PIERRE, S.D. – A note from a parent will be all a person younger than 18 will need in order to possess a pistol in certain circumstances if Senate Bill 120 passes the South Dakota Legislature.
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted Tuesday, Feb. 11, to approve a bill that would allow juveniles to possess a pistol under the same conditions as set forth in federal law.
Under Senate Bill 120, a minor would be exempt from criminal prosecution for possessing a pistol if the minor had prior written consent from their parent or guardian if they were on land owned or leased by the parent, guardian of immediate family member. They would also be exempt if they were in the presence of a licensed or accredited gun safety instructor or they were using the pistol for farming, ranching, hunting, trapping, target shooting or gun safety instruction
The bill sponored by Senator Jim Stalzer, a Sioux Falls Republican passed its first test, getting unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
South Dakota law at this time requires minors to be accompanied by a parent or guardian; and be on their property or that belonging to an immediate family member. The minor also has to be using the pistol for farming, ranching, hunting, trapping, target shooting or gun safety instruction.
The change would mean they wouldn’t have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The bill now goes to the Senate for further action.