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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

House Committee Takes On Gun Issues

A legislative committee splits on two gun bills before them on Tuesday. House Bill 1065 waives the $10 fee for conceal weapon permits and lawmakers defeat the measure.  Lawmakers pass House Bill 1066, which allows elected officials to carry a weapon for protection.

Opponents to House Bill 1066 say it opens up possibilities to more violence.  Proponents say the purpose is a defensive measure, not offensive.  Democrat Representative Karen Soli disagrees and says fellow lawmakers may not be properly trained. 

"I’m in the category of feeling safer with less guns. I had thought about taking part in target shooting this week, I fear for the safety of those standing next to me," Representative Soli says.

Former police officer and Republican Representative State Nelson says he supports the measure because it allows him to protect himself if someone opens fire at the state capitol. 

"We’re talking about the members of this committee, we’re talking about our colleagues in the state legislature, the constitutional officers, ect. We are talking about people that have every right to come up here, perform the duties for the people of South Dakota and be protected," Representative Nelson says.

The House Local Government Committee votes 8-5 to pass House Bill 1066 which next goes before the full house. Lawmakers also discuss waiving the permit fee for concealed weapons.  Supporters says it interferes with a person's right to bear arms.  Opponents say eliminating the fee will require restructuring the budget.  The measure fails.