Bill Letting Politicians Carry Concealed at Public Gatherings Gets Amended, but It’s Still Not Very Good

SB2139, which started out as a bill to give those licensed to carry concealed a 10 day window to produce their permit if caught by law enforcement, was amended earlier this legislative session to also give elected officials the right to carry concealed in public gatherings.

Here’s the amended section which passed the House earlier this month 86-5:

As I wrote previously, I don’t like the idea of creating special exemptions under the law for the governing class. Why should politicians and the like get to exercise second amendment rights in instances where private citizens are not allowed?

The bill is now in conference committee and has been amended yet again. It now requires that the politicians who want to exercise this exemption demonstrate a need. Here’s a copy of the amendment text sent to me by Senator Janne Myrdal who proposed it:

I suppose this is something of an improvement in that it narrows the exemption, but I don’t like the idea of any exemption at all.

Keeping and bearing firearms is a civil right. While I’ll grant that we sometimes have to create laws to balance gun rights against others, I don’t like creating law which creates special access to gun rights for certain classes of citizens.

I especially dislike the idea of anyone having to justify their decision to keep or bear a firearm.

We shouldn’t have to justify the exercise of any of our rights, whether we’re talking about guns or speech or the right to incriminate ourselves when accused of a crime.

This bill should probably just die.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from 1-2pm weekdays.

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