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Amidst Daily Mass Shootings, SD Republicans Retry Ban on Red Flag Laws

With two gun rampages in California this week helping maintain the nation’s average of one and a half mass shootings each day this year, South Dakota’s mugwumps think it’s a good time to reintroduce legislation to prevent law enforcement from preventing more shootings.

House Bill 1131 would prevent the enforcement of extreme risk protection orders. Specifically, it would make it a Class 6 felony for any state or local official to require people to surrender their firearms or ammunition or to refrain from acquiring firearms or ammunition to “reduce the risk of physical harm” to themselves or others. Essentially, HB 1131, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Aylward (R-6/Harrisburg) and other radical right-wingers in his “Freedom Caucus” are trying to nullify any “red flag laws’ intended to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous, mentally ill individuals. There is no federal red flag law for HB 1131 to nullify—the gun legislation President Biden signed last summer only encourages states to pass such laws, and South Dakota has not done so.

Just like Representatives Phil Jensen and Carl Perry with their anti-vaccine/anti-mask absolutism (and Jensen and Perry are both co-sponsors of HB 1131), Representative Aylward is again demonstrating that the right-wing’s absolutist elevation of personal rights over civic obligation leads to danger and destruction. Aylward and his allies so sanctify guns that we can’t take the practical measure of denying guns to genuine madmen.

Aylward floated a similar gun-absolutism bill in 2021; that bill failed, even after House Judiciary added exceptions to allow enforcement of protection orders against stalkers, assaulters, domestic abusers, and other violent criminals. Aylward has included those exceptions in this year’s HB 1131. But HB 1131 still demonstrates the gun nuts’ contempt for human life and disregard of the clear and present danger of easily accessible guns evinced by the ongoing daily slaughter of Americans.

Related Reading: Aylward won’t, but you may read the latest evidence on gun policies and their apparent effect on violence here.


  1. O 2023-01-25 08:16

    Again, a law banning themselves from doing something that they were not going to do?

  2. Jake 2023-01-25 08:19

    The South Dakota GOP “Taliban” in high action!!!

  3. Donald Pay 2023-01-25 08:26

    It must be the day for dumb bills on Dakota Free Press. Do they still have Noem’s enhanced security measures clogging up the Capitol Building? Kind of dumb to prevent nutcase legislators from being killed in the Capitol Building while allowing other nutcases go out and buy weapons to mow people down in the streets of Pierre.

  4. larry kurtz 2023-01-25 08:53

    Laws that hold swatters harmless for siccing the cops on innocent people for spite, amusement or revenge make little sense.

  5. All Mammal 2023-01-25 11:02

    Sick little punks. Boy I’d like to slap them with one of the thousands of fish lying dead in Huron. You are just like dead fish, guy. Stinking, worthless, limp legislation is all you can come up with. You all need a massive fish slap. Clean up the river, you punks! Do something.

    Golly we don’t care to figure out what caused all the dead fish. But, oh! The town of Huron made a phone call and are awaiting a return phone call. Pitiful. Do your effing job! But no, let’s build a shooting range instead. Sorry. This is deplorable. And women and fish aren’t safe in SD. After living in ND, WY, TX and SD, it is apparent Mr. Kurtz is 100% correct. Sane people and women need to flee this rapey squalor. My sister is waiting in WA where they care about their fish. And smoke hella bud. Legally. Because the people there vote for their family’s best interest.

  6. P. Aitch 2023-01-25 11:04

    Statistics show that Sheriffs who originally opposed Colorado’s Red Flag law are now using it often.

    Of the 27 Second Amendment Sanctuary counties in Colorado 18 have Sheriffs who’ve resorted to using the Red Flag law to remove firearms from troublesome residents.

  7. Eve Fisher 2023-01-25 12:36

    This batch of legislators are certainly pouring out a whole lot of culture wars legislation. Do they have Tucker Carlson on speed-dial or something?

  8. e platypus onion 2023-01-25 12:36

    Sorta OT, but drinking tainted water for 30 days is as healthy as eating a single wild fish full of forever chemicals.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-25 15:58

    We need our weapons, both handguns and automatic rifles to fend off miscreants on the streets from Kadoka to Kaylor. We also needs hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition of all calibers. Hand grenades, rocket assisted grenades, flamethrowers, bazookas, and field artillery are necessary, in fact vital, to protect our homes and kin. Be free again in South Dakota!.

