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Open Carry Group Praises Gun Decision

July 11, 2012, 10:15 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Open Carry Group Praises Gun Decision

Gun advocates are celebrating Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether’s announcement rescinding an Executive Order banning guns on city property.

The city attorney said the policy would not hold up if challenged in court. Representatives from Open Carry South Dakota, a group in favor of open weapons laws, say the repeal expands personal freedoms.

“The people doing this legally are not the people you'll be afraid of. The people you'll be afraid of are the ones doing it anyways,” Open Carry South Dakota Spokesman Don Hixon said.

The group made the announcement Wednesday night in front of City Hall. Before the announcement it would have been one of several buildings and parks where handguns were not prohibited.

“The right to self defense shouldn't stop when we bring our kids to the park or city property,” Hixon said.

Across town on the baseball diamond parents like Tracey Merrill had their own questions.

“In a public place where there are children and families, why would you need [a gun]?” Merrill asked.

Merrill supports Second Amendment rights allowing citizens to bear arms, just not everywhere. She says that includes places like her son's baseball game.

“That scares me that anyone can walk in with a gun to a park. I don't think it should be legal,” Merrill said.

“You can walk to the store, go to Wal-Mart and the movie theater [and carry a gun]” Hixon said.

And the group is happy you can also go to the ball diamond and the bike trails, even the decision was made because previous policy stood on shaky legal legs.

Sioux Falls city ordinances do still ban weapons like knives and brass knuckles from city property.

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