South Dakota Bill Would Introduce “Gun Mandate”

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:32 am | 22 Comments |

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The Argus Leader reports:

Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

The measure is known as an act “to provide for an individual mandate to adult citizens to provide for the self defense of themselves and others.”

Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” he said.

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22 Comments so far ↓

  • greg_barton

    1) It’s a state law, so how does it speak to a federal mandate?
    2) Does it subsidize a gun purchase for those not financially able to comply? If not, why not?

  • Watusie

    Hal Wick’s home page says he is a grandfather and has been married for 45 years. So, I’m going to guess he gets his healthcare from Medicare. That, plus the above, makes me think of a cockney rhyming slang based on his name….

  • Diomedes

    Makes sense to me. So now if you shoot somebody, you can be guaranteed that they will have health care to deal with the bullet wound.

  • DirtyLibrul

    We all know this is a rouse, but let’s say it happens. Does that then mean that the insurance mandate is OK? If the cost of entry to get insurance is to purchase a gun it might be worth it.

    This of course says nothing about studies that show you are actually more likely to get shot (and need medical care/insurance) if you have a gun in the house. This Penn study says 4.5X more likely:
    http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2009/09/gun-possession-safety/

    And more children will accidentally die with more guns in the home and suicides are that much more likely:

    In 2003, more than 2,000 children were killed by firearms, 182 from accidental shootings. Another grim statistic: More than 900 children committed suicide with a gun.

    So the co-sponsors of this bill can say it’s about Constitutionality and have a little laugh, but it should be about common sense, safety and living a more healthy life.

  • Primrose

    If you can’t tell the difference between needing everyone to buy health insurance so those with a pre-existing condition can be covered, and making everyone buy a gun, your a, well, politeness forbids me from using a truly accurate term.

    I am constantly amazed at how tone-deaf the anti-health care people are.

    • ChallengingFrum

      prim,

      one thing is certain requiring everyone to carry a gun would have a greater affect on crime than requiring everyone to purchase health care insurance will have on life expectancy.

      • busboy33

        That’s for certain, huh? Well, I certainly can’t argue with a blanket absolute unsupported statement!

  • armstp

    The NRA is just completely out-of-control in this country. Somebody needs to organize some very big actions against the NRA. They have been sitting to comfortable for too many years. They claim to have 4 million members, but that is only 1.2% of the U.S. population and not all NRA members 100% agree with their leadership.

  • armstp

    You just need to look at the maps. The states with the most number of guns per capita and the most lax gun laws are also the same states with the most gun violence.

    Lax gun laws = more guns = more gun violence

    Simple math!

      • armstp

        Jimbob,

        There is no evidence that more guns equals less crime. In fact, just the opposite. The more guns the more crime and violence from guns. As the map shows above the states with the most liberal gun lows have the most gun violence and gun crime and the states with the most restricted gun laws have the least gun crime.

        • busboy33

          @Jimbob:

          I clicked thru your link. Thanks — that was hilarious! I needed a laugh to start the day.

  • sweatyb

    We don’t need everyone in the country to purchase a firearm to provide for their own defense. We have universal security in the form of a socialized “police force” that is available to everyone. If you are threatened or need assistance you can call the “police officers” any time and they will assist you. You do not need to be a member of a particular organization, nor do you need to worry when you travel or move that the local police department wont help you.

    The competency and response times of local police are, of course, variable. So, if you live in the middle of nowhere or are a minority, arming yourself for self-defense may be a useful precaution.

    If these South Dakota legislators were being consistent, then I imagine they would support universal healthcare. It could happen. In this topsy-turvy world where Democrats pass conservative ideas over vehement Republican objections, maybe the Republicans will start advocating liberal ideas. Perhaps they’ll go so far to the right that they actually flip over to the left.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “If you can’t tell the difference between needing everyone to buy health insurance so those with a pre-existing condition can be covered, and making everyone buy a gun, your a, well, politeness forbids me from using a truly accurate term.”

    Go ahead, explain what the difference is.

    The article suggests this isn’t a serious proposal, it is something they are doing to make a point. So why is the point invalid? In both cases we have a law that the government would use to make you spend money on something for what the government believes to be a “greater good”.

    (Of course, you could come up with examples where they already do that, but such examples aren’t nearly as good political theater.)

  • midcon

    Let’s hope the bill passes so we can see how the right treats this particular “mandate.”

  • andydp

    There is a precedent in US History:

    The founding fathers adopted the first “individual mandate” back in 1792. The mandate was included in a series of laws known as the Militia Acts, the first of which gave the President authority to call out the militias and imposed penalties on any militiaman who refused to obey orders. The second Militia Act included this individual mandate: all free, able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 “shall, within six months… provide himself with a good musket or firelock” or “a good rifle.” All men of age were also ordered to equip themselves with ammunition and “a knapsack” to carry supplies.

  • MSheridan

    Good on you, andydp.

    I was going to bring that up if no one else did. Oddly, it seems the Founding Fathers, drafters of our Constitution, didn’t have a big problem with George Washington’s individual mandate.

    • busboy33

      Of course, that was to insure a viable source of armed militia members, since we wern’t supposed to have a standing Army. As the militias were the fighting force for the country (which is no longer true), the country needed to be able to rely on them to show up armed. None of that applies today . . . or in the last century.

      You sort of left that part out.

  • Saladdin

    I thought Mitt cleared all of this up. Mandates are okay state by state, but not federally. Ha ha.

  • busboy33

    I’m glad the GOP doesn’t want government telling me what to do!

  • Chris Balsz

    “The founding fathers adopted the first “individual mandate” back in 1792. ”

    It would be interesting to see when this was struck off the books. I don’t think there was mandatory militia service in the War of 1812. There wasn’t by the Mexican War, and during the Civil war they didn’t mobilize the mandatory militia, they drafted into the regular Army. For another thing, there’s no mention of any penalty in the Militia Act. If you want to have an individual mandate without a penalty for not complying, I guess I can compromise on that.

    If it’s not off the books, then I guess individual gun ownership has been a matter of federal jurisdiction, and all state and local gun control is as unconstitutional as, say, some silly state passing its own immigration laws.

    • MSheridan

      Actually, there was a penalty for non-compliance. If you look at Section 5 (as amended in 1795, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Militia_Act_of_1792#Sec._1. ), you will find this language:

      “And be it further enacted, That every officer, non-commissioned officer or private of the militia, who shall fail to obey the orders of the President of the United States in any of the cases before recited, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding one year’s pay, and not less than one month’s pay, to be determined and adjudged by a court martial; and such officers shall, moreover, be liable to be cashiered by sentence of a court martial: [words added in 1795:] and be incapacitated from holding a commission in the militia, for a term not exceeding twelve months, at the discretion of the said court: and such non-commissioned officers and privates shall be liable to be imprisoned by the like sentence, or failure of payment of the fines adjudged against them, for the space of one calendar month for every five dollars of such fine.”

      This applied to pretty much all free white men of fighting age, as:

      “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act.”