CNMI passes 'ineffective' gun law

7:57 am on 15 November 2017
The police union says frontline officers are concerned about lack of gun training.

CNMI gets new gun law Photo: 123RF

The Northern Marianas governor has passed a law banning handguns in the territory - but it can't be implemented.

Handguns were banned for decades up until last year, when a military veteran who wanted one sued the territory's government.

The court ruled in his favour, saying the territory's gun ban violated the United States constitution, which enshrines a person's right to bear arms.

The government has written up another handgun ban, which was approved by Governor Ralph Torres this week.

However, our correspondent in Saipan, Mark Rabago, said the law was effectively moot - unless someone decides to appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court.

"It's an ineffective law unless somebody challenges and overturns it. But judging by the history of the United States, the states who entirely ban handguns have never won."