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SF Mayor Plans Changes To City Gun Ban

July 10, 2012, 4:57 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF Mayor Plans Changes To City Gun Ban

The City of Sioux Falls bans guns on city property, but there could be changes to the executive order that prohibits firearms in city-owned public places.

Wednesday morning, Mayor Mike Huether will hold a news conference to talk about the revisions.

KELOLAND News contacted the mayor's office Tuesday and he would not discuss the changes being considered before the news conference, but the debate over whether cities can ban guns in South Dakota has been going on for years.

The ban in Sioux Falls not only applies to places like city hall but other city buildings like libraries.

"I think it could be very dangerous for people who are in the library or in any public building," Sioux Falls citizen Gertrude Smith said as she stopped by the downtown library on Tuesday.

But it's not just firearms that are prohibited from city buildings.  The city also prohibits several weapons and those are posted in all of the buildings. The list includes archery equipment and large knives.

An executive order issued by Mayor Dave Munson in 2004 banned those weapons on any city property, but Huether says he will announce revisions Wednesday.

Opinions about banning guns specifically in public buildings are mixed.

"On the one hand I can see the safety issue of it, and on the other hand I'm kind of conflicted with the Second Amendment rights. How far do you go with those?" Charles Hagenbuch said as he entered the library in downtown Sioux Falls.

That's been the debate in the South Dakota legislature as well. State law says no city can restrict the possession of firearms by ordinance.

But during the last legislative session, a bill tried to put an end to cities like Sioux Falls banning guns in public places through an executive order.

The bill failed after the South Dakota Municipal League said cities do need to ban weapons in certain places. Especially publicly-owned venues like the new Sioux Falls Events Center where major entertainers won't perform if guns are allowed inside the facility.

And some citizens say it is reasonable to ban weapons in certain cases.

"You never know who that person is or what they're carrying the weapon for," Smith said.

The Sioux Falls Police Chief and City Attorney also plan on attending Wednesday’s announcement.

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