North Dakota Legislature: Bills on conceal carry, mail-in ballots, agriculture filtering through

Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch
Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch

(Bismarck, ND) -- It's shaping up to be an eventful week in Bismarck with more bills with serious implications on the people of North Dakota being discussed.

Nearly a half dozen bills are being considered by the Legislature that would strengthen concealed carry laws.

Among the proposals are bills that would allow people to carry guns in bars, in federal facilities, and at the State Capitol. Bills have also been proposed that would allow students to carry weapons on college campuses and honorably discharged veterans to carry concealed guns in schools, churches, and public buildings. Opponents say the bills would increase the likelihood of a violent incident.

Lawmakers are also considering a bill to eliminate mail-in ballots.

Senator Jeff Magrum is sponsoring the bill and says mail-in voting increases election costs for counties. Magrum also says they create more opportunities for voter fraud. Opponents say the State Auditor determined in 2022 that North Dakota's election systems are "incredibly secure." More than half of North Dakotans have used mail-in ballots in the last two elections.

A new process is being proposed for the selection of board members for the North Dakota Beef Commission.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow people to apply for recommendation to the governor for a spot on the commission. The bill would require the commission to publish notification of openings in every county's newspaper. Appointments to the commission are made by the governor.

And a newly introduced bill would change North Dakota laws related to farm ownership.

The House bill would allow non-related entities to co-own a farming or ranching operation. The bill opens the door to corporate farming in North Dakota. Laws preventing corporate farming date back 90 years in the state.