SB 89 to Schools, Courthouses: Ban Guns, Get Sued

Yosemite Stace Nelson
The rootin’est tootin’est Senator in Pierre!

Senator Stace Nelson is totally right to expose and prosecute the corruption among his party leadership. Senator Nelson is totally wrong to offer Senate Bill 89, a backhanded attempt to push guns into schools, courthouses, and the Capitol.

SB 89 doesn’t ban gun bans. Instead, it would subject any public entity that bans firearms on its premises to civil liability for injuries and damages resulting from violent crimes on their premises.

Consider that the statutory definition [SDCL 22-1-2(9)] of “crime of violence” includes “murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, riot, robbery, burglary in the first degree, arson, kidnapping, felony sexual contact as defined in § 22-22-7, felony child abuse as defined in § 26-10-1, or any other felony in the commission of which the perpetrator used force, or was armed with a dangerous weapon, or used any explosive or destructive device.”

Thus under SB 89, if a criminal steals a computer from a USD dorm room or lights the campus library on fire, the robbery victim or someone singed by the flaming I.D. Weeks Library could sue the Board of Regents, which generally prohibits firearms on campus.

SB 89 assigns liability to the Regents, even though the Regents and their staff and students believe that banning firearms from campus makes the campus safer.

Similarly, if angry parents go to the Capitol and start casting stones at House members for ignoring sexual misconduct toward young interns, SB 89 would let dented (traumatized? frightened?) parties sue the state for denying them the opportunity to shoot the stoners. SB 89 would ignore the precautions the state takes for public safety by stationing armed security guards in the Capitol.

SB 89 also subjects public schools to civil liability for following state law. SDCL 13-32-7 prohibits the general public from carrying firearms on school premises. SB 89 does not mention removing that law from the books.

SB 89 represents Senator Nelson’s continued mistaken belief that guns can solve our problems. Restricting firearms in public buildings is a sensible precaution against violence. Punishing public institutions for following the law and keeping staff, students, and visitors safe is wrong.

SB 89 comes before Senate Judiciary Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. Nelson sits on that committee along with SB 89 co-sponsors Lance Russell and Brock Greenfield.

25 Responses to SB 89 to Schools, Courthouses: Ban Guns, Get Sued

  1. Liberty Dick

    Politics aside that is officially my new favorite picture of Stace Nelson.

  2. Never a dull moment with Stace.

  3. Stace knows how to create a distraction

  4. mike from iowa

    You don’t really want South Dakota school kids to be at the mercy of ravening grizzly bears, do you? Betsy DeVos sure doesn’t.

    In Alaska, where they have their fair share and then some of grizzlies, they have never had a problem with a bear in or around school grounds. Even those kids don’t get to pack heat in the classroom.

  5. Conversely, does this also make the legislature responsible (financially) for all gun violence (and accidents) that happens in places where guns are allowed?

  6. Porter Lansing

    Go get ’em, Nelson. You don’t know a lot about a diverse catalog of things (sex crimes and guns) but what little you do know about, you splay on the table like fresh corpse. We beat ‘ya, though. he he heh *Got your back, big fella’. :)

  7. More God and more guns for everyone, especially the young un’s! Upon graduation they will be ready to fight in Trumps latest war.

  8. If teachers and students bring guns to school, we will need guns in school to protect us from the teachers and students who now have guns in schools. Did this just create a casualty loop: making guns available creates the NEED for more guns?

    Nothing like some Cold War MAD thinking to create policy. Unlike big pharma creating the disease so that they can sell the cure for that disease, this if far more efficient because the reaction to the threat AND the threat (guns) is the same.

    I do acknowledge the Second Amendment, but even in the context of recognizing an American right to own arms, shouldn’t good policy REDUCE the need for guns – not increase the need?

  9. Darin Larson

    Umm, I thought the NRA mantra was that guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Why are we blaming people that don’t kill people for the actions of people that do kill people with guns?

    Is there going to be a similar liability provision for sharp knives? 6th grade can get pretty rough. Don’t leave your middle schooler defenseless. Arm them with the latest in military grade hardware. You want your 6th grader to be ready when people throw down at lunch. Get them the Ka-Bar tactical spork:

  10. Roger Cornelius

    Damn Stace, you were on such high ground with the Wolllman scandal and now you pull this nonsense.
    Do the right thing Stace, not is what you think is right.

  11. Vance Feyereisen

    Mom, what is a Canadian?

    Son, a Canadian is an unarmed North American with health insurance.

  12. mike from iowa

    +1 Vance. :)

  13. Stupidest thing i’ve heard since trump, stace. Try this…wasta deep bore hole bond insufficient. Amend state collection law to recover from driller/owner. Then the superfund sites. Then the abandoned uranium mines the state permitted. STAY OUT OF THE SCHOOLS.

  14. owen reitzel

    I asked this question last year.

    I work in a court house. If this bill passes will the state provide me with a gun and also the training to use the gun?

  15. There is so much going on in this state that is of major importance and a priority for South Dakotans. In other words, how many South Dakotans wake up in the morning and say, “gosh, I hope I can sue someone if I get shot where guns weren’t allowed.” Um….NONE. People in this state in particular wake up and worry about low wages (this state is still in the 80’s when it comes to wages), other economic concerns, healthcare, ethical problems with our state gov’t, etc.

    Stace has identified that ethics (lack there of) is a problem in this government. He made great strides in the Wollmann issue to address that. (standing ovation) But THIS is the next priority? Seriously? With all that is going on in this state and people trying to make it paycheck to paycheck?

