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Senate Panel Kills Gun Publication Bill

FILE: Handgun
George Frey/Getty Images

PIERRE – A South Dakota Senate committee has rejected a measure that sought to prevent newspapers, broadcast stations and others from publishing the names of people who have guns.

The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Jeff Monroe of Pierre, says he was alarmed when a New York newspaper published the names and addresses of gun owners. He says he wants to avoid a similar situation in South Dakota.

But Jenna Howell, a lawyer for the state Public Safety Department, says the bill is an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech. Howell also says South Dakota law prohibits officials from keeping lists of gun owners and privately owned guns.

State law also forbids the release of the names of people who hold concealed weapons permits.

The Judiciary Committee voted 5-2 to kill the bill.

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