Burgum signs bills into law to protect landowner rights, deter criminal activity

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 5:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum on Thursday signed four bills designed to protect landowner rights, deter criminal activity and expand the ability to appoint outside law enforcement officers to assist North Dakota agencies.

The bills, introduced largely in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, all have emergency clauses that make them effective immediately. Gov. Burgum signed the bills into law around 3 p.m. Thursday.

  • House Bill 1293 expands the scope of criminal trespass activity under state law and allows officers to issue a citation with a $250 fine for trespassing, as opposed to filing criminal charges.
  • House Bill 1304 makes it a Class A misdemeanor for someone to wear a mask, hood or other device that conceals their face when committing a crime.
  • House Bill 1426 increases the penalties imposed for riot offenses, allowing prosecutors to charge people involved in riots in a manner consistent with the potential for actual harm to public health, safety and well-being.
  • Senate Bill 2302 expands the Attorney General’s authority to appoint ad hoc special agents, defined as “law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions appointed for a specific law enforcement purpose,” such as out-of-state peace officers who come to North Dakota in response to a request for assistance.