How HB1169 changes gun laws in North Dakota

Published: Jul. 25, 2017 at 6:04 PM CDT
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House Bill 1169, or "Constitutional Carry", allows any resident to carry a firearm without a permit. But law enforcement stressed the new law still has exceptions to where you can and can't carry.

Shawn Schmidt likes to go shooting. He's been around guns since he was a kid. He hopes that with the state's new constitutional carry law, there will be more responsible gun owners.

"I don't think it's going to make anyone more safe or less safe. I think those people who are going to make that decision to carry will be responsible about it,” said Schmidt.

The new law, which goes into effect on August 1st, allows anyone to carry a handgun without a permit. But law enforcement and gun advocates alike both say that safety is the top priority.

"It doesn't mean that everyone should carry. I would hope that anyone who is considering it does diligence, does the research, knows how to handle the firearm and knows the proper safety for it,” said Schmidt.

"Four simple rules: Treat every gun as if it's loaded, Never point that gun at anything you wouldn't be willing to destroy, Keep our finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire, and be absolutely certain of your target and what's beyond,” said Stark County Sheriff Terry Oestreich

But there are some strings attached. A person must be 18 years old, no disqualifying factors from owning a firearm, like a felony conviction, they must be a resident for 1 year and can only carry that weapon within state lines.

"I would just ask the public not to take advantage of it and to be cognizant of where you can and can't carry,” said Oestreich.

Federal buildings like a post office or a courthouse, do not allow firearms. You also can't carry them in schools or in bars, but are allowed to carry in state or federal parks and some restaurants.

The new law also doesn't allow the purchase of a firearm from a dealer without a federal background check.