Using deadly force to protect nuclear weapons
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota has a problem protecting its nuclear weapons: having properly classified guardsmen.
The state senate passed SB 2116 that would allow guardsmen to use deadly force to protect nuclear weapons from theft, sabotage, destruction, or other threats to the devices and those protecting them.
While protecting nuclear weaponry, which are federally owned, state guardsmen are given a temporary status to protect the weapons.
Under the state code, the guardsmen weren’t authorized to use deadly force, but they did under the federal code.
This bill gives the guardsmen authority to use deadly force to protect the warheads regardless of which jurisdiction they’re acting under at the time.
“I don’t think people understand that these kinds of weaponry are not only sometimes located in or around North Dakota, but they also pass through North Dakota. Could be a train or a truck. And if they need protection, they need protection,” said Sen. Dave Oehlke, R-Devils Lake.
By giving state guardsmen federal authority, the state doesn’t lose any federal funds for storing, transporting, nor protecting nuclear weapons.
There are 150 missile silos in North Dakota, with the first one being installed back in 1963.
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