception for permitless carry from only North Dakota residents to residents of other states or territories who possess valid driver’s licenses or nondriver identification cards issued by their state or territory. From HB 1339:
This prohibition does not apply to:
An individual with a handgun who is not otherwise precluded from possessing a class 2 firearm and dangerous weapon license under chapter 62.1-04 and who has possessed for at least thirty days possesses a valid driver’s license or nondriver identification card issued by the department of transportation or by the individual’s state or territory of residence.
The change is echoed in the portion of the bill dealing with the necessity of producing identification on request. People possessing concealed firearms are required to tell officers they are armed when in a situation where the officer initiated the contact. In other situations, people armed with concealed firearms are required to provide identification to an officer on request. From the bill:
2. Every individual carrying a concealed firearm under the authority granted in subsection 2 of section 62.1-04-02 shall inform a law enforcement officer of the individual’s possession of a concealed weapon upon the initiation of a traffic stop or any other in-person contact initiated by a law enforcement officer.
3. Every individual carrying a concealed firearm under the authority granted in subsection 2 of section 62.1-04-02 must shall have on one’s person a valid driver’s license or non-driver identification card issued by the department of transportation or by the individual’s state or territory of residence, or a digital image of one’s valid driver’s license or non-driver identification card on a mobile device and shall provide the license or card to any law enforcement officer for inspection upon request by the officer.
4. An individual who violates this section is guilty of a noncriminal offense punishable by a fee of twenty dollars.
The second bill was a strengthening of an already strong state preemption law. It was adopted by overwhelming majorities of 83-10 in the House and 41-6 in the Senate, on January 3, 2023. The bill was signed by Governor Dour Burgum on Apil 11, 2023. Words which show a line through them are removed from the law. From HB 1140:
1. A political subdivision, including home rule cities or counties, may not enact a zoning ordinance or any other ordinance relating to the purchase, sale, ownership, possession,transfer of ownership, registration, or licensure of firearms and ammunition which is more restrictive than state law. All such existing ordinances are void.
The North Dakota legislature adjourned on April 30, 2023. The North Dakota Attorney General website shows the current state of law before HB 1339 goes into effect. Here are the requirements which will be changed when the new law takes effect. From the North Dakota AG office:
Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must be 21 to purchase a handgun, but one may possess one at 18 in North Dakota, provided individual is legally able to possess a firearm under the law.
- Must be a resident of North Dakota for 30 days as evidenced by ND driver’s license or ND ID card or have a concealed weapon license/permit issued by a state that has reciprocity with North Dakota.
- Not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm.
Both bills became effective on August 1, 2023. After August 1, the state residency requirement for permitless carry in North Dakota will be reformed, and all state’s permitless carry laws will apply to both residents and non-residents.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.