Buying Ammo and Guns in North Dakota

DISCLAIMER: It is your full responsibility to make sure the firearm, ammunition, or accessories you are purchasing is legal for you to own in your state or jurisdiction. The information contained throughout this web site, including the firearm and ammunition state guide provided below, is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.

This piece discusses the ammunition and firearms laws of the state of North Dakota. To do so, the piece starts off with the relevant ammunition laws, with an eye on explaining the legal processes for having ammunition shipped to a residential address in the state. From there, the piece then covers the firearms laws, both in terms of buying guns in the state as well as the carriage of firearms. To finish things up, the piece concludes with some resources we think you’d find useful if you are interested in legally buying, owning, and carrying firearms in the state of North Dakota.

This piece is not intended as legal advice. Instead, We hope that you take the information here into consideration when you make your own, informed decisions.

Like many states, North Dakota has preemption: this means that the state government forbids smaller political units such as counties, cities, and towns, from making firearms laws that are stricter than those at the state level. This is good news for gun owners in the state, as it means that your understanding of state law applies to the entire state on a practical level.

North Dakota is one of the most permissive states in the USA in terms of its ammunition and firearms laws: the state has no outright bans on guns, accessories, or ammunition, and the process for carrying a firearm in the state is a very simple one. These permissive rules make North Dakota an extremely gun-friendly state. 

Ammo Laws/Buying Ammo in North Dakota 

First, we will cover the ammo laws of the state.

North Dakota’s ammunition laws are highly permissive: the state does not have any laws that ban any specific types of ammunition. Because the state has little ammunition regulation, buying ammo in the state follows the federal processes outlined by the ATF.

The ATF stipulates two sets of requirements to purchase ammunition. The first is an age requirement: buyers have to be eighteen years of age or older to buy ammunition for long guns such as rifles and shotguns, and at least twenty-one to buy ammo for handguns. Second, buyers cannot be prohibited persons, which the ATF defines as people who have been convicted of a felony or domestic violence, those who have been found mentally unfit in a court of law, and people who have been involuntarily committed to an inpatient mental health facility for treatment.

Assuming that the buyer meets ATF’s requirements to purchase ammunition, North Dakota’s state laws allow that ammunition to be shipped to a residential address in the state. Some carriers might impose their own rules, however, such as asking for an adult with valid identification to be present to sign for packages that contain ammunition.

Because the rules for buying ammunition and having it shipped to a home in North Dakota are governed by federal rules, the state can be considered highly permissive when it comes to the buying of ammo: online retailers are happy to ship ammo to the state and this is often a great way for shooters to get the best deals. 

Gun Laws/Buying Guns in North Dakota 

Next, we will do the same for gun laws.

The gun laws in North Dakota are similarly permissive when compared to its ammunition laws. The state does not ban magazines of any capacity, and there’s no assault weapons ban that would ban weapons by either naming them or by a list of prohibited features. This state is also fine with its residents owning NFA items such as machine guns, suppressors, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns. Of course, with NFA items, federal restrictions and legal processes apply in North Dakota, just like they do in the rest of the country.

Buying a firearm from an FFL in North Dakota follows the federally mandated process. Thus, the buyer should bring both a valid form of identification and a form of payment to their chosen firearms retailer. Once there, the FFL will have the buyer fill out Form 4473 from the ATF, which both records the purchase and begins a background check. As soon as the aforementioned background check clears, the buyer can leave with their firearm the same day.

North Dakota does not mandate waiting periods when purchasing firearms, and neither does the state require background checks for selling firearms between private parties. In effect, buying a gun in North Dakota is only governed by federally set regulations, which makes the state highly permissive in terms of buying firearms.

This permissiveness continues in terms of carrying firearms as well. North Dakota allows its residents to carry firearms either openly or concealed. Neither method of carry requires a permit. Like most states that have adopted permitless carry, North Dakota still does issue concealed carry permits on a shall-issue basis.  Although this permit does not have much benefit for folks who only plan to carry a firearm within North Dakota, it does allow North Dakota residents to carry legally in the states that recognize the North Dakota Permit.

All states have a list of places where it is prohibited to carry firearms. In North Dakota, that list includes:

  • Federal Facilities (Including Post Offices, which is true in the whole country)

  • Airport Terminals

  • Airplanes

  • The State Capitol Building

  • K-12 Schools, Unless with a Concealed Carry Permit

This list is among the shortest in the nation, thus North Dakota is permissive in where and when its citizens can carry firearms as well. 

Overall, North Dakota’s firearms and ammunition laws are among the most permissive in the country. The state does not have any onerous bans on ammunition, firearms, or accessories. Additionally, the purchasing and carriage processes are virtually free from state-level interference, and thus the majority of the gun laws enforced in North Dakota are Federal. This permissiveness extends even to contemporary issues. For example, North Dakota has been sure to clarify that binary triggers are not machine guns, and thus will not be considered as such within the state.

Sales Tax on Guns/Ammo in North Dakota 

The state of North Dakota assesses a base sales tax rate of 5%. Some localities impose additional taxes up to an effective sales tax rate of 8.5%, making this a state where it might be worth shopping around for an FFL that is in one of the lower-taxed areas. North Dakota does not impose special, additional taxes on firearms or ammo.

More Resources:

  • The ATF maintains a list of every FFL in the country, including those located in North Dakota. This list can be used to locate local gun stores, which are usually Type One or Type Two FFLs. 

  • is an excellent tool for finding conveniently located ranges. Use the mileage, zip code, and city filters to locate a range that works for you. Users can add new ranges, too, and the information is checked for accuracy regularly.

  • There are a number of well-rated gun stores in the state.

  • There is a North Dakota Fishing and Hunting Forum that, while not specific to only firearms, has an active community that shares relevant events, local deals, and information for shooting and firearms in the state. 

North Dakota Gun Law FAQ:

There’s an argument to be made that North Dakota is the most gun-friendly state in the US. There are very few state-level regulations, and there are no permits required to carry a firearm in the state. This lack of state interference makes North Dakota a gun-friendly state. 

As long as the buyer isn’t a prohibited person, and is old enough (18 for long gun ammo and 21 for handgun ammo), North Dakota does not prevent people from having ammo shipped to their homes. So feel free to shop online for ammo in North Dakota, but the carrier might ask for ID to sign for the package.

No, the state has permitless carry, both open and concealed. The state does still offer their carry permits, though. The permit allows for North Dakota residents to carry in k-12 school in limited cases, as well as in a number of other states.

The state does not have an assault weapons ban at this time, and it is highly unlikely that one would pass in the state, were it proposed.

The State of North Dakota does not prohibit its citizens from owning any NFA items. With that said, federal rules still apply, so expect to fill out a lot of ATF paperwork, pay some fees, and wait as long as the ATF deems necessary to take possession of any NFA item, even in extremely permissive states such as North Dakota.