ND House passes bill to avoid enforcing possible federal gun control law

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Under a bill that passed the legislature on Monday, North Dakota law enforcement might soon not be allowed to help investigate or enforce federal gun law. That’s only if the federal law in question is more restrictive than state law.

In essence, the bill aims to dodge gun regulations being considered by Congress that state lawmakers anticipate would infringe on the second amendment if enacted. Although some police testified the bill would prevent local and federal agents from working together, bill supporters say it includes exceptions that still allow for that cooperation.

But whether the legislature should pass a bill based on the potential of overreaching federal gun law, was a point of contention during debate.

“If we want to sit here and talk about fantasy bills that’ll never pass the House, much less the Senate of the United States, as the reason for what we’re doing, we’re just living in fear,” Rep. Marvin Nelson said.

“The comment ‘fantasy bill’ was used with regard to HR 127. Is it fantasy? It’s hard to say. Would this pass with 60 votes in the Senate? No, never. Does our current president and Congress very much want significant gun restrictions? Absolutely. They’ve explicitly said so,” Rep. Rick Becker said in response.

The bill will next head to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk. Republican legislatures in other states are supporting similar measures, too, amid Democratic support nationally for gun control laws.

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