Firearm Regulations (Audio)
By Jenifer Jones
The House State Affairs Committee passed a bill that makes some weapons exempt from federal regulation. Senate Bill 89 applies to firearms and ammunition that are made in South Dakota and stay in the state.
Proponents of the measure say that the federal government has taken over states' rights little by little using the commerce clause of the US Constitution. They say this bill is a direct challenge to that clause. Senator Larry Rhoden spoke in favor of the measure.
"I think that it's high time that we as states step up to the plate and send a clear message to the federal government that they have abused their powers," Rhoden says. "They have liberalized their interpretations of the commerce clause to the point where it's almost ridiculous."
Proponents say they do expect some litigation, but say it won't require any additional funding. Opponents of the measure say the federal government regulates firearms for public safety reasons. They say South Dakota doesn't need to pick any fights with the federal government. The bill now moves to the House floor.
Member stations can download the audio file here.