FACT SHEET: Expanding Constitutional Carry to ALL Citizens in North Dakota

March 20, 2023

Constitutional carry, or permitless carry, codifies the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun—open and/or concealed carry—without a permit. It is the primary way states formally recognize the right to bear arms as an extension of the right to self-defense, not as merely a privilege bestowed by the government.

North Dakota currently does not have a law permitting constitutional carry for out-of-state residents while in the state.


How common is constitutional carry?

  • In January 2023, Alabama’s constitutional carry law went into effect, making it the 25th state to pass constitutional carry.
  • 18 of these 25 states had a constitutional carry law go into effect within the last decade.


Why is constitutional carry important?

  • Constitutional carry allows law-abiding Americans to carry firearms freely, without bureaucratic restrictions or governmental mandates like mandatory training requirements and other deterrent or restrictive policies.
  • Low-income citizens will especially benefit from constitutional carry laws in states that currently impose onerous fees throughout the application and permitting process.


  • 33,522 Permits as of August 2022
  • More than 5% of North Dakota adults practice concealed carry.
  • The number of female permit holders has substantially increased. 2010: 11.2%. August 2022: 23.6%
  • The people of North Dakota are estimated to use a gun defensively 10,000 times per year.
  • The 2021 National Firearms Survey estimates that the U.S. has 1.67 million instances annually when someone uses a gun to defend themselves or others around them.

Clearing Up Common Misconceptions Surrounding Constitutional Carry


Constitutional carry does NOT allow felons or other prohibited persons to own/carry a firearm.


  • Under constitutional carry, it remains unlawful for all individuals already prohibited by federal and/or state law—including felons, the mentally ill, users of controlled substances, and convicted domestic abusers—to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm.
  • Under federal and/or state law, all states with constitutional carry still require lawful citizens to undergo background checks before purchasing a firearm from a firearms dealer.


Constitutional carry, or loosening restrictions on the right to carry, will NOT lead to an increase in crime.


  • One study found no statistically significant relationship between constitutional carry laws and homicide.
  • Of the top 10 states with the lowest violent crime rates, 5 have constitutional carry, including the 3 safest—Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

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