Citizen’s gun rights supported

Jason Ferguson

Custer County joined Pennington and Bennett counties as a Second Amendment Sanctuary County following the Custer County Commission’s approval of Resolution 2021-07 at its March 24 meeting.
The resolution declares its support of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, protecting citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, and also supports the legislature’s recent passage of Resolution 607 which strongly favors and supports the constitutional rights of citizens to own and possess firearms. It also opposed any effort by the current administration of the U.S. to require the registration, confiscation and mandated sale of firearms, or any other unconstitutional restriction on the individual’s right to keep and bear arms.
The resolution further states that no officer, official or employee of the county can assist in enforcing laws, rules or executive orders deemed unconstitutional and also cannot spend money to enforce the same.
Commissioners Mark Hartman and Craig Hindle asked county attorney Susan Anderson to look into the resolutions passed by Bennett and Pennington counties for guidance on Custer County’s resolution. Bennett County declared itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary County in February, and Pennington County followed suit earlier this month.
Anderson acknowledged the resolution doesn’t have a lot of teeth behind it, but shows Custer County supports the Second Amendment and the right to keep are bear arms.
“I wish it had more teeth, but I’m glad we’re making a statement,” Hartman said.
The resolution will take effect 20 days after it is published in this newspaper’s legal notices section.
In other news from the March 24 meeting, the commission:
• Discussed potential county handbook revisions with attorney Sarah Franken-stein, a Rapid City attorney the commission has contracted with for occasional legal advice. Frankenstein went over the proposed handbook revisions and made a few suggestions on potential changes, including asking the commission if it wants to have a grievance process to allow employees to come to the commission with workplace issues, particularly if it is with their department head.
Frankenstein said the commission also needs to decide if it will allow employees to use medical marijuana when becomes legal July 1. Frankenstein said even though it will be legal then, the county is not required to allow employees to use it even if prescribed it by a doctor.
The commission will discuss these two issues along with others brought up by Frankenstein and address them further at a future meeting.
• Heard from Tom Patterson, who said the owner of one of the hangars at the Custer County Airport has terminal brain cancer and he sought to purchase the hangar from him. However, he wanted the county’s assurance that the lease for the hangar space at the Custer County Airport would be renewed prior to purchasing the hangar. The commission assured Patterson through a gentlemen’s agreement that the lease would be renewed.
• Again discussed Buffalo Gap Volunteer Fire Department’s refusal to answer medical calls in Buffalo Gap. Lintz said Buffalo Gap is in an ambulance district, so medical calls will still be answered, but the fire department frequently beat the ambulance—which comes from Hot Springs—to calls.
“I’m without words,” Lintz said. “What do you do?”
This issue started when the county changed the locks to its shop in Buffalo Gap. It did not give a key to the fire department, much to chief Hap Schroth’s chagrin. In the past the responders had a key to the shop for access to the fuel for the fire trucks. County highway superintendent Jesse Doyle said at the time he wasn’t even aware a key was made available to the responders and said they hadn’t gotten fuel from the shop in well over a year, leading him to believe the practice had been done away with. Doyle said none of the other county fire departments have access to county fuel.
In response, the Buffalo Gap Volunteer Fire Department put fuel tanks at its fire hall, but also notified the county it would cease responding to medical calls in that area. The county is required to provide fire protection for county residents, but not medical response. The fire department is still responding to fire calls.
The fuel issue may not be the only thing stopping the Buffalo Gap Fire Department from responding to medical calls, as it was also suggested the department may not have the personnel to respond to the calls.
A representative of the Fairburn Volunteer Fire Department who was on hand at the meeting said Fairburn would provide mutual aid on Hwy. 79 accidents without compensation unless the calls become too frequent. Lintz suggested Hot Springs Ambulance Service, as well as Edgemont Volunteer Fire Department for its work at Dewey, keep track of calls it responds to in Custer County for possible reimbursement.

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