North Dakota law does not:
- Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
- Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
- Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
- Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.
North Dakota law authorizes a court that is issuing a domestic violence protection order to require the respondent to surrender for safekeeping any firearm in the respondent’s immediate possession or control or subject to the respondent’s immediate control, if the court has probable cause to believe that the respondent is likely to use, display, or threaten to use the firearm in further acts of violence.1 A court is authorized to include this provision in ex parte temporary protection orders (those issued without notice and a hearing) as well.2 If so ordered, the respondent shall surrender the firearm to the designee of the sheriff of the county, or to the chief of police of the city, where the respondent resides, in the manner, time, and place determined by the assigned law enforcement officer.3 Law enforcement officers are authorized to arrest the respondent if he or she fails to comply.4
A domestic violence protection order, including a temporary ex parte one, is available to any of the following individuals who have been subject to domestic violence: a spouse, family member, former spouse, parent, child, person related by blood or marriage, person in a dating relationship, person presently residing with or who has resided in the past with the abuser, person with a child in common to the abuser, and any person with a sufficient relationship to the abuser as determined by the court.5
When an individual who is charged with or arrested for a crime of violence or threat of violence, stalking, harassment, or a sex offense, who is the subject of an order prohibiting contact, is released from custody before arraignment or trial, the court must require the individual to surrender any firearm in or subject to the individual’s immediate possession or control to the sheriff of the county or chief of police of the city where the individual resides if the court has probable cause to believe that the individual charged or arrested is likely to use, display, or threaten to use a firearm in any further act of violence.6
For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the North Dakota Background Checks and North Dakota Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.
See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.