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State under new concealed permit law

BISMARCK -- Applicants for a North Dakota Concealed Weapon Permit now have a choice of permits.

In an effort to increase the number of states that recognize North Dakota's concealed weapon permits, the law creates a two-tier system, according to a press release from the Office of Attorney General. The law went into effect Saturday.

The Class 2 permit is available to anyone over the age of 18 who passes an open book test, and is the same as the existing permit. To receive a Class 1 permit, however, the applicant must be age 21 or older, complete a course of classroom instruction, take the open book test, and pass a proficiency test, according to the press release.

"Some states refused to recognize our permits because North Dakota did not require a concealed weapon permit holder to complete a shooting proficiency test," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "By creating a two-tier system, we are able to accommodate existing permit holders and still offer a choice to people who are interested in reciprocity with other states."

Two states, Arizona and West Virginia, already have agreed to recognize our new Class 1 permits, although neither state will recognize Class 2 or existing permits. Eleven states that have not extended reciprocity, including Minnesota, are reviewing North Dakota's new laws.

Other changes to the concealed weapons laws and rules that took effect Saturday include:

- Application fee increase to $45

- All testing and classroom instruction must be done in state.

- All existing permits convert to a Class 2 permit and keep the same expiration date. Existing permit holders may apply to upgrade to a Class 1 permit upon completion of the requirements.

There are 12,733 North Dakota concealed weapons permit holders, according to the Office of Attorney General.