South Dakotans care a lot about gun rights. We hunt in South Dakota. Guns are part of life.
As the House debated a measure that would legalize euthanasia for injured deer on Jan. 31, Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, told the body that if such behavior wasn’t legal already, she’d “been breaking the law for years.”
Even South Dakota Democrats, as a group, are far more gun friendly than urban Democrats, and they’re far better shots.
On the non-hunting side of gun ownership, our concealed weapons permit records are closed. That means for the time being, no one in a business like mine will pull a New York maneuver and publish a list of concealed carry holders, including addresses.
Some lines are drawn, though. Felons can’t have guns under state law. Some people can’t have concealed weapons.
And drunken people cannot have guns.
A 33-year old in Sioux Falls named James Robert Baer was cited for this early Saturday morning. An SFPD officer pulled over his 2004 GMC Yukon at 2:48 a.m. and reportedly found a loaded 9mm pistol.
Mr. Baer was charged with DUI 2 and possession of a loaded handgun while intoxicated. Both crimes are class 1 misdemeanors, worth up to year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
I asked police spokesman Sam Clemens Monday if the possession of an unloaded firearm was okay (look at Monday’s briefing video at about the 21 minute mark). Specifically, if I put the clip in one pocket and the gun in the other, can I be drunk with a firearm within the bounds of the law? Sam said “yeah, I think so.”
So if you’re drunk with a gun, just make sure it isn’t loaded, right? Um, no. If you plan to drink, it’s best to leave the guns and bullets alone. It’s best to avoid weapons altogether while intoxicated. Weapons in drunken hands help turn bad decisions into tragic events.