North Dakota House Passes Bills To Allow Concealed Carry In Schools, Churches And All Public Gatherings

koppelman

In addition to passing HB1467, introduced by Rep. Karen Karls, which disallows the seizure of guns by government officials during declared emergencies the North Dakota House passed bills making significant changes to existing law dictating where concealed carry permit holders can take their guns. Current law prohibits carry in schools, in churches and other sorts of public gatherings. A series of bills passed today allows concealed carry at all public gatherings, and allows for churches and schools to make their own decisions about carry.

Here’s video of the floor debate:

Three of the gun bills passed today got very little debate.

HB1467 passed on a 76-17 vote.

HB1283, introduced by Rep. Kim Koppelman allows concealed carry in churches with the permission of church leadership though it requires churches notify law enforcement as to who they allow to carry. It passed on a 82-11 vote.

HB1366, introduced by Rep. Rick Becker, removes from existing law prohibitions on concealed carry at public events. It passed on a 58-35 vote.

But HB1215, to allow schools to set gun policy locally, by far got the most debate. That surprised me (I’d have guessed Becker’s bill, which is far more broad than any of the others, would have inspired the most debate), but maybe it shouldn’t have. Rep. Kiefert included in his bill an allowance for school districts to make decisions about gun policy in executive session, which is essentially a closed meeting. That had a lot of people, including this observer, worried but Rep. Kim Koppelman made a valid point when he noted that while executive session allows for the issue to be discussed behind closed doors it does not allow for the ultimate decision to remain secret.

That’s at odds with Rep. Kiefert’s argument in favor of closed meetings to keep would-be shooters guessing as to which schools might or might not have armed people in them, but I digress.

“Do we want schools to be gun free zones or not?” asked Rep. Koppelman during the floor debate. As we see shooting after shooting take place in “gun free zones,” it’s clear that banning guns from places like schools have turned them into targets. I think schools ought to have the debate about gun policy out in the open, but by and large HB1215 is a step in the right direction (even though it, like Koppelman’s bill, has been tagged with a requirement that schools notify law enforcement as to who will be carrying on school grounds).

That direction schools that are no longer targets for people looking to rack up a big body count.

Update: An earlier version of this post referenced Sen. Karen Krebsbach instead of Rep. Karen Karls, who actually introduced the bill (obviously since we’re talking about the House). My fault for mixing up Karens.

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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  • RCND

    So far they are on the right track. Lets hope it carries over to remaining gun bills.

    • SusanBeehler

      They off track!

      • camsaure

        Speaking ebonics again?

      • two_amber_lamps

        Word!

        (fail!)

  • WOOF

    In the real world how do police respond to a report of a man in a store or bank or restaurant with a concealed weapon ?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      They probably ask to see his permit, Poodle.

      • WOOF

        What I saw.
        Pulled over driving with a friend by unmarked car. He has me put my hands on the dash, his are on the wheel. Announces to the cops he is armed and has a carry permit. Their guns come out, we’re out of the car hands on the hood while one cop recovers the two shot derringer my friend keeps in the car. Check permit then talk supercharged horsepower.

        In a restaurant, two big guys walk in, each grabs an arm of a guy at the bar. Plant him face down on the floor and take a small pistol out of the guys ankle holster. Then they talk permit.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Sounds like an argument for police reform, not an argument against concealed carry.

          • WOOF

            Not arguing against CC, just asked what the price is in your neck-o-the woods.. Politeness is minimized when there’s a firearm.

        • tony_o2

          In a restaurant, two big guys walk in, each grabs an arm of a guy at the bar. Plant him face down on the floor and take a small pistol out of the guys ankle holster. Then they talk permit.

          http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/northdakota.pdf
          62.1-02-04. Possession of Firearm or Dangerous Weapon in Liquor Establishment or Gaming Site Prohibited

          I don’t believe that any of these new laws changed this existing law. I wouldn’t expect the police to act any differently than if they approached someone carrying a concealed weapon in any other prohibited place.

          And if there was no bar (liquor establishment) I don’t see any reason why they should act any differently than if approaching someone on the street or in their car.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If they react any other way, they’re wrong to.

      • Thresherman

        If it is as said, then I think that a case can and should be made against them.

    • tony_o2

      It depends on why they received a report. If they received a report saying that someone was acting aggressively and was armed, I would expect the police to treat it like they would with any other armed suspect.

