North Dakota House scraps gun seizure bill, blocks tax-payer funded ‘buybacks’
By Chris Eger
The results of a gun buyback in California. Such events, if using public funds or local law enforcement assistance, could be illegal in North Dakota under a bill passed in the state House this week. (Photo: SFPD)
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled body sent a strong pro-gun message on Tuesday by making it illegal to use public dollars to buy private guns while turning away a so-called “red flag” bill.
Approved 66-26 was HB 1381, which both bars the use of taxpayer dollars for firearm “buyback” programs while at the same time making it illegal for law enforcement to support one. Violators face a misdemeanor penalty.
“The state should not be in the business of buying back guns. Ever,” Rep. Luke Simons, a Dickinson Republican and sponsor of the bill, told lawmakers earlier this month.
Scott W. Phillips, an associate professor of criminal justice at SUNY Buffalo State, researched a series of gun buybacks and concluded they do little to impact crime. “Does it work? No,” Phillips told The Buffalo News in 2017. “Should they keep doing it? I wouldn’t bother wasting their time.”
HB 1381 now heads to the state Senate for further review.
Seizure bill sinks
Rejected this week was a measure backed by gun control