At least 16 proposed laws or resolutions dealing with firearms are being debated during the current North Dakota legislative session. Proposals range from allowing firearms in schools and churches to a rebuke of an International Arms Treaty.
In a state where rights of gun owners have always been strong, proposed legislation that would have eliminated certain semi-automatic firearms and high capacity magazines were hastily withdrawn.
Among the most strongly worded documents is a concurrent resolution relating to consideration of a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty in the U.S. Senate. Included in the resolution is, "Whereas, the harmful potential of the Treaty led a bipartisan coalition of 51 United States senators to express the strongest expression of concern and opposition on the potentially devastating consequences of the Treaty to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a letter dated July 26, 2012."
The resolution also contains the wording, "Be it further resolved, that this resolution shall serve as notice to the federal government that the state of North Dakota hereby claims, for its citizenry, the natural right and the codified right for both the state militia and the individual citizens of North Dakota to keep and bears arms, in compliance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of North Dakota's Declaration of Rights..."
The concurrent resolution was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. A concurrent resolution is usually proposed for the purpose of clarifying a position on an issue or event and does not have the force of law. No action has been taken.
A proposed bill that would forbid "state governmental entities from providing aid and assistance to the federal government or any other governmental entity for the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of federal firearms laws not in force as of January 1, 2013" received a "do pass" recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee. HB1183 has been placed on the House calendar for a vote. If the bill passes the House it will be forwarded to the Senate.
House Bill 1215 would amend the North Dakota Century Code to allow school boards to hold executive sessions for the purpose of discussing of policy allowing concealed weapons license holders to possess a firearm in a school. The bill received a "do pass" recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee and will receive a vote from House members.
Stun guns devices that deliver high voltage intended to render recipients harmless are currently illegal to carry concealed unless the individual possesses a concealed weapons permit. Senate Bill 2239 would amend current law to allow any individual to carry a "device that uses direct contact to deliver voltage for the defense of an individual." The bill passed the Senate 44-1 and has been forwarded to the House.
As proposed, House Bill 1467 would prohibit the governor, during an emergency, from suspending or limiting the sale of firearms and ammunition. The bill received a "do pass" recommendation in the Judiciary Committee and has been forwarded to the full House.
House Bill 1241 has been introduced for the purpose of clarifying who may carry a firearm at a gaming site, namely private security personnel. The bill passed the House on second reading 85-0 and is now under consideration in the Senate.
Senate Bill 2145 and House Bill 1366 relate to the carrying of a firearm at public gatherings. SB2145 swept through the Senate 46-0 and is in the hands of the House Judiciary Committee. HB 1366 received a "do not pass" recommendation. House Bill 1282, relating to using suppressors for hunting, passed the House on second reading 90-2 and is currently under consideration in the Senate.