Earlier this year North Dakota lawmakers passed “constitutional carry” legislation which essentially allows any lawful gun owner to carry a firearm concealed without a permit.
Yesterday, during a radio interview about national reciprocity legislation (which passed the House last night), Stenehjem said there’s still plenty of demand for permits despite that reform.
“I thought…we’d see a reduction. That’s not happening,” Stenehjem, whose office issues the permits, told me.
“People still want that license,” he added saying that the state now has about 47,000 active concealed carry permits.
As for national reciprocity, Stenehjem has joined North Dakota to 23 other states urging Congress to pass it. I also spoke to Congressman Kevin Cramer yesterday who told me the version of the bill coming out of the U.S. House would apply to North Dakota’s constitutional carry law.
Meaning that lawful North Dakota gun owners could conceal carry in any other state which allows it without a permit.
Stenehjem thinks that would be a big win for constitutional rights.
“I don’t think you should need to surrender rights you have because you cross over into another state,” he told me, though he cautioned that North Dakotans would still have to abide by gun laws in other states should they carry there.
Here’s the full audio of our interview: