PIERRE | A South Dakota legislative panel decided Monday that businesses should keep the right to ban guns in vehicles parked in their lots.

By an 8-4 vote, the House Commerce Committee killed a bill that would have prohibited businesses from preventing employees or customers from having guns in their vehicles.

Shawn Lyons, executive director of the South Dakota Retailers Association, said business owners do not oppose the constitutional right to bear arms, but that right should not trump private property rights.

"This bill takes away the right of a business to make its own decision," Lyons said.

But the measure's main sponsor, Rep. Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs, said workers sometimes need access to guns to protect themselves, so businesses should not be allowed to fire employees who have guns in their cars or trucks. Fourteen other states have passed similar measures, Russell said.

He noted that a man delivering pizzas in Rapid City a few years ago likely saved his own life by pulling a gun when he was attacked by people who had ordered a pizza. The pizza business then fired the man because he had violated company policy by carrying the gun, Russell said.

The South Dakota bill would have required the guns in vehicles parked on company property to be locked out of sight. Any employee fired for having a legal gun in a vehicle could have sued the business to regain employment and lost wages.

Lobbyists for a number of business organizations opposed the bill. Many said the measure would create problems for companies with federal contracts that forbid guns at those companies' worksites.

"We think we're in the best position to make these decisions, not the Legislature," said Kitty Kinsman, representing the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce.

But Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, said the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights guarantees that an individual's rights take precedence over business rights.

"We want to disarm law-abiding Americans? Why?" Nelson said.

Rep. Scott Parsley, D-Madison, said he opposed the bill because supporters have pointed to few problems arising from bans on guns in parking lots.

"I think we have a solution looking for a problem that doesn't seem to exist," Parsley said.

(15) comments

Buldog
Buldog

6th ATTEMPT TO POST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frank Smith - said: "Anybody who would try to undermine our Constitution and take away any American's right to self defense, should be heckled ... at the minimum." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

frankie, maybe you could point out where Mr. Heslin tried to undermine the Constitution and take away any American's right to self defense (including you hecklers)? Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed in last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, asked people in the room to put themselves in his position as he questioned the need for any civilian to own semiautomatic, military-style weapons. I am sure that Jesse and the other 7 to 10 year olds must not have thought about 2nd amendment rights, and where in those rights did it say you needed a military style weapon, as their lives were snuffed out by a military style weapon. As I said before, and you have just backed up, the NRA defenders are starting to look like members of the Westboro Baptist Church — fringe lunatics.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Just to re-iterate, "gun-free zones" make us all safer because they are gun-free. When there are no guns we are all safer - especially in "gun-free zones", like theaters and schools and malls. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand. And cities where there is very strict gun control laws are the safest in the nation - because of their gun control laws. Everyone should move there. Gun control and "gun free zones" make life much, much safer. Oh, and if you ban magazines over 10-rounds, and you live in a strict gun control state, and you are in a "gun free zone", I could not possibly imagine how you could be any safer. I heard it is so safe that soon the police will not even need to carry guns there.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Anybody who would try to undermine our Constitution and take away any American's right to self defense, should be heckled ... at the minimum.

Buldog
Buldog

Todays heckling of the father of a victim of the Newtown massacre is a new low for assault weapon defenders. The NRA defenders are starting to look like members of the Westboro Baptist Church — fringe lunatics.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

Since when did heckling bother a liberal? I thought that was part of your modus operandi whenever conservatives try to exercise their First Amendment rights?

Buldog
Buldog

Today, at a hearing, Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed in last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, asked people in the room to put themselves in his position as he questioned the need for any civilian to own semiautomatic, military-style weapons. "It's not a good feeling. Not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. It's a real sad thing," said the heartbroken father. And a group of gun-lovers HECKLED him -screaming about their "rights". DISGUSTING.


817

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

So a semi-auto is ok to own just as long as it doesn't comsetically look like it is military? So you want things banned because of how they cosmetically appear? And you think that will save lives? Please explain this nonsensical reasoning.

lbdodger
lbdodger

Wow, with a mentality like that; criminals would love to have target practice with you. "GUN FREE ZONES" give open season to criminals, as they don't think they'll have any worries about themselves getting shot. The majority of mass shootings have occurred in "GUN FREE ZONES", where there was supposedly no danger to them. When there were lawfully armed individuals, the death toll was far less; than it could have been. I'll take my chances with armed citizens, in attendance.

Jim Stewart
Jim Stewart

lbdodger - you have to get your mind right. Gun-free zones make us all safer. Just ask your nearest liberal.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

It's true. If every place were a "gun-free zone", there would never be a shooting.

Bubba1962
Bubba1962

I agree with Frank, I feel MUCH safer, because I KNOW the bad guy reads the signs, and even though he's already an outlaw, already breaking the law, already intent on doing harm, as soon as he realizes that the parking lot and business is gun free, he stops all of his bad guy actions and starts to obey the law.
I also feel 'liberated' as my Constitutional rights are violated....

Time to elect new politicians, ones that actually listen to their constituents and do do what they are elected to do.

Jim Stewart
Jim Stewart

Frank - I feel the same way about gun-free zones. Has anyone ever been shot in a gun-free zone? I can't imagine how that could ever happen because everyone knows it is against the law to bring a gun into a gun-free zone. It is everyone's civic duty to the follow the law.

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

I feel so much safer when I walk into "gun free zones", like the post office, schools, courthouse, businesses, the mall, etc. I'm safer because it's a gun free zone and nobody can have a gun - so therefore nothing bad can happen to me. It's very liberating.

Steve B
Steve B

I hope that was written with a high level of sarcasm...

Buldog
Buldog

Good to see that you have finally seen the light.

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