A new state law could brew legal battle with City of Fargo

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A North Dakota law slated to go into effect this August could lead to a legal battle between the state and the City of Fargo.

It would allow the sale of guns out of someone’s home, in other words, in neighborhoods. It’s something city leaders aren’t on board with.

About a year ago, this topic was brought up for discussion before the city commission.

It was tabled to allow for more public input, but this time, there’s even more concern.

North Dakota House Bill 1248 was signed into law and will take effect on August 1st.

The statute restricts municipalities from enacting zoning ordinances relating to firearms and ammunition.

Commissioner Dave Piepkorn says this law presents a safety issue.

“I don’t agree that you should have a gun store in your neighborhood,” he said. “We don’t oppose guns, but having a retail gun store in our neighborhoods or right next to my house, I would not be happy with that.”

Piepkorn also stated, if the matter was taken to court, the city would win.

Besides that, city leaders feel this is a local matter and should be decided by local leadership, not by the state.

Commissioner Arlette Preston initially mentioned she would only vote for this amendment because, if not, it would be going against state law.

She, like others, did not agree with local control being taken away.

After much discussion and knowing they have until the first of August, the matter was tabled until the next City Commission meeting on June 28th.

Fargo’s city attorney indicated that if the matter did go to court and the city would lose, it could be on the hook for legal fees.

Other commissioners indicated that could lead to wasted money and time.

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