Ammunition Regulation in North Dakota

North Dakota prohibits knowingly supplying ammunition to, or procuring ammunition for, a person who is prohibited by North Dakota law from receiving or possessing it.1However, no North Dakota law limits the persons who may receive or possess ammunition. Note that federal law prohibits certain persons from receiving or possessing ammunition and prohibits the sale or transfer of ammunition to these persons.2 However, federal law does not require a seller of ammunition to conduct a background check on the purchaser to determine whether he or she is a prohibited person.3

North Dakota also does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;
  • Require a license to purchase or possess ammunition; or
  • Prohibit the possession, transfer or use of armor-piercing or other unreasonably dangerous ammunition, although the federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition applies.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-08. ⤴︎
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), (d), (g), (x)(1). ⤴︎
  3. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t). ⤴︎

Background Checks in North Dakota

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

North Dakota is not a point of contact state for NICS. North Dakota has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate a background check prior to transferring a firearm. In North Dakota, all firearms transfers by licensed dealers are processed directly through the FBI, which enforces the federal prohibitions referenced above.1

Under federal law, persons who have been issued state permits to purchase or possess firearms are exempt from background checks if those permits were issued: 1) within the previous five years in the state in which the transfer is to take place; and 2) after an authorized government official has conducted a background investigation, including a search of the NICS database, to verify that possession of a firearm would not be unlawful.2 Concealed weapons license holders whose permits were issued after December 1, 1999 are exempt from background checks when purchasing a firearm according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) chart that outlines those permits that qualify as alternatives to the federal Brady Act. Please note that ATF’s exempt status determination is subject to change without notice. For further information, see the North Dakota Concealed Weapons Permitting section.

Firearms transfers by private sellers (non-firearms dealers) are not subject to background checks in North Dakota, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions still apply. See the North Dakota Private Sales section.

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited November 7, 2011). ⤴︎
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.102(d). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in North Dakota

A parent or guardian of, or person having charge or custody of, a child under 15 years of age who permits the child to carry or use a loaded firearm in public commits a class B misdemeanor unless the child is under the direct supervision of the parent, guardian or person authorized by the parent or guardian.1 North Dakota has no other law penalizing allowing a child access to firearms.

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in North Dakota, see the North Dakota Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-07. ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in North Dakota

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

No person other than a law enforcement officer may carry a firearm concealed unless the person is licensed to do so.1 Pursuant to state law, a firearm is considered “concealed” if any one of the following apply:

  • The firearm is being carried in such a manner as to not be discernible by the ordinary observation of a passerby, even if it is not absolutely invisible;
  • The firearm is worn under clothing and not secured;
  • The firearm is carried in a bundle that is held or carried by the individual and not secured; or
  • The firearm is being transported not secured in a vehicle,2 and is available to the individual, including beneath the seat or in a glove compartment.3

North Dakota is a “shall issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a concealed deadly weapon license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. Pursuant to North Dakota law, to qualify for a permit an applicant must:

  • Be eligible to possess a firearm under state and federal law;
  • Be able to demonstrate that he or she is a resident of this state by providing a copy of a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification card or can demonstrate that he or she is a resident of a state which state has reciprocity with North Dakota and the individual possesses a valid concealed carry permit from his or her state of residence;
  • Pass a criminal records check conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the FBI, after providing all documentation relating to any court-ordered treatment or commitment for mental health or alcohol or substance abuse or incidents of domestic violence, and providing written authorization for disclosure of mental health and alcohol or substance abuse evaluation and treatment records.4The Bureau must conduct a statewide and federal criminal history record check for the purpose of determining eligibility for a concealed weapons license for each applicant for an initial license or the renewal of a concealed weapons license. If the applicant is not a United States citizen, an immigration alien query must be conducted.5

The attorney general must offer Class 1 and Class 2 licenses.6 A Class 1 license may not be issued to any individual who:

  • Has been convicted of a felony;
  • Has been convicted of a crime of violence:
  • Has been convicted of an offense involving the use of alcohol within the ten years preceding the date of application;
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances within the ten years preceding the date of application;
  • Has been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude;
  • Has been convicted of an offense involving domestic violence;
  • Has been adjudicated by a state or federal court as mentally incompetent, unless the adjudication has been withdrawn or reversed; or
  • Is disqualified to purchase and possess a firearm under federal law.7

Additionally, North Dakota may deny a class 1 license to anyone it has reason to believe is or has been a danger to self or others as demonstrated by evidence, including past pattern of behavior involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence; or conviction of a weapons offense. In determining whether the applicant is or has been a threat to self or others, North Dakota may inspect expunged adult and juvenile court records of arrests and convictions.8

An applicant must be 21 years of age for a Class 1 license, or 18 years of age for a Class 2 license.9 State law appears to make no distinction between the conduct allowed under a Class 1 or a Class 2 license.

Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension or disqualification information, are detailed under state law.10

Firearm Safety Training

The applicant must successfully complete a testing procedure conducted by a certified test administrator.11 The person conducting the testing may assess a charge of up to $50 for conducting this testing.12 The attorney general may certify a test administrator based upon criteria and guidelines prescribed by the Director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.13

The attorney general must offer Class 1 and Class 2 licenses.14 An applicant for a Class 1 license must:

  • Participate in classroom instruction that sets forth weapon safety rules and the deadly force law of North Dakota;
  • Complete an open book test based upon a manual;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a firearm or dangerous weapon, through certification by a certified instructor, participation in an organized shooting competition or dangerous weapon course of training, or possession of a license from another state, or evidence of weapons experience during military service; and
  • Complete an actual shooting or certified proficiency exercise.15

An applicant for a Class 2 license is only required to successfully complete the open book test offered for the Class 1 license.16

Duration & Renewal

A license to carry a concealed weapon is currently valid for up to three years; however, beginning July 1, 2011, a license to carry a concealed weapon will be valid for up to five years.17 Fingerprints, which are required as part of an application for an original license, are not required in an application for renewal.18

Disclosure or Use of Information

Information collected from an applicant for a concealed weapons license is confidential information.19 However, the information may be disclosed:

  • To a governmental agency or court for a law enforcement purpose, including the investigation, prosecution, or punishment of a violation of law.
  • To a court to aid in a decision concerning sentence, probation, or release pending trial or appeal.
  • Pursuant to a court order or a judicial, legislative, or administrative agency subpoena issued in North Dakota.20

Reciprocity

Pursuant North Dakota law, a valid license to carry issued by another state which recognizes the concealed carry licenses of North Dakota is valid in North Dakota.21

For a list of states with which North Dakota has signed formal reciprocity agreements, see the North Dakota Permit Reciprocity page, maintained by the North Dakota Attorney General.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-02. ⤴︎
  2. “Secured” means closed into a trunk or non-passenger part of a vehicle; placed into a closed and secure carrying device; rendered inoperative by use of a trigger, hammer, cylinder, slide, or barrel-locking device that renders the firearm incapable of firing until the device is unlocked and removed; or so disassembled or disabled as to be rendered incapable of firing. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-01-01(11). ⤴︎
  3. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-01. A firearm that falls within the above definition of “concealed” is still not considered “concealed” if it is carried in a belt holster which is wholly or substantially visible; carried in a case designed for carrying a firearm and which is wholly or substantially visible; carried in the field while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping, or target shooting; carried unloaded and in a secure wrapper to or from the place of purchase to the purchaser’s home, place of business, or place of repair; an unloaded long gun carried in a vehicle; or an unloaded weapon that will expel or is readily capable of expelling a projectile by action of a spring, compressed air, or compressed gas, including a BB gun, air rifle, or CO[2] gun, while carried in a motor vehicle. Id. ⤴︎
  4. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03. ⤴︎
  5. N.D. Cent. Code § 12-60-24. ⤴︎
  6. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(2). ⤴︎
  7. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(1)(c). ⤴︎
  8. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(1)(e). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03, and N.D. Admin. Code r. 10-12-01-01 through 10-12-01-11. ⤴︎
  11. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(1)(d). ⤴︎
  12. Id. ⤴︎
  13. Id. ⤴︎
  14. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(2). ⤴︎
  15. Id. ⤴︎
  16. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(2). ⤴︎
  17. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(5); see also 2009 N.D. HB 2415, § 1(5). ⤴︎
  18. Id. ⤴︎
  19. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03(9). ⤴︎
  20. Id. ⤴︎
  21. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-04-03.1. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in North Dakota

North Dakota does not license firearms dealers. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the North Dakota Private Sales section for further information.

Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the North Dakota Background Checks section.

Within seven days of receiving a federal license to sell handguns, a retail firearms dealer who sells handguns must send a copy of the license to the chief of police of the city and the sheriff of the county in which the dealer is licensed.1

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-03-03. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in North Dakota

North Dakota law authorizes a court that is issuing a domestic violence protection order to require the respondent to surrender for safekeeping any firearm in the respondent’s immediate possession or control or subject to the respondent’s immediate control, if the court has probable cause to believe that the respondent is likely to use, display, or threaten to use the firearm in further acts of violence.1 For additional information, see the section entitled Domestic Violence and Firearms in North Dakota. North Dakota has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in North Dakota

North Dakota law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

North Dakota law authorizes a court that is issuing a domestic violence protection order to require the respondent to surrender for safekeeping any firearm in the respondent’s immediate possession or control or subject to the respondent’s immediate control, if the court has probable cause to believe that the respondent is likely to use, display, or threaten to use the firearm in further acts of violence.1 A court is authorized to include this provision in ex parte temporary protection orders (those issued without notice and a hearing) as well.2 If so ordered, the respondent shall surrender the firearm to the designee of the sheriff of the county, or to the chief of police of the city, where the respondent resides.3

A domestic violence protection order, including a temporary ex parte one, is available to any of the following individuals who have been subject to domestic violence: a spouse, family member, former spouse, parent, child, person related by blood or marriage, person in a dating relationship, person presently residing with or who has resided in the past with the abuser, person with a child in common to the abuser, and any person with a sufficient relationship to the abuser as determined by the court.4

When an individual who is charged with or arrested for a crime of violence or threat of violence, stalking, harassment, or a sex offense, who is the subject of an order prohibiting contact, is released from custody before arraignment or trial, the court must require the individual to surrender any firearm in or subject to the individual’s immediate possession or control to the sheriff of the county or chief of police of the city where the individual resides if the court has probable cause to believe that the individual charged or arrested is likely to use, display, or threaten to use a firearm in any further act of violence.5

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the North Dakota Background Checks and North Dakota Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g). ⤴︎
  2. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-03(2)(d). ⤴︎
  3. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g), 14-07.1-03(2)(d). ⤴︎
  4. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-01(4). ⤴︎
  5. N.D. Cent. Code §12.1-31.2-02(2). ⤴︎