State Minority Leader proposes bill to prohibit gun rights for m - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

State Minority Leader proposes bill to prohibit gun rights for mentally ill

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SD House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff SD House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff

South Dakota House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff has proposed a bill keeping people with mental illness from possessing a firearm.

House Bill 1188 allows for the ascertainment of whether a mentally ill person is dangerous and it rescinds their right to bear arms. HB188 also provides penalties for violating this law.

The bill lays out guidelines for how a mentally ill person can be deemed dangerous. For example, "Has previously attempted to cause, or knowingly caused, bodily injury to another with a weapon; or has previously assaulted another with intent to commit bodily injury which results in serious bodily injury."

Click here to read the full bill

Dangerousness is based on previous criminal and health records, recent acts or omissions. The Yankton County Board of Mental Illness and South Dakota Human Services Center also have a say in what is considered dangerousness.

According to the measure, prior to discharge from the custody of the director of the South Dakota Human Services Center reviews each person's health records to decide whether there is any evidence that a person is dangerous within the meaning of HB1188.

If the director discovers any evidence from the person's health records deeming the person as dangerous, then the director drafts a records report to the Yankton County State's Attorney's Office.

The Yankton County State's Attorney's Office provides a written petition to the Yankton County Board of Mental Illness and hearing is scheduled. The hearing is conducted privately in which the legal counsel for the person deemed mentally ill will have present a case against the state. The Board then makes the decision privately.

Anyone in violation of this law would face a Class 6 felony, which carries two years imprisonment in the state penitentiary or a fine of four thousand dollars, or both.

HB1188 also provides licensed gun sellers access to the list of persons who have had his or her right to bear arms rescinded. Also, anyone who sells a weapon to a person deemed mentally ill under this law would be charged with a Class 6 felony.

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