Rapid City lawmaker drafting gun legislation - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City lawmaker drafting gun legislation

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Scott Craig spends his days on-air on the radio. He also prepares sermons for his congregation. But lately, Representative Craig has been giving one particular piece of legislation a lot of thought.

"The concept of this bill began before the tragedy in Connecticut and what happened in Connecticut only confirmed the rightness of the bill," said Representative Scott.

Representative Craig is drafting a bill that allows South Dakota educators to carry concealed weapons to school, should they so chose. Craig says the weapons could offer immediate help to aid and protect faculty members and students should a school shooting take place locally.

"I've spoken to local, federal law enforcement who were in favor of this because they know as was the case in Connecticut, they were 5 to 10 minutes away from any given school," said the Rapid City pastor.

Retired police chief and State Senator Craig Tieszen says he's all for the second amendment, but says Representative Craig is jumping the gun with his proposed bill.

"I think we all have to take a deep breath and reassess," said Senator Tieszen. "I've heard some legislators think we need more guns, some legislators think we need fewer. I think we need to just stop and think about these proposals and if they're likely to make change."

"I don't think we as legislators should be passing legislation based on isolated instances that happen around the country," added Representative David Lust.

While some lawmakers say there should be fewer guns in schools rather than more Craig says he expects a healthy round of debates to fire up in Pierre come January.

Representative Craig says the proposed bill would ensure teachers undergo a psychological test and extensive training with law enforcement officers before they could carry guns inside the classroom. He says faculty members would be required to carry the weapon on their person at all times, to prevent the weapons from landing in the wrong hands.

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