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'Red Flag' bill defeated in ND House

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The North Dakota House has rejected a bill that supporters say would be a way to reduce suicides and gun violence.

It was dubbed the “Red Flag Bill.” Under it, a court could be petitioned to issue a “public safety protection order,” which would remove guns from someone who could commit suicide or do harm to others.

Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck) argued against the bill, calling it a "gun grabbing" bill.

"It supposes that the ends justify the means," Becker said. "Meaning that decreasing suicide is a justification for taking away limited gun rights. It accomplishes nothing but an erosion of our Second Amendment rights."

But the sponsor – Rep. Karla Rose Hanson (D-Fargo) – told the House it was an attempt to reduce gun violence – and prevent mass shootings, such as Sandy Hook or Parkland.

"Public safety protection orders will save lives," Hanson argued. "We want to act before warning signs become tragedies."

The measure failed on a 76 to 17 vote.

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