Constitutional carry, other gun bills, discussed in Senate committee

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MINOT, N.D. - Based on gun ownership records, North Dakotans are strong believers in the second amendment and the right to bear arms.

A legislative proposal will only strengthen that belief.​

Supporters say constitutional carry is a throw back to the framer's original intent.

State senators will decide whether to send House Bill 1169 to Governor Burgum's desk, which would have North Dakota join more than 10 other states in the practice.

Under North Dakota law, a person needs a concealed carry permit to hide a gun in any way or carry it at night.

"I have a lot of respect for firearms after serving in the Army. We have a lot of rights in North Dakota. We can fly a plane. We can drive a car or hunt deer, but they all require training and a license," said Grady Thorgard, farmer from Northwood.

Constitutional carry would take away the training requirement to conceal and carry firearms, allowing anyone to do so.

"A couple cell phones, my wallet, is all of this stuff, plus a handgun, in my purse going to be safe? I don't know, because I haven't had any training," said Jennifer Kross, Moms Demand Action.

Still, some say they'd feel safer and would appreciate easier access.

"A gun is a great equalizer and it'd be a great thing for us to do," said Donna Henderson, Calvin, N.D.

Others say this would simply make it easier to transport guns.

"I'd like to put to rest any concern that permit-less carry policies would turn North Dakota into the Wild West. This is probably the misconception I hear the most," said Christopher Kopacki, National Rifle Association.

"I don't think constitutional carry means every other person in the state is going to be carrying a gun around. I just can't believe that myself," said Craig Roe, concealed carry instructor.

The full Senate will vote on the bill soon.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a battery of other gun related bills which will soon be voted on as well.

They include allowing churches to designate people who can carry in their buildings without informing law enforcement as well as allowing people with concealed-carry permits and permission from a variety of state leaders to carry guns on public property.