North Dakota May Get Legislation Addressing Concealed Carry Permitting

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A credible source with ties to the law enforcement community writes to say that there may be a push for new legislation addressing concealed carry permitting in North Dakota for the legislative session starting next month.

My source emails:

I have heard rumblings the Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Association wants to push some new legislation on concealed weapons permits. I have not seen it and nothing has been prefiled, but it is something to keep an eye out for. …

What I could tell from the agenda is it appears like BCI is in the lead for drafting it, and they were most likely at this meeting seeking input and support.

Maybe it is nothing, but agency prefiles are due soon and I have not seen it pop into the system so that tells me they may be trying to keep it off the radar as long as they can.

If there is something in the works, it wouldn’t be surprising that they want to keep it off the radar. North Dakota is a very pro-gun state, and any new legislation perceived as making gun purchases, gun ownership and/or gun possession more difficult is likely to meet with serious opposition.

Last week I’d heard rumors from a source in the media that Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was making noises about gun control. I emailed Stenehjem and he denied the rumors. “The only public comment on the topic that I’ve made lately was when I was in Fargo for the news conference on DUI legislation,” he told me in an email response. “One of the TV reporters asked about gun laws. I said I think ND has good legislation on the books now, and that they work well for us.”

That would seem to make it unlikely that Stenehjem is going to be a vocal proponent for tougher laws.

It’s obvious that gun control advocates, nationally, see the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting as an opening for them politically, but being anti-gun in North Dakota is a very risky proposition politically. It seems unlikely that the legislature would pass any new gun control laws, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they did end up voting on that sort of legislation.

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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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