  10. Mark Anderson 2023-01-25 19:08

    It’s OK, sooner or later South Dakota will have constitutional sheriff’s, then everyone can relax. Until then, Aaron, Phil, and Carl will pray for you if you are preyed upon. After all, guns are our most important freedom, right? Amen, boys.

  11. grudznick 2023-01-25 19:11


  12. All Mammal 2023-01-26 09:59

    Mm, mmm, mm, m. Smh. Rapid City gots the shooting disease more rampant than Chicago. Maybe Chi-town and Swift-town should look into the energy we absorb from the Fermi Lab/Sanford Lab DUNE project we got going on betwixt us. You know, the synthesizing of dark matter. Aka nutron bombs. Like the one dropped on Yemen. I wonder if that one came from the Black Hills..? Maybe thats why we’ve gone mad, brandishing iron and giving each other up to The Almighty…?

    “Dead with gunshot wound(s)” gets old hearing every other day.

  13. P. Aitch 2023-01-26 18:25

    @grudnichts – IYKYK

  14. leslie 2023-02-14 10:39

    67th United States mass shooting this year, last night in a Michigan state university.

    Thx Republicans, and NRA. And Putin. The viciousness of the second amendment culture is a global anomaly to hold on to political power. Republican Trumpist presidential hopeful Nicky Haley’s just announced statement focused on the many Republican failures to achieve majority votes in all recent national elections: “This MUST change.” Mitch McConnell has crept out of his shell exclaiming that Joe Biden owes it to somebody to explain the USAF fighter jet shoot-downs of various balloons, and MAYBE ALIENS!!

    MASS SHOOTINGS of young people. The next big thing! How else are Republicans going to attract attention? How about mass “shootings” with flame throwers? Kristi? “POOF” she said. Scare kids away from education and they will stay dumb enough to digest FAUX News. And vote for Republican incompetent’s?

  15. leslie 2023-02-14 10:59

    RAND, the right wing militaristic think tank’s new paper on gun violence after Californian most recent mass shootings spin, misses the boat in it’s 1st sentence. No surprise, RAND omits the reason for mass shootings. Republican’s half century long game of arresting democracy with guns, exemplifying:

    “the difficulty of finding policy strategies to prevent such tragedies.” (see Cory’s last link)

    Republican incompetents. Trump, McCarthy, Noem.

  16. leslie 2023-02-14 11:31

    RAND economist Rosanna Smart, Los Angeles, enjoys writing about Dr. Pepper, marijuana, and gun violence. She may have still just been an intern, But the paper states (and highlights the recent backwards SCOTUS Bruen decision) :

    First, we find supportive evidence that child access prevention laws reduce firearm homicides as well as firearm suicides and self-injuries among youth. Second, we find that “shall-issue” concealed carry laws [permits must be issued to all who meet state requirements, with no further review] are associated with increased firearm homicides. We also find supportive evidence that “stand your ground” laws are associated with increased levels of firearm violence.

    Those last two are more permissive gun policies largely intended to allow people to protect themselves. We find that those may actually be detrimental to public safety, having an unintended effect.

    Governing: Is this just a matter of injuries resulting from self-defense?

    Rosanna Smart: The size of the association between stand-your-ground laws and homicides is too large to be explained by an increase in “justifiable homicides,” or homicides perpetrated by citizens in self-defense.

    Evidence for whether these laws increase feelings of safety or increase actual safety is inconclusive. That is a data limitations issue and a conceptual issue; defining “defensive” gun use can be challenging. What looks like defensive gun use to one individual may look like an attack to the person on the other side of the barrel.

    Even if we agreed upon a definition, we don’t have systematically collected data on the use of guns in self-defense over a long historical period.

    Governing: Are there other policies that seem promising?

    Rosanna Smart: There are a few other areas where we find moderate evidence. Increasing the age at which an individual can purchase a handgun tends to reduce firearm suicides among young people.

