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Change means Minnesotans can carry concealed handguns in North Dakota

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Minnesotans with concealed carry permits will be able to take their handguns into North Dakota effective Wednesday.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced that his state now has reciprocity with Minnesota regarding concealed carry, meaning all Minnesota licenses will be recognized in North Dakota.

Meanwhile, North Dakotans with Class 1 permits – which require a shooting proficiency test – will be allowed to bring their concealed weapons into Minnesota.

It follows a change in Minnesota's gun laws agreed by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature earlier this year, which removed a requirement that a state must have "substantially similar" gun laws to Minnesota in order for their concealed carry permits to be valid.

The word "substantially" was removed from the law, meaning other state gun laws are only required to be "similar" to Minnesota's in order for permit holders to bring concealed weapons into the state.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reviewed North Dakota's gun laws and on Tuesday determined they fit the new criteria, leading to Wednesday's announcement.

"North Dakota Class 1 license holders now have reciprocity in 39 states," Stenehjem said in his statement, adding that his office had been trying "for several years" to get reciprocity with Minnesota, but were denied by the word "substantial."

"By removing one word, the Minnesota Legislature at last made reciprocity between our states a possibility," he added.

Currently residents from 19 states, including Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, are allowed to use their concealed carry permits in Minnesota as the states have similar gun laws, according to the DPS website.

Residents of Wisconsin and Iowa are among those whose permits are not valid in Minnesota.

Minnesotans who had North Dakota licenses, which were suspended in 2013 because there was no reciprocity in place, will now be able to apply for their reinstatement to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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