Constitutional Carry Legislation Had Strong Bipartisan Support

Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, looks at the tally board on Tuesday during the 83-9 House vote on HB1169, a change to the North Dakota constitution allowing the carrying of a concealed firearm. Becker was a co-sponsor of the bill. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

There has been an angry response from some factions of North Dakota politics over Governor Doug Burgum signing into law HB1169, sponsored by Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), which institutes so-called “constitutional carry” in our state.

One trope I’ve been seeing on social media is about how this is just another example of our state’s crazy Republican-led legislature getting up to no good. Except that this bill had strong bipartisan support, including votes from some very prominent Democrats.

Still, it’s hard for Democrats to paint this legislation as some crazy partisan proposal when their leader in the state House, not to mention their most recent gubernatorial candidate, supported the bill.

When the House voted on the bill back in February there were five Democrats who voted for it, including Minority Leader Corey Mock and Rep. Marvin Nelson who ran for governor for the Democrats last year.

In addition to Mock and Nelson Rep. Lois Delmore, Rep. Alisa Mitskog, and Rep. Tracy Boe, all Democrats, voted for the bill per the House Journal (page 759).

There were no Republicans who voted against the bill in the House.

There was no bipartisan support for the bill in the Senate, unfortunately. All nine Democrats voted against the bill, along with four Republicans: Senators Gary Lee, Judy Lee, Karen Krebsbach and Arne Osland per the Senate Journal (page 829).

Still, it’s hard for Democrats to paint this legislation as some crazy partisan proposal when their leader in the state House, not to mention their most recent gubernatorial candidate, supported the bill.

One would presume that, had Nelson defeated Burgum last year, he would have signed the law too.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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