    We also find that other kinds of restrictions around firearm sales and transfers, in particular requiring background checks on private sales of handguns and waiting period laws, can decrease homicides and suicides.

    One other finding I’d highlight is moderate evidence that prohibiting firearm possession among those under domestic violence restraining orders can decrease intimate partner homicides.

    (see graphic from RAND’s Gun Policy in America project)

    Governing: Are you seeing any shift in attitudes about gun policy?

    Rosanna Smart: I do think there’s a lot more interest and a lot more openness to considering a variety of regulations aimed at reducing gun violence.

    The rising rates of gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated trends that have occurred since 2014. Guns are now a leading cause of death among youth aged one to 19; this comes up with mass shootings in particular.

    Together, these are galvanizing public interest around gun policies and finding effective strategies to reduce gun violence.

    Governing: Are there any policies moving forward that run contrary to available evidence?

    Rosanna Smart: The finding that there’s relatively strong evidence that “shall issue” concealed carry laws increase firearm violence is a particularly notable in light of the Supreme Court’s decision last summer in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs Bruen. That decision effectively ruled that states that had more restrictive policies than “shall issue” states had to move toward the more permissive “shall issue” policy regime.

    This suggests that many of these states may face issues with worsening firearm homicides unless they’re able to kind of adopt other regulations that might help buttress against potential threats to public safety.

    There’s also been a move outside of that Supreme Court decision toward permitless carry laws. It will be very important to try to evaluate and understand the effects of those even more permissive concealed carry regimes on public safety.

  17. leslie 2023-03-12 12:32

    11th Cir decision:

    [The] Supreme Court abrogated step two of this frame- work in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111, 2127 (2022). Now, “when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.” Id. at 2126. To rebut that presumption, “the government must demonstrate that” a state’s “regulation” of that conduct “is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Id. In other words, if “the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct,” then “the government must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.” Id. at 2126–27.


    Tragically, all that has changed since the Re- construction Era is the amount of carnage a single person can inflict in a short period because of the advances made in firearm technology over the last 150, or so, years.

    But “[c]onstitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them.” Bruen, 142 S. Ct. at 2136 (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 634–35). And as our history shows, the states have never been without power to regulate 18-to-20-year-olds’ access to firearms. Going back to the Reconstruction Era, that is exactly what many states around the country did. Indeed, many states, when the Fourteenth Amend- ment was ratified, banned 18-to-20-year-olds from buying and sometimes even possessing firearms. And they did so to address the public-safety problem some 18-to-20-year-olds with firearms have long represented.

    Florida enacted the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act—as its name indicates—for precisely the same reason as states in the Reconstruction Era adopted their firearm restrictions for 18-to-20-year-olds—to address the public-safety crisis some 18-to-20-year-olds with firearms represent. Because Florida’s Act is at least as modest as the firearm prohibitions on 18-to-20-year-olds in the Reconstruction Era and enacted for the same reason as those laws, it is “relevantly similar” to those Reconstruction Era laws. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. at 2132. And as a result, it does not violate the Second Amendment.

    filed 03/09/23

  18. leslie 2023-03-14 23:50

    Senator Murphy [D., CT] in a Salon magazine interview said a recent US supreme court decision – which found the constitution protects individuals’ right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense and *said that any restrictions on gun possession must be in line with the nation’s historical tradition* – contained language that was “very purposefully, very clinically” designed to allow lower courts “to bring their politics into the courtroom”.

    Murphy warned that the so-called Bruen decision hinted that the supreme court “may rule that any prohibition or any regulation of guns that didn’t exist at the founding of this country is unconstitutional” – a judicial direction he called “absolutely absurd”.

    He warned that this is “a pathway to invalidate almost all of our gun laws”.

    “We’re definitely headed towards a very dangerous place, where Congress and state legislatures may be prohibited from passing many of the common sense gun laws that enjoy broad public support today,” Murphy said. “That’s how radical this court is.”

  19. leslie 2023-03-15 01:31

    @nytimes (today)
    A Supreme Court decision has forced courts to consider what gun restrictions existed two centuries ago. Lawyers must now comb through statutes drafted in the Colonial era to litigate modern firearms restrictions, sending demand soaring for historians.

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