BISMARCK – North Dakota and Minnesota have resolved a longstanding disagreement over reciprocity for concealed weapon licenses.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced Wednesday that effective immediately, Minnesota will recognize Class 1 licenses from North Dakota but not Class 2 licenses, which don't require a shooting proficiency test.
All Minnesota license holders will now have reciprocity in North Dakota.
With the change, North Dakota Class 1 license holders now have reciprocity in 39 states, Stenehjem said.
As of Wednesday, there were 4,080 Class 1 licenses and 35,051 Class 2 licenses issued in North Dakota, attorney general's spokeswoman Liz Brocker said.
Stenehjem said his office had tried for about a decade and through a number of legislative changes to gain reciprocity in Minnesota, but Minnesota's requirement that another state's laws be "substantially" similar to its own stymied the efforts.
The Minnesota Legislature removed the "substantially" language from the requirement earlier this year, and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety determined Tuesday that North Dakota's laws met the new standard.
Stenehjem said he was "very pleased" by the decision, which also affects Minnesotans who had their North Dakota concealed weapon licenses suspended two years ago.
In 2013, the North Dakota Legislature changed the eligibility law for nonresidents to require that an applicant or license holder must be a resident of a state that has reciprocity with North Dakota. As a result, Minnesota residents were no longer eligible for the North Dakota license, so their licenses were suspended.
Those Minnesotans can now apply to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation to have their licenses reinstated. About 330 licenses may be eligible for reinstatement, Brocker said.