Legislature Should Absolutely Overturn Fargo’s (Already Illegal) Restrictions on Gun Sales


MINOT, N.D. — Some of Fargo’s city leaders need to be reminded that their community is not some autonomous city-state.

Fargo is, in fact, a political subdivision of the State of North Dakota.

I’m writing in the context of the debate over a Fargo ordinance outlawing transactions for firearms in private homes. We aren’t talking about people setting up gun counters in their living rooms. Due to heavy, often convoluted regulations purchasing firearms is often not an easy task. For instance, if you buy a gun online, you can’t have it shipped directly to you. It must first be received by someone with the proper licensing from the federal government.

The people who hold those licenses provide that service for a fee. They often conduct those transactions from their homes.

There aren’t many people in Fargo who do this. There were just seven in May of last year when then-Fargo Police Chief David Todd said there hadn’t been any complaints about them. The ordinance has actually been in place since 2007, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which licenses these firearm dealers, continued to issue licenses until recently when they became aware of the ordinance.

Those wishing to shut down these at-home transactions in Fargo aren’t responding to any real-world problem. They’re acting based on knee-jerk, anti-gun sentiment.

Now the Legislature may step in. House Bill 1248, introduced by state Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo), would reportedly overturn Fargo’s existing ordinance on gun sales.

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