- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A legislative panel has approved a measure to allow sergeants-at-arms to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol for defense.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the proposal, which would require the sergeants to go through law enforcement-approved training before receiving a permit.

Republican Sen. Brock Greenfield says he aims to improve security in South Dakota’s Capitol. He says the times are becoming volatile and the Capitol building is one of the most wide-open in the country.

The state Highway Patrol, tasked with Capitol security, opposed the measure.

Republican Sen. Arthur Rusch says the sergeants are charged with security in the legislative chambers and current law doesn’t allow them to carry weapons.

The committee defeated a proposal to allow lawmakers to carry concealed weapons under similar circumstances.

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