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Published March 28, 2013, 10:00 PM

North Dakota passes bills expanding gun rights

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - While President Obama again pushes for gun control, the North Dakota senate looks at expanding gun rights in the state.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - While President Obama again pushes for gun control, the North Dakota senate looks at expanding gun rights in the state.

The Senate voted on four bills, all dealing with concealed guns and where they could be allowed.

Two of the places involved are our schools and churches. The Senate decided guns do not belong in schools unless they are carried by officers.

Sen. Nicole Poolman, (R) Bismarck: "More guns will not solve the problem."

Senators defeated the bill giving school boards the authority to decide if a concealed weapon permit holder can pack heat in a school.

Sen. Margaret Sitte, (R) Bismarck: "Not letting just anyone carry a gun in school."

Sen. David Hogue, (R) Minot: "Concealed weapon permit environment not what would encounter in school target moving and shooting at you."

Senators voted 18-27 to kill the measure. They also defeated a bill that goes even further by allowing guns at public gatherings including school events, concerts and public rallies.

Sen. Spencer Berry, (R) Fargo: "If a shooting breaks out, if law enforcement have difficulty finding out who is the problem, puts them in a difficult spot."

Hogue: "Under this bill you can bring gun into school with no one’s knowledge."

Senators did however approve allowing guns in churches with approval and again for only those with a concealed weapon permit. It's a change several pastors requested.

Sen. Connie Triplett, (D) Grand Forks: "Church boards can make this decision."

Sen. Stan Lyson, (R) Williston: "What are we worried about? Are you going to shoot?"

Senator Stan Lyson who's a retired Williams County Sheriff says guns aren't the answer.

Lyson: "This has gotten out of hand."

The Senate also approved a bill to allow guns in certain gaming sites, saying those with concealed weapon permits can bring their guns into grocery stores or gas stations that sell lottery tickets.

A bill to protect North Dakotan's second amendment rights also failed in the Senate. It forbid law enforcement from assisting federal agencies in enforcing or investigating any "new" federal gun legislation.

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