It’s amazing what a difference four years and a new president makes. Rep. Luke Simons’ (R – District 36) House Bill 1272 received an 11-3-0 Do Pass recommendation from the House Industry, Business, and Labor Committee two days ago. Four years ago, the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee gave it a 12-0-2 Do Not Pass.
Make no mistake about it, with Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats controlling the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, HB 1272 is one of the most important pieces of legislation in Bismarck this session.
As I mentioned yesterday in an article about Rep. Rick Becker’s bill to prohibit North Dakota enforcing federal gun laws, it’s likely that we’ll see an all-out assault on the Second Amendment from gun grabbers in DC. It’s essential that states take the necessary steps to push back and nullify such efforts. Rep. Simons’ bill is a key component to that for our state.
If passed, HB 1272 would recognize the ability of both commercial operations and private individuals to manufacture firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition in the state — regardless of federal law — as long as those items remain within our borders. In other words, North Dakota would become a sanctuary state for guns.
As you can see from the discussion within the committee hearing, much of the argument for this bill rests on the idea of intrastate commerce. Rep. Jim Kasper (R – District 46) did an excellent job explaining this idea, before motioning for the Do Pass recommendation. The entire hearing is worth listening to.
More importantly, what we must recognize is that the United States Constitution does not grant us the right to “keep and bear arms”. As one author rightly put it:
“By its very terms, the Constitution does not give anyone any rights, including the right to keep and bear arms. The purpose of the Constitution was simply to call the federal government into existence and to set the powers that it would have. If a power was listed, the government could exercise it. If a power was not listed, it could not exercise it.
“Thus, the question naturally arises: Did the Constitution give to the federal government the power to control people’s ownership of weapons? It did not. That’s because the American people did not want a government that would have the power to infringe on people’s natural, God-given rights.”
In 2017, Rep. Simons’ efforts were defeated handily on a vote of 22-70 in the House. It’ll take a serious movement to succeed this time. Please, reach out to your legislators and tell them you want to see HB 1272 get a green vote.
Perhaps this reminder from Thomas Paine would be appropriate too:
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
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- North Dakota Bill Versions: HB 1272 (nd.gov)
- Industry, Business and Labor | North Dakota Legislative Branch
- North Dakota Bill Actions: HB 1391 (nd.gov)
- Energy and Natural Resources | North Dakota Legislative Branch
- Becker Takes 3rd Shot at Limiting Enforcement of Fed’s Gun Laws – The Minuteman Blog
- Joe Biden’s Plan to End Gun Violence | Joe Biden for President
- North Dakota Legislative Branch Video (nd.gov)
- The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a Natural Right | Tenth Amendment Center
- Find My Legislator Lookup: Legislative Assembly: State of North Dakota
- “Summer soldiers and Sunshine patriots” – The American Crisis | American Battlefield Trust (battlefields.org)