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Thread: Confusion about North Dakota vehicle law.

  1. #1
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    I'm a Washingtonian (the state, not the crime ridden city) visiting family in North Dakota this week. I open carry often at home and brought my pistol with me on vacation. I'm planning to carry and open carry is my only legal option since ND doesn't recognize WA permits and I don't have a non-resident CCW permit. I've read the state laws for ND and they seem relatively straight forward except for one item: unlicensed carry in vehicles. As in Washington state, getting into a car is automatically considered "concealed", regardless of how visible the weapon is. So, to abide by state law in ND you must unload your firearm before getting into a vehicle. The question is, what am I required to do with the ammo to remain legal? Is it okay for me to empty the chamber and remove the magazine, but still keep the magazine on my person (in a pocket or mag holder)? Do I have to remove the ammo/mag from my person, but am I allowed to keep it within reach (in the glovebox, for instance). Or do I have to have to completely keep the ammo out of reach and put the mag in the trunk?

    Anyone who has a definitive answer to this, preferably with a citation of case law, would be most helpful.

    Thanks!

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    Unless you can substantiate that statement with cited law, I'm going to have to say that I think you are incorrect.

    62.1-04-01. Definition of concealed. A firearm or dangerous weapon is concealed if it is carried in such a manner as to not be discernible by the ordinary observation of a passerby. There is no requirement that there be absolute invisibility of the firearm or dangerous weapon, merely that it not be ordinarily discernible. A firearm or dangerous weapon is considered concealed if it is not secured, and is worn under clothing or carried in a bundle that is held or carried by the individual, or transported in a vehicle under the individual's control or direction and available to the individual, including beneath the seat or in a glove compartment. A firearm or dangerous weapon is not considered concealed if it is:
    1. Carried in a belt holster which is wholly or substantially visible or carried in a case designed for carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon and which is wholly or substantially visible;
    2. Locked in a closed trunk or luggage compartment of a motor vehicle;
    3. Carried in the field while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping, or target shooting, whether visible or not; or
    4. Carried by any person permitted by law to possess a handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to that person's home or place of business, or to a place of repair, or back from those locations.
    5. A bow and arrow, an unloaded rifle or shotgun, or an unloaded weapon that will expel, or is readily capable of expelling, a projectile by the action of a spring, compressed air, or compressed gas including any such weapon commonly referred to as a BB gun, air rifle, or CO2 gun, while carried in a motor vehicle.

    62.1-04-02. Carrying concealed firearms or dangerous weapons prohibited. No person, other than a law enforcement officer, may carry any firearm or dangerous weapon concealed unless the person is licensed to do so or exempted pursuant to this chapter. For purposes of this chapter, dangerous weapon does not mean a spray or aerosol containing CS (ortho-chlorobenzamalonitrile), CN (alpha-chloroacetophenone), or other irritating agent intended for use in the defense of a person.


    If open carry was illegal without a permit, there would be no reason to distinguish between open and concealed, nor would the law specify that concealed carry is illegal without a permit. In addition, North Dakota's permits are called:

    62.1-04-03. License to carry a firearm or dangerous weapon concealed.

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    MinotBob wrote:
    In ND you MUST have a recognized CCW license to carry open.
    That's what we have been tracking at OpenCarry.org for a long time - see map.

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    Cue-Ball wrote:
    As in Washington state, getting into a car is automatically considered "concealed", regardless of how visible the weapon is.
    huh? No, the permit to conceal is simply required to carry in vehicles by statute. Only the Wisconsin courts have oddly held that open carry in a vehicle is always "concealed" for purposes of the state concealed crary ban.

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    Cue-Ball wrote:
    Unless you can substantiate that statement with cited law, I'm going to have to say that I think you are incorrect.

    62.1-04-01. Definition of concealed.
    What state statute are you citing too? What state? Look for all statutes governing carry of handguns, not just one statute defining "concealed."

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    Mike wrote:
    Cue-Ball wrote:
    As in Washington state, getting into a car is automatically considered "concealed", regardless of how visible the weapon is.
    huh? No, the permit to conceal is simply required to carry in vehicles by statute. Only the Wisconsin courts have oddly held that open carry in a vehicle is always "concealed" for purposes of the state concealed crary ban.
    Yes, you are correct. I was trying to get across the point that in a vehicle you are essentially concealed since you are required to have a permit to carry in a vehicle, regardless of how visible your firearm is.

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    Mike wrote:
    Cue-Ball wrote:
    Unless you can substantiate that statement with cited law, I'm going to have to say that I think you are incorrect.

    62.1-04-01. Definition of concealed.
    What state statute are you citing too? What state? Look for all statutes governing carry of handguns, not just one statute defining "concealed."
    The statutes that I cited earlier are from North Dakota. Nothing in those statutes suggests that a permit is required for open carry, as MinotBob suggests. OpenCarry.org shows ND as being a licensed open carry state, but I can find no state statute to support that conclusion.

    I certainly hope that a permit is not required for open carry. I always regarded North Dakota as one of the more free states with less government intrusion.

    In any case, it doesn't really affect me at this point. My visit there is long since over and I carried my weapon openly, even though I do not have a valid ND carry permit.

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    Like Mike said, there could be and are many different statutes governing the carrying of handguns in any given state. A person has to follow all of them unless one provides as an exception or defense compliance with another. In the case of North Dakota, here is a quick list of the statutes that collectively bar OC (or at least loaded OC) without a license:

    N.D. Code § 62.1-02-10 prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle with a handful of exceptions, one of which is for individuals licensed to carry concealed weapons.

    N.D. Code § 62.1-03-01 prohibits carrying a loaded handgun with several exceptions, one of which is for individuals licensed to carry concealed weapons.

    Finally, the concealed weapons statute, N.D. Code §§ 62.1-04-01 and 02, that was quoted above.

    Most of North Dakota's gun laws can be found here.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

  10. #10
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    Thanks for those links, WVCDL. It looks like, unfortunately, North Dakota is one of the many states violating the constitution and preventing citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights. A shame.

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