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North Dakota Gun Control Laws

Most gun control laws originate at the state level, where they vary quite a bit. But there are some federal laws that regulate gun purchases and ownership (see the ATF's explanation of the National Firearms Act). Some states require gun buyers to wait a certain period of time before taking ownership of a gun, while other states have as few restrictions as possible.

Details about North Dakota's gun control laws are listed below. See Gun Laws for related information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

North Dakota Century Code, Title 62.1, Sections 62.1-01-01 through 62.1-05-03

Illegal Arms

The following are prohibited by North Dakota law:
  • Short-barreled rifles
  • Short-barreled shotguns
  • Machine guns and fully automatic rifles
  • Silencers

Waiting Period

North Dakota has no waiting period for purchasing a gun.

Who May Not Own

A person may not possess a firearm in North Dakota if they:
  • Have been convicted anywhere of a felony offense involving violence or intimidation
  • Have been convicted anywhere of a felony offense, a class A misdemeanor offense involving violence or intimidation, or an equivalent offense of another state or the federal government, and the offense was committed while using or possessing a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or a destructive device or an explosive
  • Have ever been diagnosed and confined or committed to a hospital or other institution
  • Are under the age of eighteen years and the firearm is a handgun, with some exceptions

License Required?

North Dakota does not require a license to purchase or own a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

North Dakota does not require a concealed carry permit for residents to carry a concealed weapon. However, a resident must have a valid driver's license or state ID card for at least 30 days, and they must carry their ID or driver's license at all times when carrying a concealed firearm.

Open Carried Allowed?

North Dakota allows open carry of an unloaded handgun. Concealed carry license holders may openly carry loaded handguns.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

North Dakota does not require a license to conceal carry, but the state offers a concealed carry license to people who wish to carry a concealed firearm in states that recognize a North Dakota license. North Dakota offers a Class 1 license and Class 2 license. The main difference between the licenses is that the Class 1 license is more likely to be accepted in other states. To be eligible for a concealed carry license, a person must:
  • Be 21 years old for a Class 1 firearm license or at least 18 years old for a Class 2 license
  • Prove residency in North Dakota by providing a copy of a valid driver's license or state-issued identification card, or prove residency in a state that has reciprocity with North Dakota and that they have a valid concealed carry license in that state
  • Not be prohibited from possessing a firearm
  • For a Class 1 firearm license, not have been convicted of a felony, a crime of violence, an offense involving the use of alcohol, a misdemeanor offense involving the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances, an offense involving moral turpitude, or an offense involving domestic violence
  • For a Class 1 firearm license, not have been adjudicated by a state or federal court as mentally incompetent and must be qualified to purchase and possess a firearm under federal law
  • Successfully complete a required testing procedure conducted by a certified test administrator
  • Satisfactorily complete the bureau of criminal investigation application form and successfully pass the criminal history records check conducted by the bureau of criminal investigation and the federal bureau of investigation

Machine Gun Laws

North Dakota prohibits machine gun possession unless a person has complied with the National Firearms Act's requirements for possessing a machine gun.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

North Dakota's penalties for violating gun laws depend on the offense. Most violations are either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class C felony. The punishments for those two classes of offense are:
  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to 360 days imprisonment and up to a $3,000 fine
  • Class C felony: Up to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

A person who illegally possesses a gun on school grounds is guilty of an infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

North Dakota Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Facing a Gun Charge?

If you have been arrested for illegally possessing a gun or you face another gun violation, you need the help of an experienced lawyer. Find a North Dakota criminal law attorney today.


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