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North Dakota Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 07:33 PM

Gun laws are always controversial and spark debate whenever they are changed, enacted, revoked, or even discussed. North Dakota gun laws are no different and several of the changes have brought on heated debate on both sides of the issue. HB 1241 has been introduced by Roscoe Streyle, supported by Roger Brabandt, Karen Karls, B. Koppelman, and Nathan Tomanand, and in the Senate by Kelly Armstrong, Oley Larsen, and Jessica Unruh, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

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Of course, no gun law debate would be complete without a reference to the Bill of Rights. Streyle referred to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution when discussing the state's conceal carry law he is trying to modify. "Why do we carve out exemptions on where citizens are allowed to exercise their inalienable rights?" Streyle said.

"As a state, we have given permission for people to carry conceal carry firearms, but we don't trust those people to be responsible with firearms in certain locations."

No part of the new law has created a more heated debate than the provision in Section 4 that prevents medical workers from asking about firearm possession. Healthcare officials and workers have been unanimous in their opposition of the bill, primarily when treating patients with mental health issues.

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According to Andrew McLean, medical director for the North Dakota Department of Human Services, when treating patients suffering from depression, severe emotional stress or psychosis, knowing if the patient possesses a firearm is pertinent. "It is the role of the medical professional to ascertain risk, keeping in mind the individual's rights as well as the safety of the individual and society," said McLean.

Republican Todd Porter, also a supporter of the bill said that he was asked a series of firearm questions during an annual checkup. According to Porter, "I don't think he had the right to ask me those questions. It made me mad," but under current law, he did have the right. The new law is looking to change that. Municipal Judge Paul Hamers was asked to testify in favor of HB 1241, and stated, "I think everyone should have a doctor that doesn't pre-judge."

However, Courtney Koebele, executive director of the North Dakota Medical Association, cited the First Amendment when arguing against the bill, saying, "It is the duty of medical providers to inquire about access to lethal means when confronted with a person expressing suicidal ideation or intent."

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.


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Gun laws are always controversial and spark debate whenever they are changed, enacted, revoked, or even discussed. North Dakota gun laws are no different and several of the changes have brought on heated debate on both sides of the issue.
north dakota, gun, laws, heated, debate
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2015-33-11
Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 07:33 PM
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