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South Dakota Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:21 PM

South Dakota made plenty of headlines in March of 2013 by becoming the first state to explicitly give teachers the right to carry guns on the job. The bill was signed by Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The law also allows volunteers, hired security guards, and other school employees to carry guns on school grounds.

Republican legislators Scott Craig and Betty Olson drafted South Dakota’s bill allowing for armed teachers after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012, which left 20 students and six school employees dead.

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The bill passed by a significant margin in both of the state’s legislative houses, despite a national teacher survey taken online earlier in 2013 that indicated 72.4 percent of teachers would not likely bring a firearm to school, if allowed.

The New York Times noted that South Dakota is a big hunting state where it is not uncommon for children as young as eight years old to start shooting BB guns and shotguns by the time they are 14.

Here are five quotes from the state’s debate about gun laws:

1. “Given the national attention to safety in schools, specifically in response to tragedies like in Connecticut, this is huge… dominoes will start to fall, people will see it’s reasonable, it’s safer than they think, it’s proactive and it’s preventive.”
– South Dakota state Rep. Scott Craig to The New York Times

2. “Many small towns have no city police force at all, but instead rely upon the county sheriffs and their deputies. Some of these schools have a response time of as much as 45 minutes. So many things could happen in a defenseless school building in that amount of time. Having an appointed sentinel bearing a firearm would at least give those remote schools a chance to defend themselves.”
– Mike Calhoon, president of the Winner School District school board, told the Heartland Institute

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“If firearms are the best option that we have, I’ll stand down. But let’s not come into a heated, emotional debate about this and say this is the answer. This is premature.”
– Wade Pogany, executive director of the Associated School Boards of South Dakota
told The New York Times

4.  "I just wish ... everybody would have talked a little bit together before we started passing legislation."
Don Kirkegaard, superintendent of the Meade School District, told the Rapid City Journal

5. “There’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping our children safe in schools. It’s incumbent upon state and local governments to formulate and implement a plan to keep students safe.”
– Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, told The New York Times

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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South Dakota made plenty of headlines in March 2013 by becoming the first state to explicitly give teachers the right to carry guns on the job. Here are five quotes from the debate about the South Dakota new gun laws.
south dakota, gun, laws, heated, debate
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:21 PM
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