Starting on August 1, citizens of North Dakota with permits to carry concealed were finally allowed to carry in public parks, liquor stores, and public rest areas.
This means permit holders can now carry at events like political functions and music concerts as well.
This marks the start of a new expanded gun rights in the state after law makers debated the issue earlier in the year. Opponents on the expanded rights feared that it would allow terrorists and violent individuals to now carry their arms into these public places.
Defenders of the law felt that it would enable them to finally have protection, since the prevailing notion is that individuals bent on committing violent acts are not likely to follow posted gun regulations in the first place.
Now the goal will be for citizens with concealed carry permits to be aware of the law and to conceal effectively. Training for law enforcement and education for the public in how to react if a gun is seen should also improve the safety of these areas.
Public opinion is generally positive on the issue, and the law passed through the state government quickly. Special consideration is being given to public parks, as many children are taking advantage of the summer weather there.
If there was ever a reason to practice techniques and increase accuracy in armed self-defense, this is surely one to consider. Firing a handgun in a public space like a concert or park may end up being necessary to prevent a violent incident, but it also carries with it an increased chance of innocent victims if poor technique is used.