SD law enforcement officers weigh-in on school gun debate

LAWENFORCEMENTOFFICER

Some South Dakota law enforcement officers say a state legislator’s proposal to arm teachers to better school protect students could work.

Sturgis Police Chief Jim Bush says having guns in schools isn’t the ideal situation, but says in the right hands, they could prevent a mass shooting in South Dakota schools. Chief Bush says as long as teachers undergo proper training to carry concealed weapons, the measure proposed by State Representative Scott Craig of Rapid City could be done. Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin agrees, although he’s mindful about guns winding-up in the wrong hands.

“I think there’s gonna be some safety concerns and problems but if there’s rules put in place, the guns aren’t necessarily the problem, the way they’re being used is the problem,” Merwin said.

Merwin says too much discussion is being placed on the tools rather than what he sees as an underlying issue. “The problem to me is the mental ailments,” said Sheriff Merwin. “The problem to me is the instability of people.”

Whether Representative Craig’s proposal comes to fruition will be up to state legislators in January, but Chief Bush says he can envision the law coming to life in Sturgis schools.

“I think there might be some officials that would be willing to take on this type of thing,” Chief Bush said.

Whether Representative Craig’s proposal comes to fruition will be up to state legislators in January, but Chief Bush says he can envision the law coming to life in Sturgis schools.

Other law enforcement officers in Western South Dakota told KOTA Territory News that Representative Craig’s piece of legislation was premature. They also said they still needed time to process what happened in a Newtown, CT school earlier this month.

 

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