Gun Control Debate: GF Mayor Packs Heat - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Gun Control Debate: GF Mayor Packs Heat

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      As the national debate over gun control heats up, following the tragedy in Connecticut, President Obama said that he plans to unveil new gun control legislation next month.

  But, many gun supporters simply say the problem isn't guns. It's people. And you might be surprised to find out who's packing heat. For instance, Grand Forks Mayor, Mike Brown.

  Brown works as an obstetrician at Altru, where no guns are allowed. But, Brown has a concealed weapons permit and says he often carries a semi-automatic pistol.

  He says guns are not the problem. It's people and that's what needs to be addressed in any gun control legislation.  

Dr. Mike Brown, Grand Forks Mayor: "I'm glad we're having the discussion. But, I think the discussion also needs to include mental health. These issues really arise from mental health issues. Stricter gun control laws won't stop it."

  Brown says he would consider legislation that would limit the number of bullets in gun clips.

  However, recent polls show the majority of Americans are now in favor of some type of gun control legislation, following the tragedy in Connecticut. 

  Ironically, the sale of guns is up and so is the number of people applying for concealed weapons permits, right here in the Valley.

Sheriff Bob  Rost, GF County: "On Tuesday, we processed fifteen."

Reporter: "That's way up?"

Rost: "That's way up."

   While law enforcement officers spend a lot of time training with weapons, the only restriction for citizens getting a concealed weapons permit is that they can't be a convicted felon or have mental health issues.

  However, officials say many people with mental illness are never professionally diagnosed.

   Grand Forks Sheriff Bob Rost says he believes the number of people applying for concealed weapon permits has jumped in anticipation of gun control legislation.

  Here's a look at the numbers in North Dakota, since President Obama took office in 2008:


                                       2008            2012

GRAND FORKS                 313                391

CASS                              434                 681

BURLEIGH                      492               1,374

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