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Burgum signs bill allowing concealed firearms to be carried without a permit

BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill into law allowing qualified people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, his office announced late Thursday night.

The Republican governor signed the so-called “constitutional carry” bill, which allows those who are not otherwise prevented from having a Class 2 concealed weapons permit and have had a state Department of Transportation-issued ID for a year to carry a concealed firearm. North Dakota currently offers Class 1 and Class 2 permits with reciprocity with other states, but House Bill 1169 is only effective in North Dakota.

Critics of the bill said other everyday activities, such as driving, require a government-issued license. But supporters said it reaffirms a constitutional right, and noted the Class 2 permit only requires the completion of an open-book test and a criminal records check.

“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 issued after 9 p.m. Thursday. “House Bill 1169 allows citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution.”

Burgum encouraged those considering carrying a concealed weapon to enroll in a gun safety course.

The law takes effect Aug. 1.

A similar bill was vetoed in South Dakota by Gov. Dennis Daugaard earlier this month, although the legislature there could still override his veto.

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