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An increase in stolen guns in the state prompted efforts to tighten up reporting requirements. Those efforts failed in this year’s legislative session.

Bill to hold gunowners more accountable fails in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D.  — Bills attempting to increase gun owners’ responsibilities to report stolen firearms and to keep firearms secure went down in defeat in a House committee this week.

Democratic Rep. Linda Duba from Sioux Falls sponsored HB1153 and HB1174. HB1153 would have imposed a reporting requirement if a gun owner lost a gun or it was stolen. HB1174 would have required proper storage of a firearm.

Violators would have been fined for committing a petty offense for a violation.

Rep. Duba had this comment.

“The reason we’re trying to get those reported to law enforcement is so that  we can get these entered in NCIC national computer and truly try to understand the impact of a lost or stolen firearm.”

As to the storage of weapons, Duba said it was to help prevent suicides and accidental firings of firearms.

An Increase In Stolen Guns Concerns Law Enforcement

The National Rifle Association, the South Dakota State’s Attorney’s Association, and the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association opposed both bills.

As to reporting gun thefts within 48 hours, lobbyist Brian Gosch with the National Rifle Association said that turns victims of crimes into criminals if they fail to report a theft in a timely manner.

Plus, they have other concerns.

“In the aftermath of a burglary victims are occupied with a host of concerns.  The first and foremost concern is the  physical safety and well being of themselves and their loved ones. This could require coordinating a temporary place to stay, overseeing home repairs or improving home security.”

As to the gun storage requirement, Gosch said the proposed law did not require other items that could be used to commit a crime to be kept safely in storage, such as knives, hammers, or vehicles.

The House Judiciary Committee sent both bills to the 41st day, thus killing them. The vote sending HB1153 to defeat was 10 to 1, and the vote sending HB1174 to defeat was 13 to 0.

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