LEAP Forward
Politicizing Guns since 2017

Legislation

North Dakota HB 1537 - Risk Protection Orders

North Dakota HB 1537

by Reps. Karla Hanson (D), Jason Dockter (R), George Keiser (R), Mark Sanford (R), Bernie Satrom (R), Austen Schauer (R) with Sens. Judy Lee (R), Erin Oban (D), Nicole Poolman (R), and Rich Wardner (R)

LEAP Forward Position: Support


12.1 - 31.3 - 02. Law enforcement firearm seizure process - Issuance of warrant -
Hearing.
1. The court may issue a warrant to search for and seize a firearm in the possession of
an individual who is dangerous if:
a. A law enforcement officer provides the court a sworn affidavit:
(1) Stating why the law enforcement officer believes the individual is dangerous
and in possession of a firearm; and
(2) Describing the law enforcement officer’s interactions and conversations
with:
(a) The individual who is alleged to be dangerous; or
(b) Another individual, if the law enforcement officer believes the
information obtained from this individual is credible and reliable,
leading the law enforcement officer to believe the individual is
dangerous and in possession of a firearm.
b. The affidavit specifically describes the location of the firearm; and
c. The court determines probable cause exists to believe the individual is:
(1) Dangerous; and
(2) In possession of a firearm.
2. If a court issued a warrant to seize a firearm under subsection 1, the law enforcement
officer who served the warrant, not later than forty-eight hours after the warrant was
served, shall file a return with the court:
a. Stating the warrant was served; and
b. Setting forth:
(1) The time and date on which the warrant was served;
(2) The name and address of the individual named in the warrant; and
(3) The quantity and identity of firearms seized by the law enforcement officer
3. The law enforcement officer issued a search warrant to seize a firearm under
subsection 1 shall provide to the individual from whom the firearm was seized signed
documentation setting forth:
a. The quantity of firearms seized; and
b. A description and type of any firearm seized.
4. The court shall set a hearing for a date not later than fourteen days after a return is
filed under subsection 2 or at a later date upon good cause shown, to determine
whether a seized firearm is to be:
a. Returned to the individual from whom the firearm was seized; or
b. Retained by the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm.
5. The court shall notify the state’s attorney and the individual from whom the firearm
was seized of the date and location of the hearing.
6. In a hearing conducted under subsection 4, the state has the burden of proving by
clear and convincing evidence all material facts. Following the hearing:
a. If the court determines the state has proven by clear and convincing evidence the
individual is dangerous, the court shall issue a public safety protection order
effective for up to one year, subject to section 12.1 - 31.3 - 07, and may order the
law enforcement agency having custody of the seized firearm to retain the
firearm.
b. If the court determines the state has failed to prove the individual is dangerous,
the court shall order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to
return the firearm to the individual from whom it was seized.
c. Subject to section 12.1 - 31.3 - 08, if the court orders a law enforcement agency to
retain a firearm, the law enforcement agency shall retain the firearm until the
respondent produces documentation issued by the court indicating the order has
expired or been terminated.
d. The court may order the law enforcement agency having custody of the firearm to
return the firearm to the owner of the firearm if the court determines:
(1) The individual from whom a firearm was seized is dangerous; and
(2) The firearm seized from the individual is owned by another individual.
7. A public safety protection order issued under subsection 6 must require the
respondent to refrain from having in the respondent’s custody or control a firearm, and
from purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm for the duration of the order.
8. A public safety protection order issued under subsection 6 must be signed by the
judge and include:
a. A statement of the grounds for issuance of the order;
b. The name and address of the court where any filings should be made, the date
and time of the order, and the date and time the order expires;
c. A description of how to appeal the order;
d. A description of how to request termination of the order under section
12.1 - 31.3 - 07. The court shall include with the order a form for a motion to
terminate the order; and
e. A statement directing the law enforcement agency, approved federally licensed
firearms dealer, or other person in possession of the firearm to release the
firearm to the owner upon expiration of the order.
9. The court shall schedule a review hearing within thirty calendar days before the date
the public safety protection order is set to expire. The respondent must be provided
notice of the review hearing.
10. At the review hearing, the court may extend the public safety protection order for up to
one year if the state proves by clear and convincing evidence, the respondent
continues to be dangerous.
11. If the court declines to extend a public safety protection order after a review hearing,
the court shall state the particular reasons for the denial in its decision.
12. As used in this section, an individual is “dangerous” if:
a. The individual poses an imminent risk of personal injury to self or others by
having a firearm in the individual’s custody or control or by purchasing,
possessing, or receiving a firearm; or
b. The individual poses a risk of personal injury to self or others in the future and the
individual is the subject of documented evidence establishing reasonable belief
the individual has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.