South Dakota Gun Requirement Bill

South Dakota is considering making everyone own a gun, and as Prof. Reynolds notes, it’s completely within the state’s power, and would even be within the federal government’s militia powers. I’ve always thought that even in a world where there was a very strong Second Amendment, our opponents would probably still have a lot of room for jerking around gun owners with the the militia powers.

For instance, the federal government could require people who owned firearms to drill regularly, or mandate people with firearms seek annual training and qualification. It would be hard to argue how this would not be within the militia powers. I could see, that if it’s clear the power is being used to frustrate people out of exercising the right, the militia power could come up against the Second Amendment. But it’s pretty clear the militia powers would offer our opponents in Congress, and in the various anti-gun organizations, a lot of leeway in frustrating gun ownership.

One saving grace is that the Constitution leaves the actual authority of executing the training prescribed by Congress with the states.

UPDATE: Outdoor pressroom notes it wasn’t a serious bill, but was designed to make a point about the Health Care mandate. Except that it’s not a very good point since mandating gun ownership is within Congress’ power.

5 thoughts on “South Dakota Gun Requirement Bill”

  1. Mandated trainning? Cool. I assume I show up with my rifle and somebody gives me ammo and a target. Maybe some kid with far less experience than me (with rifles at least) tries to coach me or explain safety rules to me.

    I used to get paid for that in the Marines then the National Guard but they didn’t let me bring my guns.

  2. Heller recognized an individual right. The collective right (militia) was not taken seriously – at least not the way you are concerned over it.

    A fundamental, individual, right cannot be abridged by an unrecognized, collective right. If that were the case, there would be no such thing as individual rights, at all.

    Congress and the states can make a case for training, but they will need to do it by arguing a compelling need against the individual. It might pass muster (pun not intended), but I think it will be a tough argument for them.

  3. I’m not speaking of mandatory training for buying gun. I’m speaking of requiring anyone who owns a firearm to muster and drill. Congress has the power to prescribe the training regimen for the militia.

  4. “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the
    service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;…”Article I Section 8

    Arming and employing? OK, give me the weapons, and pay me.

  5. Since gun ownership is now a right, as settled by SCOTUS. Using the healthcare logic of the gov’t providing services for rights.

    I would like the Gov’t to provide me with a gun, but not just any gun, I want a quality gun, and I want access to a gun no matter what my past history has in it. I also want preventive tools and I would like ammo so I can go to the range and exercise, fully, my rights.

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