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S. Dakota Lawmakers Draft Bill Mandating Gun Ownership

Feb 1, 2011

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Reported by

Frank James

Earlier I wrote how Mitt Romney believes individual mandates enacted by states are constitutional because states, unlike the federal government, have the power to order their citizens to do certain things, like mandatory schooling or auto insurance.

So how about this for a mandate? Some South Dakota state lawmakers have drafted legislation that would require all adult citizens 21 and older to buy guns.

As the Argus-Leader reports:

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 article continues on to report that this is actually a bit of tongue in cheek legislation meant to prove a point:

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.

Actually, as Romney points out, states do have the power to mandate certain behavior. So despite what Wick says, a gun mandate might not be so far fetched after all if a state wanted to do it.

(h/t Political Wire.)

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