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South Dakota House votes against guns in Capitol

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PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota public officials will not be allowed to carry guns in the state Capitol.

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A bill allowing legislators to pack heat in public buildings failed to pass the House with 49 representatives voting against it and 18 in support. It would have applied to state and local elected officials with concealed weapons permits.

Prime sponsor Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, says lawmakers are "sitting ducks" and need to be able to protect themselves.

Many opponents to the bill argued that the bill would give public officials a special privilege and that the status of being a public official was not always easy to demonstrate.

Republican Rep. Anne Hajek, of Sioux Falls, says she doesn't "feel unsafe here." Other legislators echoed that sentiment.

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