Guns in Fall River County Courthouse An Opinion By District 30 Rep. Tim Goodwin

Tim R Goodwin, Representative for District 30 or 605-390-5324

Guns in Fall River County Courthouse.  As promised from last week, this is our subject.  I know, I know, aren’t there more important issues than guns in the courthouse?  There are, but its hard to  put a price on our constitution and the amendments to the constitution, which make it part of our constitution.  Men and women have fought and died for it.  So, yes, it is very important!

In question here is the Second Amendment, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Going back to this past legislative session, we had HB1156 Capitol Carry.  In a nutshell, it would allow you to carry a pistol, concealed, into the capitol for protection.  The House majority leader was the prime sponsor.  This was not just for legislators, but more importantly, the personnel that work inside the capitol 12 months of the year.  I visited with the Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, and the Commissioner of School and Public Lands, Ryan Brunner, and they both were in favor of being able to defend themselves, should the need arise.  The other three constitutional officers, the State Treasurer, State Auditor, and Attorney General (Marty Jackley), all were in favor of HB1156 Capitol Carry.

The governor asked us to amend the bill to “if you are carrying in the capitol, you have to pass the enhanced carry course (cost $200 approx.), and give the capitol security a list of who is carrying in the capitol.  So we amended it.  The gnashing of teeth amongst us conservatives was considerable.  We passed the bill on the House floor, as did the Senate.  Once this happened, it went to the governor’s desk for his signature to become law.

Well, as most of you know, the governor vetoed it.  WTH?  I was more than upset!!  So I asked the particular lobbyist who was liaison for the governor on this bill what happened.  It was his amendment that we compromised to get his approval.  The answer I received was, “The governor has the right to change his mind.”??!!  In my opinion, in this case, no, he doesn’t!  He told the legislature what we needed to do to get his signature, and we did it.  We tried to override the veto on the last day of the session, and failed by 5 votes.

Getting back to Fall River County.  I was in the court room (that’s where the county commission meetings are held) when Circuit Judge Craig Pfeifle asked the commission to reconsider their earlier 3-2 ruling allowing guns in the courthouse on days court was not in session.  The commission did reconsider, quite rapidly I might add, on a 4-1 vote to not allow guns in the Fall River County Courthouse.

Now, I believe government is best kept at the lowest level, therefore I am not second guessing the county commissioners reversal.  They work for you, the residents of Fall River County, and you hired them, and if you disagree with their decision, you can fire them.

What I am wanting us to think about is the Constitution, specifically the 2nd Amendment, which I quoted earlier.  What gives any elected official the right to override the Constitution?  Now these pro-constitution-over riders always start out with “I’m a card-carrying NRA member.  I own several guns.  I love to hunt.  Asking the public to pay $10 for a concealed carry permit is only $2 per year, etc.”  Okay, with that analogy, let’s go to the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech.

Let’s implement a Free Speech permit.  We’ll keep the cost the same, $10.  Of course, you will need to fill out an application at the Sheriff’s Office, and you will be vetted to see if you should be allowed to speak freely in public.  (I probably would be denied.)  We could even add an enhanced speech permit that we could say is needed if you speak in front of a group of 20 or more people.  It’s only $200; that’s only $40 per year.  IT’S AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION YOU YELL!!  My point exactly!

Editor’s Note.

 Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted. Source: Gun Violence Archive.

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