Tags: Gun Control | north dakota | gun | laws | local | rules

North Dakota Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 08:20 PM

A modification to North Dakota gun laws had been presented by state Rep. Roscoe Streyle. While most of the state's traditionally conservative population typically agrees on gun control issues, does that mean that local governments have to abide by the new or existing North Dakota gun laws?

Much of the new law modifies and loosens some of the existing gun laws already on the books.

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Section 3 of the new legislation pertains to possession of a firearm at a public gathering. This is not allowed under North Dakota gun laws except by law enforcement or other clearly defined exemptions.

The last paragraph of Section 3 states, "This section does not prevent any political subdivision from enacting an ordinance that is less restrictive than this section relating to the possession of firearms or dangerous weapons at a public gathering. An enacted ordinance supersedes this section within the jurisdiction of the political subdivision."

This gives local city, town, and county governments an opening to make their own laws, but the section clearly states "less restrictive," giving rise to the question of whether a local government could make it more restrictive.

There was a time when local governments made independent decisions on what they thought best for their community and could pre-empt the state laws. However, Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told The Atlantic, "Then the NRA went on this campaign to convince states, one by one, to restrict that authority."

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The NRA defends its campaign by explaining that trying to follow a mixture of local ordinances from one jurisdiction to the next, puts an unfair burden on the rights of gun owners.

As the president of the Kansas State Rifle Association, Patricia Stoneking explained to The Atlantic, "I can travel 30 minutes from my home and travel through four jurisdictions. How am I to know what the law of all those jurisdictions say? What their individual ordinances are? Uniformity in all firearms laws is the most prudent action to take."

It remains to be seen if local city and town governments in North Dakota test the waters of restricting or lessening the new gun laws if passed by the state.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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While most of the state's traditionally conservative population typically agrees on gun control issues, does that mean that local governments have to abide by the new or existing North Dakota gun laws?
north dakota, gun, laws, local, rules
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2015-20-11
Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 08:20 PM
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