Video: Democrat Lawmaker Says Concealed Carry Bill Will "Open Up The Door To Terrorists"


HB1241 is legislation that cleans up and simplifies North Dakota law governing concealed carry. As amended it makes a number of changes to the law such as expanding concealed carry in establishments that sell alcohol. Currently you can’t carry in any establishment that serves alcohol. Under HB1241, you can conceal carry in establishments that serve off-sale alcohol (read: liquor stores), but not bars or restaurants that serve on-sale.

It also clarifies problematic “public gathering” language which is extremely vague in existing code. It now defines them as athletic or sporting events, schools, churches, and any publicly owned or operated buildings.

One could look at the legislation as an expansion of concealed carry rights. One could also look at the legislation as clarification of existing law.

Rep. Bill Amerman, a Democrat from Forman, looks at the legislation as blank check for terrorists and the mentally disturbed.

vote“We’re opening the door to terrorists and people with mental health problems,” he said during the floor debate over the bill.

He compared people who carry concealed to those who “want to feel like John Wayne” or who see a threat “behind every tree” or who have “lost their faith” in their fellow man.

“I’m not going to open the door to let these criminals into concerts and parks,” he continued, explaining his no vote on the bill.

I’m not sure Amerman’s argument makes sense, though. He’s concerned that terrorists and others bent on murder will be able to obtain their concealed carry permits and use them to access concerts and parks with their guns where they can open fire.

But how likely is it that someone bent on mass murder is going to bother to go through the training and other steps required to get a concealed carry permit? I’m not sure Amerman’s scenario is very credible.

The bill ultimately passed on a 74-19 vote (see to the right) with every Republican in the chamber (except Rep. Mary Johnson), and a few Democrats, voting yes. The vote signified the House concurring with the Senate’s amendments to the bill, so it now goes to Governor Jack Dalrymple for signature.