Bill clarifies ability of minors to carry pistols


PIERRE – A bill regarding the ability of minors to carry pistols, which would put South Dakota law in accordance with federal law, was approved Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

SB120 would strike the current provision that a minor must be in the presence of a parent or guardian while possessing a pistol. According to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jim, Stalzer, R-Sioux Falls, the new language says that the minor must have written consent from the parent or guardian, duplicating the federal law. 

“We’re attempting to make those match,” Stalzer said. 

Other provisions of the law say the minor must be on premises owned or leased by the minor’s parent, guardian or family member; be in the presence of a gun safety instructor; or that the pistol be used in the course of farming, ranching, hunting, trapping target shooting or gun safety instruction.

Most of the questions about the difference between state and federal law have come from West River, Stalzer said, where parents want to make sure that their children are armed against rattlesnakes while they work on the family ranch.

The committee approved the bill on a vote of 6-0. It now goes to the full Senate.

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