03/24/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

“Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.”

George Carlin

          On March 21,2022,  Mayor Dan Haeder made the following remarks:  ((24:55.50) 03/21/2022 A Voice From the Gallery video) “…I (Mayor Haeder) have the right to shoot one (a pellet gun) on my property…” ((26:32.17) 03/21/2022 A Voice From the Gallery video) Mayor Haeder says, “…I can use a pellet gun…rabbits, ground squirrels, whatever…I can kill anything that doesn’t require a license to hunt…” 

During Agenda Item #6 – Public Input I addressed Mayor Haeder’s remarks on his ‘right’ to shoot a weapon within the city limits.  ((33:09.37) 03/21/2022 A Voice From the Gallery video)  Shooting inside the city limits. Mayor Haeder remarked the police chief told him he could, per city ordinance.

          Folks, I invite you to review Mayor Haeder’s statements and his response to my cautionary remarks on the March 21. 2022. meeting video.  The following is the Alcester City Ordinance which deals with his avowal of his rights as a property owner :

08/16/2014 Revised Alcester Municipal Ordinances

CHAPTER 5.03 – FIREWORKS AND FIREARMS

5.0302  Discharging Weapon  – Discharging Weapon. No person shall discharge any pistol, gun, revolver, or other firearm, or any bow and arrow, or any device capable of firing a projectile either by air or compressed gas or any other means which would likely cause injury to any person, or discharge any dangerous weapon, within the City limits.

The following uses are exempt from this section:

          A. Proper use of weapons in a licensed shooting range.

          B. Use by law enforcement or animal control officers in the discharge of    their official duties, or to persons who are authorized by the Chief of Police.

          C. Use by persons engaged in instructional courses using air guns, BB guns,       or bows and arrows if the course has obtained a permit from the Chief of      Police, is conducted by a certified instructor, is covered by adequate liability         insurance, and has been approved by the supervising unit if conducted on   City property. The Chief of Police may establish conditions for granting a       permit to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the general public.

          D. The owner or inhabitant, over 18 years of age, of a parcel of real estate within the City of Alcester may use air guns or BB guns to control predators or pests on such property, provided all such activities comply with South Dakota Statute. It shall be a defense to a charge of violation of this section t    hat a person was engaged in lawful self defense, as set forth in SDCL 22-5-1, SDCL 22-5-9, and SDCL 22-18-4.

          Please note it is very clear, “No person shall discharge any pistol, gun, revolver, or other firearm, or any bow and arrow, or any device capable of firing a projectile either by air or compressed gas or any other means which would likely cause injury to any person, or discharge any dangerous weapon, within the City limits.”

          However, the ordinance section does enumerate exempt situations.  Exemption D does allow for the use of air guns or BB guns to control predators or pest on such property provided  all such activities comply with South Dakota Statute. 

          The language and definition of predator or pest is vague to the point of invalidating the exemption in my opinion.  Predator – zoological- any organism that exists by preying upon other organisms and Pest any organism that damages cropsinjures or irritates livestock or humans, or reduces the fertility of land.  However, both of these terms can be applied to human beings as well as organisms. 

          Now folks Mayor Haeder insinuates it is his RIGHT to sit in a lawn chair with a pellet gun or a BB guns and open fire on bunnies, squirrels, ground squirrels, cats,  predatory birds and etc.  Think about it folks, this Barney Fife clone has the school parking lot on his east property border, he has the city pool on the west side of his property, an apartment building on the south and the Alcester Community Center and Sixth Street on the northern portion of his property.  There he stands with his pellet gun/ BB gun at the ready for a quick draw as the circus shooting gallery starts its run across his sights.  There is a reason why people are not allowed to discharge a firearms within the city limits, it endangers the public.

          So folks do you want your students, your kids at the pool, our drivers on Sixth Street, our Golfers and guests of the Community Center to become inadvertent targets of some clown who wants to shoot bunnies, cats and so forth? There is a remedy and it appears as the last item in the municipal ordinances as follows:

08/16/2014 REVISED ALCESTER MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES

CHAPTER 11.01 – PENALTIES AND REPEALING CLAUSE

11.0101 Penalty in General. Except in cases where a different or additional penalty is imposed by this ordinance or by some existing provision of law, every violation of any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars. Each day in which a violation of this Ordinance or other ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense. (SDCL 9-19-3)

11.0102 Conflicting Ordinances Repealed. All former ordinances or parts of former ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance or relating to the subject matter of this ordinance, except as stated in this chapter, are hereby repealed; provided however, that nothing herein shall be construed as repealing any special ordinances, appropriation ordinances, franchise ordinances establishing fees and charges, levy ordinances for the issuance of bonds, or special ordinances of like character, nor shall this ordinance repeal or modify the provisions of any zoning ordinances or any other ordinances requiring a special method of adoption, nor shall this ordinance repeal or modify the provisions of any resolution heretofore adopted by the City of Alcester unless the provisions of this ordinance either modify, repeal, or amend such resolution; and all such ordinances and resolutions shall remain in full force and effect.

11.0103 Unconstitutionality. Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected thereby.

11.0104 Publication and Effect. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption and publication of the notice of such adoption as provided by SDCL 9-19-17.

          In other words folks, the exemption which allows a property owner to fire a gun (at bunnies, moles, ground squirrels, cats or whatever) within the city limits can be repealed.  It is up to us as voters.

CONTACT THE MAYOR, TELL THE MAYOR HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR KIDS, YOUR CATS, YOUR DOGS, OR WHATEVER  BECOMING THE TARGET OF SOME CLOWN SHOOTING A PELLET/BB GUN AT A TRESPASSING CAT OR GOPHER.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                             605-934-2287      605-770-7929

Councilman David Larsen                  605-934-2434

Councilwoman Darla Reppe               605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot              605-254-3074

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples

Councilman Lukas Driesen

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517