Friday, March 24, 2017

North Dakota Is Now Lucky 13

North Dakota became the 13th state to have constitutional concealed carry signed into law. Yesterday, Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) signed House Bill 1169. As the excerpts from the governor's press release below make clear, it only applies to North Dakota residents. Out-of-staters will still need a carry permit if they wish to carry concealed.

From Gov. Burgum's press release:
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.
House Bill 1169 passed the State House with a vote of 83 yeas to 9 nays and the State Senate by a vote of 34 yeas to 13 nays. No law enforcement organization or group opposed the law when it came before the legislature. The bill itself may be seen here.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, the number of carry permits in the state more than doubled in the past five years to over 48,000 permits.

A similar bill passed the South Dakota legislature but it has been or will be vetoed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R-SD). Unfortunately, it does not appear that the majorities that passed the bill are not high enough to override the governor's veto. Gov. Daugaard has said he thinks the present process is sufficient and that "the inconvenience to the law-abiding citizen is so minimal."

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