Guns deemed OK on city property in Sioux FallsSIOUX FALLS (AP) — Residents of South Dakota's largest city can once again freely carry guns on city property, after officials decided a ban imposed 15 years ago was never enforceable.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Residents of South Dakota's largest city can once again freely carry guns on city property, after officials decided a ban imposed 15 years ago was never enforceable.
Sioux Falls Mayor Gary Hanson in 1995 issued an executive order prohibiting city employees from bringing guns on city property. He expanded it two years later to include all people. After a review of executive orders on the books in Sioux Falls, City Attorney Dave Pfeifle recommended lifting the gun ban because state law did not allow for it.
"This executive order — though it was not a law and it was very well-intended — it had absolutely no teeth," current Mayor Mike Huether said Wednesday.
Huether signed a revised executive order that applies only to city employees, turning it into a personnel regulation.
Hanson told the Argus Leader newspaper that he created the executive order in 1995 because a number of city workers were bringing rifles, shotguns and pistols to work, cleaning them in the cafeteria and keeping them in their lockers. A number of workplace shootings also had occurred throughout the country, and Hanson said he wanted to take preventive action.
Hanson said when he amended his order in 1997, he and other administrators were unaware that the state prohibited cities from banning firearms.
"I appreciate the fact that Mayor Huether took the action that he did; I think it's quite appropriate," Hanson said.
Members of the group Open Carry South Dakota also thanked the city for the move, gathering outside City Hall on Wednesday night.
"The possession and carrying of weapons is a civil right and must be exercised," spokesman Don Hixon said.
Police Chief Doug Barthel urged gun owners to use common sense.
"Just because there isn't a prohibition, if you're causing other problems or other issues, that's going to come into play," he said. "Those that are going to decide to carry a gun openly or with a concealed weapons permit, be extremely cautious about what you do."