Back in January, we broke the news that Rep. Luke Simons (R – District 36) was sponsoring legislation — House Bill 1381 — to prohibit taxpayer funded gun buyback programs. In February, the House passed the bill on a vote of 66-26. The Senate followed up by doing the same on a vote of 33-12 less than two weeks ago.
In case you’re not familiar with gun buyback programs, they’re used as something of an alternative to gun control in an effort to reduce the number of guns in society. Participants bring in guns and exchange them for cash, gifts (usually gift cards), or vouchers. The programs are typically conducted with the help of law enforcement and the guns are destroyed.
HB 1381 strictly forbids a “state agency, political subdivision, or any law enforcement agency of this state” from participating “in the implementation, administration, or operation of a firearm buyback program.” Nor can they “expend any taxpayer dollars for the purpose of implementing, administering, or otherwise operating a firearm buyback program.”
With such a strict prohibition upon the state, political subdivisions, and law enforcement, HB 1381 may just be the most restrictive law in the nation. This is a good thing. After all, not only is it inappropriate for the government to be involved in such programs, but they’ve been proven to be horribly ineffective in achieving their supposed objective of reducing crime.
One of the criticisms of the bill, from its opponents, was that buybacks aren’t being conducted in North Dakota. Up until the floor debate in the Senate, those of us here at The Minuteman weren’t sure they had ever been done in the state. But Senator Curt Kreun (R – District 42) — who carried the bill — clarified that. Senator Kreun — a Grand Forks city councilman in years past — told the Senate that the City of Grand Forks had actually conducted a buyback program once and that it wasn’t effective.
Senator Kreun’s comments were powerful, but in addition to those we also had the fact that “March for Our Lives” brought their gun control agenda to Bismarck and Standing Rock a year ago. And part of that agenda — shown on their own website — is support for gun buyback programs.
There was also the fact that two national gun control advocates criticized HB 1381. What does it tell us when out of state anti-gunners are paying attention to North Dakota’s gun legislation?
Thanks to the Rep. Luke Simons, the North Dakota Legislature, and Governor Doug Burgum, we won’t have to worry about taxpayer dollars being used for such things again in North Dakota. Governor Burgum signed HB 1381 this week and it was filed with the Secretary of State’s office today.
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