North Dakota Constitutional Carry Good Start…but a little Wonky

North Dakota passed Constitutional Carry in the 2017 Legislative session.  The legislation allowed people who had North Dakota drivers licenses or nondriver identification cards to carry concealed weapons, thus becoming a practical Constitutional Carry state.

However, another provision of North Dakota law prohibits most people from carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

State legislators asked the Attorney General if the Constitutional Carry provision applied to carrying a loaded firearm in vehicles.

He wrote an official opinion stating that it did so apply.  Here are the relevant conclusions.  From

Thus, even though a concealed weapons license is no longer required, an individual must still provide a valid North Dakota driver’s license or nondriver identification card issued by the North Dakota Department of Transportation upon demand of law enforcement. It is reasonable to conclude that the required identification is in lieu of a physical class 2 concealed weapons license.10

This interpretation has the practical benefit of preserving the prohibition in N.D.C.C. § 62.1-02-10 against keeping or carrying a loaded firearm in or on any motor vehicle. As long as an individual produces a valid driver’s license, and otherwise meets the requirements for constitutional carry, that individual is producing the “valid concealed weapons license” which meets the exemption under N.D.C.C. § 62.1-02-10(3). Likewise, if the individual does not have the proper identification, the prohibitions against driving with a loaded gun in a vehicle remain in place.

It is my opinion, that an individual’s valid driver’s license or sanctioned identification card is the equivalent of a “valid concealed weapons license” as required under N.D.C.C. § 62.1-02-10 with regard to what was previously only known as a class 2 concealed weapons license. Therefore, it is further my opinion that when an individual meets the qualifications for constitutional carry in North Dakota, a loaded gun may be stored in a vehicle but proper identification must be revealed to law enforcement upon a traffic stop or other in-person contact, as required in N.D.C.C § 62.1-04-04. This interpretation is consistent with the Legislature’s intent and accomplishes the statutes’ goals and objectives.

North Dakota recognizes concealed carry licenses from 39 other states.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

Editor’s Note: Acknowledging that the 2nd Amendment is an enumeration of our right to keep and bear arms and that as such infringements upon such a right are bad, I am always a fan when states move towards Constitutional Carry.  With that being said, North Dakota is moving to towards Constitutional Carry like a drunk horse with a broken leg moves to get some water.

Constitutional Carry is supposed to eliminate the need to jump through bureaucratic hoops and be forced to produce papers like it’s 1938 Berlin.  And while the 2017 legislature did a good chunk of that this year in North Dakota, the fact remains that if you are a passenger in a vehicle, legally exercising your right to carry a firearm you will still be required to show your papers.  Like I said, not the end of the world but still short of what Constitutional Carry is all about.

Also, this is one of the states that seems like they only want to recognize the 2nd Amendment for ITS citizens and not the citizenry of the other 49 States in the Union.  Constitutional Carry only applies to North Dakota residents and only for concealed carry.

Like I said, a drunk broken legged horse may not look pretty heading to the river for a drink of water…but at least it is heading in the right direction; so is North Dakota.


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