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North Dakota’s hate and gun laws have significant gaps that allow people to keep and access guns, including assault weapons, after they have been convicted of violent hate crimes.u003cbru003e

Access to Guns for People Convicted of Hate Crimes in North Dakota
Violence with Severe Bodily InjuryViolence with Bodily InjuryOther Crimes Involving Intentional Use of ForceThreats with Deadly Weapons
Other Credible Threats to Physical Safety
u003cstrongu003eFederal Lawu003c/strongu003eSome accessSignificant accessSignificant accessSome access
Some access
u003cstrongu003eState Lawu003c/strongu003eSome accessSome accessSome accessSome access
Some access

North Dakota’s only criminal law directed against hate is a narrow statute banning discrimination, including through injury or intimidation, in public places.1

Under North Dakota law, people are prohibited from accessing guns for 10 years after completing a sentence for a felony involving violence or intimidation, or for 5 years for any other felony.2 The state also restricts people from accessing guns for 5 years for a class A misdemeanor involving violence or intimidation if the person used or possessed a dangerous weapon when committing the crime.3 North Dakota does not otherwise prohibit people convicted of violent hate crime misdemeanors from accessing guns for any period of time. 

Because the maximum punishment for misdemeanors in North Dakota is well under two years in prison,4hate crime offenders are only subject to federal firearm restrictions if they are convicted of felonies.5

North Dakota generally classifies violent hate crimes as felonies if they involve infliction or attempted infliction of “serious” bodily injury, bodily injury through use of a deadly weapon, firing a gun at another person,6 as well as certain threats of violence.7 People convicted of such offenses are generally restricted from accessing guns for 10 years under state law and permanently under federal law.

However, people convicted of hate-motivated misdemeanors generally have nearly unrestricted access to guns, including those convicted of violently inflicting “substantial” (as opposed to “serious”) bodily injury,8 threatening imminent serious bodily injury,9 and stalking.10 People convicted of such offenses are restricted from accessing guns for five years under state law if they used or possessed a dangerous weapon in committing the crime.


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  1. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-14-04.[]
  2. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 62.1-02-01.[]
  3. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 62.1-02-01.[]
  4. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-32-01(5)-(7).[]
  5. Federal law generally prohibits people from accessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony punishable by over one year in prison, or a state law misdemeanor punishable by more than two years. 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1); 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20)(B).[]
  6. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-17-02(1) (felony “Aggravated assault”).[]
  7. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-17-04 (felony “Terrorizing”). []
  8. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-17-01.1 (class A misdemeanor “Assault”); see also, State v. McAllister, 939 N.W.2d 502, 509 (2020).[]
  9. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-17-05 (class A misdemeanor “menacing”). See also, N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-17-07(1)(a).[]
  10. N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-17-07.1 (class A misdemeanor “stalking”). []