North Dakota Considers Gun Permit Change

Changing criminals into law-abiding citizens with one stroke of a pen.

Stainless Steel .357 revolver in a black leather holster on a man's side.

Currently in North Dakota, concealing a gun without a permit is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. A bill being considered by the North Dakota House would change that.

House Bill 1169 headed to a Senate committee hearing on March 14. If enacted, the bill would allow people to carry guns in churches, schools and other public places where they previously could not. The new bill would require that a person who is carrying a concealed weapon have a valid ID and notify law enforcement of the weapon in incidents such as a traffic stop.

(Do you know your state’s laws regarding “Do You Have to Tell a Cop You’re Carrying?”)

According to data from the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation, as of 2015 North Dakota had 38,898 people who hold concealed weapon permits, up from about 16,000 in 2011. North Dakota residents must complete an hour-long safety class and pass an open-book test in order to get a concealed carry permit. The classes cost about $50. An enhanced license must be purchased in order to receive reciprocity with other states. That requires firearm training and also the open-book test.

South Dakota’s Republican governor, Dennis Daugaard, has said he will reject permitless carry because he says it’s not needed. On March 18, Daugaard rejected two bills that would have loosened restrictions on carrying concealed guns in the state.