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Custer judges move court hearings elsewhere after firearms allowed in courthouse raise safety concerns

Custer County moves court hearings elsewhere after approval of guns in courthouse
Custer County moves court hearings elsewhere after approval of guns in courthouse
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 8:29 PM CST
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CUSTER, S.D. (KOTA) - Court will not be held in the Custer County Courthouse. The Custer County Commission says cases will move to Pennington County instead.

It’s all because of a new ordinance now in effect. The commission says the new ordinance allows the public to carry firearms inside the courthouse, but not inside the courtrooms.

Still, County Chairman Jim Lintz says the judges have a big problem with that. He says the judges have voiced safety concerns and have decided not to hold court.

In a special meeting held earlier this week, many Custer County residents argued the exact opposite saying it’s actually safer to carry inside the courthouse just in case there is a rogue shooter.

“If there was a rogue shooter who came into the courthouse, and normally they pick an area that is a safe area for guns so nobody will shoot back at them,” Lintz said. “If there are armed people in the citizenry. If a rogue person fires there is going to be return fire. That was their argument.”

Lintz says the cases now will move to Rapid City. That could cost Custer County a lot of money.

Lintz remains hopeful the courts will reopen in Custer at some point. He says there will be *another special meeting next week and the commission is open to working with the judges.

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