Gun debate heads to the full state House - KOTA Territory News

Gun debate heads to the full state House

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By Jack Siebold, MyTown Editor

Pistol packing politicians may be the norm in South Dakota if state Rep. Betty Olson (R-District 28B) has her way.  Tuesday morning, the state House Local Government Committee sent Olson's bill the floor for a full debate.House Bill 1066 revises restrictions on firearms in public buildings.  Olson's bill was originally written to allow anyone with a concealed weapon permit to carry in government buildings.

After some debate, the bill was first amended  to just allow all elected officials and public employees to carry a concealed weapon in public buildings, including the capitol building.  Concern over a too-broad approach caused the bill to be further water down to just elected officials before the final committee vote sent it to the floor.

The argument basically is what is safer … more guns or fewer guns.  Some lawmakers (Rep. Troy Heinert) say it is time to stop living in fear of a shooting while others (Rep. Stace Nelson) believe more law-abiding citizens free them from that fear of a shooting.

Earlier, another gun rights bill by Olson, repealing the $10 fee people pay when getting a concealed weapon permit, was killed in committee by an 8-5 vote.

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