I do not have a protection order against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?
It depends. Even if the abuser was never convicted of a crime and you do not have a protection order against him/her, North Dakota state law prohibits the possession of any firearm under any of these other circumstances:
- if s/he has ever been:
- diagnosed as:
- a “person requiring treatment” due to mental illness or chemical dependence; or
- a “mentally deficient person;” and
- confined or committed to a hospital or other institution (in any state) by a court;1 or
- diagnosed as:
- if s/he is under the age of eighteen (unless it’s for hunting, target shooting, etc., and under the direct supervision of an adult).2
In addition, if the abuser applies for a concealed weapons license in North Dakota, s/he should be denied the license if s/he falls into either of the categories listed above; or a court has declared him/her to be mentally incompetent.3
If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our ND Advocates and Shelters page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.
For additional information on gun laws in North Dakota, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 ND Statutes § 62.1-02-01(1)(c)
2 ND Statutes § 62.1-02-01(1)(d)
3 ND Statutes § 62.1-04-03(1)(c)
I've read through all of this information and I am still confused. What can I do?
Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing. There are people who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law. You can:
- contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111 x 2;
- contact us by writing to our Email Hotline;
- contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.