Starting this summer, most people will be able to carry a concealed gun without a permit in North Dakota.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed House Bill 1169 into law Thursday, which says law-abiding citizens who are 18 or older won't have to get a background check or take firearms classes to be able to carry a concealed weapon, a news release from the governor's office says.
The new law only requires that they aren't a convicted felon, have a valid North Dakota driver's license or state ID for at least a year, and if they're carrying a concealed gun they tell law enforcement during instances like traffic stops.
“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 in a statement, noting the law allows people to exercise their Second Amendment right.
The law, which goes into effect Aug. 1, makes North Dakota one of roughly a dozen "constitutional carry" states, The Associated Press says.
North Dakota's new law doesn't allow people to bring guns into places that are listed as off-limits under state law, like schools and publicly owned or operated buildings. And it only applies within state borders.
If people want concealed carry when visiting states with concealed carry reciprocity with North Dakota, they must apply for a Class 1 or Class 2 North Dakota concealed weapon license. Requirements for these include a criminal background check and to pass a test, while the Class 1 license requires people to take a firearms training.
Even though the new law doesn't require gun owners to take any safety courses to carry a gun, Gov. Burgum encourages people to still enroll in one, calling gun ownership "both a right and responsibility."
Many thought House Bill 1169 would be contentious, the Minot Daily News reported, but it ended up passing with bipartisan support, with only nine nay votes in the House and 13 in the Senate. Gov. Burgum's office says no law enforcement agencies or groups testified against the bill, but those who criticized the bill said it could lead to more shootings because people with less training would be carrying guns, The AP notes.
Similar measures have been considered by other states this year, including in Minnesota. State Rep. Jim Nash, a Republican, introduced a bill that would allow Minnesotans to carry a gun without a permit. The bill didn't make it out of committee, instead they voted to possibly include it in a Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Omnibus bill.
South Dakota was considering a similar bill, too, but Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed it earlier this month, Forum News Service says.