DICKINSON, N.D. -- Stark County commissioners on Tuesday, March 2, unanimously approved in a 5-0 vote an act that will immediately go into effect aimed at strengthening the county's preservation of the Second Amendment in the wake of President Joe Biden and Democratic legislators' recent legislation and long-standing policies on gun control.
Elected on a strong gun control platform, Biden has verbally supported a national prohibition on high-capacity magazines, restrictions on firearm sales and laws that would make firearms manufacturers civilly liable for guns used in certain crimes. Currently before the Congress is a resolution, House Resolution 127, which would create specific gun taxes, ban law-abiding gun owners from owning or transferring weapons and would create a mandatory gun registration.
HR 127, which calls for the creation of a mandatory registry listing the names of all gun owners, the number of firearms they possess by serial number and where they maintain and store their guns, has many Second Amendment rights supporters concerned.
The proposed resolution would require all gun owners to participate in the registry, including law enforcement officers and members of the military. The resolution would also require those seeking a gun license to take part in a psychological evaluation, at the licensee's expense, and would make ineligible anyone who has been hospitalized as a result of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, admitted to homicidal or suicidal thoughts, or has been diagnosed with a brain disease. The psychological evaluation would also include other household members, current and former spouses, relatives and associates.
Fighting back against the perceived infringements on the Second Amendment, legislative bodies across the country have introduced bills aimed at turning their states into sanctuaries against overreaches by the federal government.
Introduced by North Dakota’s District 36 Rep. Luke Simons, of Dickinson, the North Dakota House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation in a 69-23 lower chamber vote on Feb. 17 in favor of HB 1272, exempting firearms and accompanying accessories from federal mandates, laws and regulations if those products remain within the state. The legislation, which is yet to be voted on in the state Senate or signed by the governor, is being coined as the “North Dakota gun sanctuary state bill.”
A STRONGER STANCE
The Stark County North Dakota Second Amendment Preservation Act, like HB 1272 protects the rights of gun owners, but takes a much stronger stance.
“Stark County North Dakota declares that it must be the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and that no person, including a public officer or county employee of this county or any political subdivision of this county, can have authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any federal laws, orders, or rules infringing on the right to keep and bear arms,” the act reads. “Any and all federal agents trying to enforce the regulations listed in Section 1 (of the act) shall be subject to arrest by the Stark County North Dakota Sheriff’s Department ... given the full authority to make an arrest of any and all federal agents that violate state laws and enforce the regulations listed in Section 1.”
Introduced by Andrew "Kord" Kordonowy, a U.S. Army veteran and prominent business owner in Dickinson, the Stark County Act outlines the patent rejection of regulations and laws that violate the Second Amendment.
“All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations passed by the Federal Government and specifically any Presidential Administration whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 1 of the Constitution of North Dakota shall be invalid in the county, shall not be recognized by this county, and specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this county,” the act reads.
Kordonowy said the act is currently being considered by two additional political bodies in Bowman and Billings counties, and if similarly passed would signal to Bismarck “the will of the people in southwestern North Dakota” to see the state legislators follow suit.
Stark County Commissioner Ken Zander questioned the legal and political ramifications of passing the act as it relates to economic packages and funds received from the state and federal government for projects currently underway or expected in the near future.
Stark County State’s Attorney Amanda Engelstad said the act, as written, would apply to multiple law enforcement entities operating within the county and that the commission would have to consider their impacts on those entities.
Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee, addressing the commission, said he supported the act and believed that passage would help simmer tensions from residents — while improving the safety of law enforcement and gun owners in the process.
Zander, following a lengthy discussion on his stance on the Second Amendment and the preservation of it, motioned to accept the act as written. The motion was seconded by commissioner Bernie Marsh and passed unanimously in a 5-0 vote.