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What are the Gun Laws in North Dakota?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms


Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.

Quick Reference

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No


  • Permit to purchase handgun? No
  • Registration of handguns? Yes
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No*
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes - Concealed only.


A copy of the federal license to sell handguns shall be sent by retail dealers to the chief of police of the city and sheriff of the county in which the dealer is licensed to sell handguns within seven days after receipt of the dealer’s license.

No person in purchasing or securing delivery of a handgun or in applying for a license to carry a handgun concealed may give false information or false evidence of the person’s identity.

It is unlawful to sell a handgun to a minor. However, this does not prohibit a person from lending or giving a handgun to a minor if he or she will be using the handgun under direct supervision of an adult.

No person may transfer a handgun to any person who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

It is unlawful to supply a firearm or ammunition to, or procure or receive a firearm or ammunition for, a person prohibited from receiving it if the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe that such person is prohibited from receiving or possessing it.


  • Possession or ownership of a firearm is prohibited by any person convicted anywhere of a felony involving violence or intimidation for ten years from the date of conviction or release from confinement or probation, whichever is the latter.

  • Any person convicted of any other felony or of a Class A misdemeanor involving violence or intimidation and that crime was committed while using or possessing a dangerous weapon or firearm is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for five years from the date of conviction or release from incarceration or probation, whichever is the latter.

  • A person diagnosed and confined or committed (by a court of competent jurisdiction) as mentally ill is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, but this does not apply to a person who has not suffered from the disability for the previous three years.

  • A person under eighteen may possess a handgun only under direct adult supervision for purposes of firearm safety training, target shooting or hunting.

  • It is unlawful to possess or sell a rifle with an overall length under 26 inches and/or a barrel under 16 inches or shotgun with an overall length under 26 inches and/or a barrel under 18 inches with the exception of law enforcement officers or members of the armed forces in official duty capacity, and any person complying with the National Firearms Act.

  • Possession of a firearm is prohibited in a liquor establishment or gaming site with the exception of law enforcement officers, proprietors and their employees or a designee displaying an unloaded firearm as a prize or sale item in raffle or auction.

  • At a public gathering it is unlawful to possess a firearm except for law enforcement officers, members of the armed forces (on duty), competitors in shooting events and gun shows, those using blank cartridges in theatrical events, firearms carried in a temporary residence or motor vehicle, students and instructors at hunter safety classes, and on-duty private security personnel.

Carry - Loaded Firearms

No person may keep or carry a loaded firearm in or on any motor vehicle. Exceptions include:
  1. Persons possessing a valid North Dakota concealed weapons license, except while that person is in the field engaged in trapping and hunting activities.

  2. Any person in the field engaged in lawful hunting or trapping of nongame species or furbearing animals.

  3. A security guard or private investigator licensed to carry firearms by the attorney general.

  4. Any person possessing a valid special permit.

  5. A law enforcement officer, except while the officer is engaged in hunting and trapping activities with a rifle or shotgun.

  6. A member of the military while possessing an issued firearm and while on official duty.

Carry - Concealed Firearms

Carrying any firearm concealed is prohibited with the exception of one who is licensed to do so, or is exempted by statute, or is a law enforcement officer.

Concealed is defined as "not discernible by the ordinary observation of a passerby."

Concealed does not include:
  • A firearm in a belt holster or gun case if the holster or case is substantially visible or locked in a closed trunk or luggage compartment of a motor vehicle.

  • A firearm carried in a field while lawfully engaged in hunting, target shooting or trapping.

  • A handgun carried unloaded and in a secure wrapper to or from a home, place of business, or repair.

  • An unloaded rifle or shotgun while carried in a motor vehicle.

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