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 See our Preemption of Local Laws policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

Preemption Statute

North Dakota Century Code section 62.1-01-03, states:

A political subdivision, including home rule cities or counties, may not enact any ordinance relating to the purchase, sale, ownership, possession, transfer of ownership, registration, or licensure of firearms and ammunition which is more restrictive than state law. All such existing ordinances are void.

Section 62.1-01-04 also prohibits a state agency, political subdivision, or any law enforcement agency from conducting a firearm buyback program or participating in the implementation, administration, or operation of a firearm buyback program.


As of the date this page was last updated, Giffords Law Center is not aware of any significant case law interpreting North Dakota’s preemption statute.

Other Statutory Provisions

Though section 62.1-02-05 generally prohibits possession of a firearm at a public gathering, subsection 62.1-02-05(3) states that a political subdivision may still enact a less restrictive ordinance relating to the possession of firearms at a public gathering, and that such an ordinance supersedes section 62.1-02-05 within the jurisdiction of the political subdivision.

Section 37-01-21 prohibits a municipality from raising or appropriating money toward arming, equipping, supporting, or providing drillrooms or armories for any body of people associating as a military company or parading in public with firearms, with some exceptions.1

Section 42-01-01.1 provides that a rule, resolution, or ordinance relating to noise control, noise pollution, or noise abatement adopted by the state or a political subdivision may not be applied to prohibit the operation of a sport shooting range, provided the conduct was lawful and being conducted before the adoption of the rule, resolution, or ordinance. However, a political subdivision may regulate the location and construction of a sport shooting range after August 1, 1999.2 Section 42-01-01.1 specifically states that it applies to a county or city enacting a home rule charter under chapter 11-09.1, 40-05.1, or 54-40.4, “notwithstanding any other provision of law.”


For state laws prohibiting local units of government (i.e., cities and counties) from filing certain types of lawsuits against shooting ranges and the gun industry, see our page on Immunity Statutes in North Dakota.

  1. Exceptions include for escort duty at military burials, or for students in educational institutions where military science is taught.[]
  2. N.D. Cent. Code § 42-01-01.1.[]