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A bill that gives more clarity to when someone can use deadly force against another person with be heard on Monday in the South Dakota Senate.  

House Bill 1212 introduced by Majority Whip Rep.Kevin Jenson of Canton would give private citizens the right to use deadly force if they believe it was necessary to prevent the “imminent commission of a forcible felony” as long that they are “in a place where the person has a right to be”.    

A forcible felony is a crime such as burglary, robbery, aggravated assault, home invasion robbery or any other felony which involves the use of physical force or violence against an individual.  

District 4 Senator John Wiik is the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

The bill passed the House State Affairs Committee and the House Floor before hitting a roadblock in the Senate Judiciary Committee…..

District 5 Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown was one of two senators on the Judiciary Committee to show his support of the bill. Sen. Michael Rohl of Aberdeen was the other.   

Those opposed to the bill say the passage of the bill could increase the number homicides in the state and provide a defense to those who use deadly force without facing consequences.

South Dakota Legislative Rule 7-7, also known as the “smoke out”, requires a committee to deliver a bill to the full body of the chamber if at least one-third of the chamber’s members support the move. Thus, HB1212 was revived and is now awaiting further action in the South Dakota Senate on Monday.