One of the first articles we published, when The Minuteman went live with a website in January of 2017, was “The Time Has Come for Constitutional Carry in North Dakota“. Many of us had anticipated the legislation to surface during the 2017 Legislative Session. So, when Rep. Rick Becker (R – District 7) threw House Bill 1169 in the hopper, excitement spread across the state.
As Becker’s Constitutional Carry bill worked its way through the legislative process, it certainly wasn’t without its opponents. But it ultimately sailed through the House by a vote of 83 – 9 and passed the Senate 34 – 13. And despite the illogical call from former Republican governor Ed Schafer for current governor Doug Burgum to veto the bill, Burgum signed it into law anyhow.
One of those on the Senate side that opposed the bill was Senator Erin Oban (D – District 35). As you’re probably aware, Senator Oban is running for re-election against former NDGOP Chairman Gary Emineth. In March, we expressed “Some Reasons Why State Senator Erin Oban Needs to Go“. Her opposition to Constitutional Carry was first on our list.
This bill was one of the major victories for North Dakotans to come out of the 2017 Legislative Session. With its passage, the requirement for qualified individuals to have a Concealed Weapons Permit, in order to carry a gun concealed, was eliminated.
Passing Constitutional Carry was the logical thing to do. The idea that a person must obtain a permit to carry concealed is antithetical to the idea of “the right of the People to keep and bear arms.” When an individual must seek permission from the government, it is no longer a right but relegated to the status of a privilege. Rep. Becker’s bill changed that.
Interestingly enough, Senator Oban’s colleagues on the House side from District 35 are both Republicans. Representatives Karen Karls and Bob Martinson both voted in favor of Constitutional Carry. Only Oban got it wrong. With just 68 days to go to the general election, voters in District 35 shouldn’t forget this. It’s time to send the lone Democratic senator packing in favor of someone who will actually support the people’s right to keep and bear arms.