      If someone happened to glimpse a gun in someone’s bag or under their apparel, I would see no reason why a reasonable North Dakotan would freak out and call the police. Nonetheless, they should respond as they would if they themselves had spotted a concealed weapon.

      • WOOF

        Imagine you’re a cop encountering a person and realizing they have a concealed firearm.

        • two_amber_lamps

          “Imagine” you’re writing a hypothetical exercise you apparently know nothing about.

          Poor Yip…. you so silly!

          Do you always deal in baseless conjecture?

      • StanB

        I don’t have to imagine. I have a brother who is a cop. All car stops are treated as potentially dangerous, when the suspect declares a permit the doubt is gone and a good cop actually will be happy that one unknown is taken care of. Then he verifies the permit while usually asking the driver to out the firearm on the hood so they can talk more sadly. My brother LOVES permit holders because he knows they are more law abiding then 95% of ALL citizens and will assist when the poop hits the fan and backup is minutes away.

  • Game

    It is funny, I have lived in three declared national emergency zones during my life, and I have never had my guns seized Why do we need that law, is that like a FEMA camp conspiracy law or something?

    I would also like a law saying that Federal Government cannot take my car, my play station, my Nook, or my razor in a national disaster. No they never have, but who is to say they may not!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      It did happen in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, which I think is the motivating factor.

      If it’s never happened before in ND, well then no sweat right?

      • Game

        Exactly. It is a solution looking for a problem.Can law enforcement recover a guns in a flooded home? In a fire damaged home? In a home following a tornado?

        I am not saying they should keep the guns, but they should have every right and the legal authority to seize guns following a disaster until they can be properly returned to the legal owner (or, following a back ground check, the legal owners next of kin).

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          You should really read the law before you comment.

          The law simply prohibits law enforcement from denying anyone their right to legally own and possess a gun during a declared emergency.

          If law enforcement come across a gun just laying around somewhere they can, of course, take possession.

          You’re attacking straw men.

          • two_amber_lamps

            I guess Comrade needs his guns taken from him (as in NO) before he’ll understand the efficacy of anti-seizure legislation.

            Totalitarian regimes appreciate the unwary. They’re a lot easier to round up for “disposition.”

  • Eric Wittliff

    Is there any districts in ND that want HB1215?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Not that i’m aware of, though it’s irrelevant. It’s a permissive law. If a specific school district wants to stay a gun free zone, they can. This law just gives them the option of changing the policy, which they can’t now.

      • Eric Wittliff

        If none of them want it then why would we now shift the administrative time now to each district to re write the local “law.” Where is Olie “your kids will be marsh mellows” Larson and Meier rambling on like they did for the anti-bully bill?

        I hear many times liberals being blamed for laws that just make them feel. if HB1215 is “irrelevant” is this one of those bill on the right side?

        • RCND

          There is nothing to rewrite. This simply gives the school districts the local control they insist on having for most matters over the issue now too. It also makes them answer to the desires of their citizens on this matter one way or the other rather than hiding behind century code to avoid making a decision one way or the other. And that probably is the real reason why they didn’t want to see this pass.

          • SusanBeehler

            Why do you even care you don’t even send your children to public school? Do you carry a gun to make sure they do their assignments? If no citizens put it forward than why make them come up with an answer they are not going to know about because 1215 will be done in secret, no citizens will be giving input at a closed meeting. Are you seeking revenge on the public for siding with Keep It Local, since this is how the liberty folks like to roll, punish them if they don’t give you the control you seek?

          • camsaure

            They still probably wouldn’t let you have a gun on your “short bus” susan.

          • Eric Wittliff

            Play nice Camsaure,

            But seriously another worry you might want to think about is that Schools have to educate ALL children, even ones with personality disorders. If there is a gun in the mix some of the violence might get escalated.

          • camsaure

            I don’t even thin that anyone is attempting to arm the students. Kind of a straw man argument you have there.

          • Eric Wittliff

            Adam Lanza and all the other students that have done done gun violence have always stolen there guns. You think its unreasonable that will not try to steal them while there in the schools? Even the NRA wants to keep guns out of people with large mental health issue, but we are going to put them right in the same building with them.

          • camsaure

            Duh, the guns were NOT stolen in school, and it would have only taken ONE other gun in school to stop him. Still a phony straw man argument you are trying to foist upon everyone.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          The locals don’t have to do anything.

