Gov. Jack Dalrymple: House Bill 1241, allowing a major expansion of where concealed weapon permit holders can legally carry a firearm, is not a good bill and should be vetoed.

Overwhelming majorities in both branches of the Legislature passed the bill, but the bill still deserves a veto as it is a dangerous precedent that will bring more weapons in the public arena.

In February, the Tribune editorialized that the bill was not a good idea and a reading of the bill sent to the governor does not change our mind. Our major concern regarding this expansion still exists — allowing untrained or little-trained individuals with guns in the public area is a recipe for disaster.

Even seemingly sensible, trained and competent law enforcement personnel sometimes struggle with making good decisions on when and where to use firearms. Just look at all of the instances across the nation these past few months and as recent as last week. It does not make sense to bring more firearms into the public, carried by people with not even an expectation of competence with the weapon.

After all, North Dakota law does not require that a gun owner 18 or over have completed any physical training with the weapon, only that he pass a written, 10-question (open book) test with 100 percent.

Now we have a bill before the governor removing the Class B misdemeanor penalty for carrying a concealed weapon at many public events. If this bill is signed by the governor, a concealed weapons holder may now carry at a political rally or other political function, music concerts, publicly own parks and restrooms, and it would allow concealed carry in off-sale stores.

Sen. Kelly Armstrong, a sponsor of the bill, said, “Concealed weapons permit holders are not the problem. They are good guys. They’re the ones who are law-abiding citizens.”

Really, are you sure, senator? If it was that easy to tell who the good guys were this conversation would not be necessary. Every day someone gets shot in this country by “one of the good guys.” Someone who was issued a permit to own and went mad at a later date.

Don’t get us wrong, we are strong defenders of the Second Amendment.

Our beef is not with the right to bear arms. Our beef is with where they should be carried, and that is not at public events.

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