ND Legislature Bills For Gun Control, Earlier Sunday Alcohol Sales, Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients


There were a lot of interesting bills introduced yesterday down at the legislature. Here’s a summary of what’s been introduced:

Gun Control HB1415 and 1416, both introduced by Democrat Steve Zaiser, would make make high-capacity magazines/belt feeds, etc. illegal as well as so-called “assault weapons.”

From HB1416, which doesn’t apply to the military or law enforcement:

A person may not sell, purchase, or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after July 31, 2013. Under this section, “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition. The term does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept and capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

From HB1415, which also doesn’t apply to military or law enforcement:

A person may not sell, purchase, or possess a semiautomatic rifle manufactured after July 31, 2013, which has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:

a. A folding or telescoping stock;
b. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
c. A bayonet mount;
d. A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; or
e. A grenade launcher.

Neither bill has any co-sponsors, so it seems unlikely that they’re very popular which, in turns, makes it seem unlikely that they’ll pass.

Alcohol Sales HB1367, introduced by Rep. Randy Boehning, would allow earlier sales of alcohol on Sundays. Currently state law prohibits alcohol sale on Sundays before noon. This bill would move that time up to 10:00am.

Governor’s Mansion HB1379 authorizes $6 million for a new governor’s mansion and executive meeting center, to include a $3 million appropriation and a call for another $3 million to be raised in private funds.

Drug Testing HB1385, introduced by Rep. Dennis Johnson, would require drug testing for all recipients of TANF (welfare) and SNAP (food stamps) assistance. A first offense would deny the recipient benefits for a year. A second offense would deny benefits for three years. The welfare recipient would be responsible for the cost of testing. A positive drug test for a parent would not end benefits for a child. Rather, a third-party recipient for those benefits on behalf of the child would have to be designated.

Ethics Commission HB1442, introduced by Rep. Corey Mock, would create a nine-person legislative ethics commission. Four of the members would be picked by the House/Senate’s majority and minority leaders and five members would be picked by the governor including two from lists provided by the state Republican/Democrat parties as well as three from the state’s judicial branch.

Abortion HB1456, introduced by Rep. Bette Grande, would make it a Class C Felony for any doctor to perform an abortion on an unborn child with a heartbeat. An excerpt:

Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this subsection, an individual may not perform an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining, in accordance with standard medical practice, if the unborn child the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. Any individual who performs an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the exception in this subsection shall note in the pregnant woman’s medical records that a medical emergency necessitating the abortion existed.

All of these bills were delayed legislation introduced after the House/Senate deadline for unlimited bill submissions. At this point legislators are very limited as to how many more bills they can introduce, so we shouldn’t be seeing too many new proposals.