North Dakota governor approves concealed
guns without a permit
Send a link to a friend
[March 25, 2017]
By Alex Dobuzinskis
(Reuters) - North Dakotans will no longer
need a permit to carry a concealed weapon after Republican Governor Doug
Burgum signed legislation lifting restrictions, a victory for gun rights
advocates that came a week after South Dakota's governor vetoed a
The law, which takes effect on Aug. 1, mandates that gun owners only
need a North Dakota driver's license or state identification card for at
least a year before they can carry a concealed firearm in public.
Under current regulations, applicants must take a test to obtain a
permit which entails fees of more than $100.
The measure, signed late on Thursday, was approved by the
Republican-controlled legislature despite concerns over public safety if
the state made it easier to carry hidden weapons. Advocates framed the
issue in terms of the constitutional right to bear arms.
"North Dakota has a rich heritage of hunting and a culture of deep
respect for firearm safety," Burgum said. "As a hunter and gun owner
myself, I strongly support gun rights for law-abiding citizens."
The legislation makes North Dakota the 12th state to allow gun owners to
carry their weapons without a concealed-carry permit, according to the
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which opposes the practice.
"There's kind of a mythology around this idea that if you're going armed
in public, you're going to be able to save the day, but actually it's
more likely you will get yourself hurt or hurt an innocent person," said
Laura Cutilletta, a managing attorney with the center.
Burgum said his state's bill would not make it easier for criminals to
obtain guns. Firearms dealers still must comply with federal background
checks to ensure purchasers are not convicted felons, he said.
[to top of second column]
Morgan Meritt of Del City, Oklahoma, joins other members of the
Oklahoma Open Carry Association (OKOCA) wearing unconcealed side
arms as they gather at Beverly's Pancake House in Oklahoma City
November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Bill Waugh/File Photo
Last week, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican,
vetoed a measure to allow carrying a concealed weapon without a
permit. He defended existing rules as reasonable, saying lawful gun
owners have easily obtained concealed carry permits.
Last year, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
found the U.S. Constitution does not grant any fundamental right to
carry a concealed firearm in public.
The ruling upheld the authority of officials to grant permits to
those facing a specific danger but only applied to states in the
western United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 declined to accept a case that
involved the issue of whether firearm owners have a constitutional
right to carry concealed guns.
Thirty-one states have "open carry" laws, allowing handgun owners to
carry weapons in full view without a license, according to the
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.