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Recent Gun Violence in North Dakota, Including Deadly Shooting in Fargo, Highlights Need for Action on Gun Safety

July 21, 2023

Shooter Shot Three Police Officers On July 14 Shedding Light North Dakota’s Weak Gun Safety Laws

Recent gun violence in North Dakota highlights the state’s weak gun laws and the need for lawmakers to take action on gun safety. On Friday, July 14th, Fargo Police Officer Jake Wallin was shot and killed, and three other people, including Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes, were shot and wounded when a 37-year-old shooter opened fire on officers responding to a traffic wreck in Fargo. Following the shooting, police officers found a large supply of ammunition in the shooter’s vehicle.

Gun violence in North Dakota has been on the rise. Since 2012, gun deaths have increased 60% in the state. Despite this increase North Dakota lawmakers refuse to take any action to curb gun violence. The state lacks all foundational gun safety laws, including concealed firearm carry permitting, background checks on firearm sales, or an Extreme Risk law – a critical tool in mitigating gun violence by temporarily removing firearms from those deemed at risk to themselves or others. 

Instead of taking action to make North Dakotans safer, during the 2023 legislative session lawmakers introduced bills to force guns into more public places, including college campuses and to ban Fargo from regulating firearms and ammunition within their city limits.

In an average year, 103 people die by guns and 84 people are wounded by guns in North Dakota. Gun violence costs North Dakota $1.3 billion each year, of which $10.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in North Dakota is available here.

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