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Letter: Many questions surround gun control

Ever since the election, re-election, of Barack Obama, and especially since the tragic killings in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo. and Tucson, Ariz., there has been much talk of gun control and assault rifles (evidently, retreat rifles will be exempted somewhat).

There has even been a reminder of the talk by the likes of Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.) who on at least one occasion has publicly called for the confiscation of all privately owned firearms. This is an open request of our police departments, county sheriff's departments, and North Dakota Highway Patrol, and perhaps we should include Gov. Jack Dalrymple as well.

How will you respond to a federal call to ban and/or confiscate privately held firearms in North Dakota? Our state constitution specifically states in Article I, Section 1, all individuals are by nature, equally free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation; pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness; and to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational, and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed.

With that in mind, how will you, our local, county and state law enforcement agencies, and our honorable Dalrymple proceed in the event that there are federal laws or decrees made by federal agencies which would appear on their face contradictory to the stated position in our state constitution?

How would you respond if Obama or one of the federal agencies under his purview declared that all privately held or all privately held weapons of a certain type must be confiscated? What would become of the validity of our state issued concealed weapons licenses?

These are serious questions and given the nature of the debate coming from the federal executive and legislative branches, I believe they deserve some serious consideration and forethought.

I am sure there are many thousands of North Dakotans who are seriously entertaining these same questions, and I ask these questions in all sincerity as I consider this is a matter of the utmost gravity.

Rick Wanner, Dickinson