Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2020 ‘Preemption of Local Laws in North Dakota.’ Other Laws & Policies. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 4 December

Relevant contents

Local Authority to Regulate Firearms in North Dakota

North Dakota's broad preemption statute, North Dakota Century Code § 62.1-01-03, states:

No political subdivision, including home rule cities or counties, may enact any ordinance relating to the purchase, sale, ownership, transfer of ownership, registration, or licensure of firearms and ammunition which is more restrictive than state law. All such existing ordinances are void.

Although there is no case law construing this statute, the North Dakota Attorney General has opined that section 62.1-01-03 was intended to preempt local authority to regulate firearm purchase, sale, ownership, transfer, registration, and licensure, but not local authority to regulate possession of a firearm. The attorney general found evidence in the legislative history of section 62.1-01-03 supporting this interpretation. Noting that no state statute governs possession of a loaded firearm on public property or on private property without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the private property, the attorney general concluded that section 62.1-01-03 does not prohibit a city from adopting an ordinance prohibiting such possession in these locations.

Section 37-01-21 prohibits a municipality from raising or appropriating money toward arming, equipping, supporting, or providing drillrooms or armories for any body of people associating as a military company or parading in public with firearms.

While section 62.1-02-05 generally prohibits possession of a firearm at a public gathering, subsection 62.1-02-05(3) states that a political subdivision may still enact a less restrictive ordinance relating to the possession of firearms at a public gathering, and that such an ordinance supersedes section 62.1-02-05 within the jurisdiction of the political subdivision.

Section 42-01-01.1 provides that if a sport shooting range remains in compliance with noise control or nuisance abatement rules or ordinances in effect on the date on which the range commenced operation, the range is not subject to a civil or criminal action resulting from or relating to noise generated by its operation. Furthermore, a rule, resolution, or ordinance relating to noise control, noise pollution, or noise abatement adopted by the state or a political subdivision may not be applied to prohibit the operation of a sport shooting range, provided the conduct was lawful and being conducted before the adoption of the rule, resolution, or ordinance. However, a political subdivision may regulate the location and construction of a sport shooting range after August 1, 1999.5 Section 42-01-01.1 specifically states that it applies to a county or city enacting a home rule charter under chapter 11-09.1, 40-05.1, or 54-40.4, "notwithstanding any other provision of law."…

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

ID: Q7730

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