          • SusanBeehler

            Yeah because the government our state government has taken care of it for them whether they wanted it or not.

        • SusanBeehler

          Because the NRA found Representative Kiefert was willing to buy into their gun zone theory and than propagate on to us here in North Dakota. I wonder how much Representative Keifert received in donations from the NRA. Maybe it is was a nice steak dinner and the written legislation he had to take to get the deed done. Then all the other little NRA legislators said me too and signed on the bill or may be they just signed on without reading it.

      • SusanBeehler

        Yeah and maybe La Pierre is going to give a nice donation to the schools who implement this policy. Give the teachers some pretty pink guns to carry to school, in their special back packs.

    • SusanBeehler

      As far as I could tell just the legislator who worked with the NRA lobbyist wanted it.

  • JoeMN

    Looks like ND is on the way to becoming a safer place to live.

  • Dallas

    I’m so relieved that Jesus can pack heat! Are you shittin’ me?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Think of this along the lines of legalizing gay marriage.

      Nobody is saying that any given church has to marry gays. Just that each church can decide whether or not they want to marry gays.

      If you don’t want guns at your church, you and your fellow parishioners can settle that for yourselves.

      Isn’t choice a wonderful thing?

      • SusanBeehler

        Choice is wonderful unless their choice is guaranteed by a gun pointing at the parishioner, get down on your knees! Limited choice when the one telling you to kneel is holding the gun! It so much easier to abuse your authority when you are the one holding the loaded gun.

        • StanB

          you are quoting someone who has snapped right? Permitted people carrying rarely threaten people. I was in a crowd of 300 last weekend where at least 200 were carrying at a rally for 2A. The only fear I had was some liberal in a minivan deciding to drive through the crowd at a high rate of speed taking out as many as she could.

          • SusanBeehler

            A rally for 2A is quite different than children attending church or school. Why would you be afraid of a vehicle, when you are all armed just shoot out the tires and shoot the driver? Or were their children carrying too?

          • two_amber_lamps

            “shoot out the tires”

            Lil Ms.SuzyDullard… do you think a two ton vehicle with it’s tires shot out suddenly becomes immobile?

            Holy crap you demented creature… you live in cartoon-world.

        • JoeMN

          Oh I see, however if this same church was declared (by the liberal gods of insanity ) a “gun free zone “, this scenario would be changed in what way ?

          PS I’ll pray for you to come up with a good answer.

          • SusanBeehler

            Our churches in North Dakota have been gun free. Now instead of just asking who will be teaching Sunday School, we will be asking who is allowed to bring guns in, then hope they are not the abusers which have plagued some denominations. A gun brings more power to the one holding it against a potential victim.

          • JoeMN

            A gun brings more power to the one holding it against a potential victim.
            Susan

            But a gun brings ultimate power to insure the potential victim remains “potential”.

            And just for the record, I don’t believe

            “we need to ban guns so Catholic priests can’t get hold of them” is going to be a winning argument.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Evans/1538949637 Matt Evans

      Given the number of wackos that have walked into places of worship and opened fire, sadly, this kind of bill has a practical aspect to it.

      We need to eliminate all legislated “gun free zones” in society, because those are simply easy targets for bad guys.

      • SusanBeehler

        Is it easier to tell who the good guys are when everyone the bad and the good have guns? Just asking before we knew who the bad guys were because they had the guns where they weren’t supposed to. Do we have the good guys with guns where white and the bad guys with guns where red? Oh that is just the gangs who where colors.

        • tony_o2

          we knew who the bad guys were because they had the guns where they weren’t supposed to.

          Don’t worry, there are still places that are prohibited. You can still use your sleuth detective skills to figure out who is a bad guy. Unfortunately, your method of identifying the bad guy does nothing to prevent him. He’s already broken your law against firearms in prohibited areas. Not to mention that he has committed multiple counts of murder.

          But what the heck, let’s focus on area possession laws to try and stop people that have snapped and are facing more serious charges. Might as well pass a law that says you cannot leave the house upset….

          Before we pass all these menial laws in hope that the punishment will dissuade the killers from their more serious sentence, we should talk about how the victims can protect themselves. Are they better to be fish in a barrel?

      • SusanBeehler

        You piping what Wayne LaPierre wants you to say or did you have a prayerful conversation with your God? WWJD

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