Interview: Rep. Dwight Kiefert Talks About Bill To Allow Concealed Carry In Schools

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Rep. Dwight Kiefert is the sponsor of HB1215 which, if passed, would allow local school districts to decide if they want to allow concealed carry of weapons on school property. The bill would also allow those schools to keep that decision a secret if they choose.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2U-r74Ygw0&w=640&h=480]

I was curious about Rep. Kiefert why schools should be able to decide this matter in secret. I wondered if the bill might not get some push-back from parents wanting to know if concealed carry was happening at the schools where they send their children.

Kiefert explained that his concern is that school districts which debate the issue and decide to ultimately not allow concealed carry might be making targets of themselves, notifying would-be shooters that their schools will continue to be vulnerable. Kiefert acknowledged, however, that the bill would allow schools to make their decisions public if they wish.

Kiefert’s bill is separate from HB1283 which doesn’t have the provision allowing the decision to be made in secret and which also removes the state prohibition on concealed carry in churches.

I’m sympathetic to Kiefert’s justification for the secrecy, but I’m not sure I’m convinced. Our schools are already “gun free zones” by default, which I’m afraid makes them targets by default. I’d like to see schools end the “gun free zone” nonsense for the sake of making all our children safer, but that debate should be had out in the open.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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