    Cut to the sad trombone sound……Wut waaaahhhhhh

  16. Porter Lansing

    This editorial has some good reasons for certain schools to allow some teachers and coaches to be reclassified as security officers which allow carry. And it has good reasons for not having a statewide law.

  17. barry freed

    Mr. Nelson,
    If you have read my writings here, you know I take a lot of abuse and name calling on this site because I believe our Constitution, all of it. It is one of the better contracts on the Planet. (Nicaragua copied the US Constitution word for word, but gave greater protections for home and person… just before Reagan conducted an illegal war on them)
    That said, why do you submit such a thing when your fellow lawmakers are trying to take away our IM and Referral Rights? Without those tools, we will see worse attacks on the 2A and more corruption from PIerre. Or is it an “agent provocateur” strategy to distract us from the all-out attack on our freedoms going on in Pierre right now?
    If it is pandering, it is a waste of time and energy. We need to work above the current level of production, we have much more important things to address.

    No, a Canadian is an armed North American who can think critically. i.e. more masculine, less emotional, according to them.

    2012: “Efforts to repeal the long gun registry lasted 17 years, and they finally succeeded in part because the majority of Canadians have concluded that the registry was a colossal waste of money, of no value in crime control, and a pointless invasion of privacy.”

    It’s been 5 years, where is hole in the atmosphere where the sky fell in?

  18. Can I walk on to S Nelsons property carrying a gun because I think he may be subject to harm from someone?
    Will I be able to carry a gun on to farm or ranch property cause some one may be wanting to harm deer or pheasants ?

  19. Ah, note, Bob, SB 89 only applies to public entities. I don’t think the language extends to legislators’ private property… and given Stace’s likely large personal armory, you might not want to attempt unauthorized armed entry into Fortress Fulton! :-D

  20. Darin Larson

    Cory, any thoughts on how Stace’s law affects sovereign immunity and PEPL fund claims?
    Could this be a waiver of sovereign immunity that subjects the state to huge liability claims that would otherwise be limited by sovereign immunity?

    Since Stace didn’t get his way on eliminating gun free zones, it looks like he aims to force guns on everyone or risk bankrupting public entities in the event of a shooting.

    And another question: aren’t there gun free zones where alcohol is served? As I recall, even the NRA thought it was a bad idea to mix guns and alcohol. Trump didn’t think it was a problem and apparently Stace doesn’t think so either.

  21. bearcreekbat

    Stace’s idea almost makes sense if we can agree that our governmental institutions should financially compensate folks who are victims of gun violence. The only problem is that the duty to provide compensation to gun victims shouldn’t be limited to “gun-free” zones.

    Rather, Stace should propose establishing a fund, similar to the SD Retirement fund, to be used to provide compensation for all victims of gun violence in SD without regard to where the violence occurred. This could easily be fully funded by a tax of the sale of guns and ammo in our state, coupled with fines from people committing gun violence who can afford to pay.

    While this approach might not end or deter gun violence, it would certainly help victims by compensating them, and it would increase the public’s understanding of the actual costs of inadequate gun regulations. And it would save victims, courts, and the state institutions the cost of constant litigation to recover damages under Stace’s actual bill.

  22. bearcreekbat, That idea of yours makes the most sense of anything that I have heard. I support 2nd Amendment rights without a doubt, always have. This idea though makes it so that those who abuse the right to carry by inflicting harm on others would have a general fund that would compensate for the carnage they caused. This is fair to a point. There should be a third party re-insurance to cover the claims over what would be in the fund. Example, the governor claims we have a 10 million dollar surplus for this year. Take the money, put it into the fund for seed money so that way taxpayers will not have to be taxed again to get the ball rolling.

    Sorry, I know this is your idea, so you know this is just part of the sausage making to fulfill it as a bill. I am guessing this would go directly to arbitration for settlement, maybe with a baseline to start?

  23. bearcreekbat

    Jerry, I think we should give Stace credit as his proposal certainly is aimed at compensating victims, and as you said, started up the sausage machine of ideas on how to best accomplish this worthwhile goal. Your ideas on the subject are well worth exploring as we really are talking about a form of public insurance to address gun violence as an alternative to other possible restrictions that might undermine the 2nd Amendment.

  24. barry freed

    Jerry, Bearcreek,
    You write of something that statistically, NEVER HAPPENS in South Dakota.

    However, assaults and murders with hands, feet, and knives do happen, almost every day. If we start acting like trump, he wins. …and that is how some are about guns, trumpettes.

  25. barry freed

    As we slurp our hot coffee, in our warm jammies and pontificate about sometimes esoteric and fictional problems, in all of our towns last night, children… allow me to repeat, children, slept in cars. Students came to school this morning after a rugged night of survival, and they are supposed to block the reality of their lives from their minds, and learn. Is their School welcoming with the smell of fresh pancakes, eggs, and juice, free for anyone who wants some, not just those who have to reluctantly sign up for embarrassing special treatment because their parents aren’t doing as well as others? Is the student expelled for absences during the subzero weather? (yes, in Rapid) None of these children are worried about gun liability or ownership, they are wondering if they will have anything of substance to eat today.

    If we can keep it from getting ugly, Trump holding the mirror to America’s face will be a good thing. We will have to look at ourselves and who we truly are. Will we build walls or bridges? Will we be welcoming or closed off? Will we embrace each other or serve ourselves? These are the choices with which he is presenting us. What will our grandchildren see in us in 21st Century History Class?