Main | Wednesday, February 02, 2011

SOUTH DAKOTA: Republican Lawmaker Proposes Mandatory Gun Ownership

South Dakota Tea Party-backed GOP state Rep. Hal Wick has proposed a bill that would require every adult in the state to by a gun "sufficient to provide for their personal self-defense."
The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.” The measure is known as an act “to provide for an individual mandate to adult citizens to provide for the self defense of themselves and others.”
Wick's bill, of course, is meant to mock "Obamacare" as being as equally unconstitutional as mandating gun ownership. Over at Salon, however, Alex Pareene points out that there's nothing unconstitutional about a state requiring one to purchase a gun.
No one expects the bill to become a law, but these guys are just trying to make a point, and that point is that they don't even understand conservative talking points about the individual mandate. The argument against the individual mandate is that the federal government doesn't have the power to compel people to purchase private insurance. It is not about what states can and can't do. That's kind of the fundamental issue, actually. The role and powers of the federal government.

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