PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on a South Dakota lawmaker using a panic button to test Capitol security (all times local):
The South Dakota Highway Patrol superintendent says authorities were properly notified seconds after a lawmaker whose committee was considering a bill to allow concealed guns in the Capitol hit a panic button to test the response time.
Superintendent Col. Craig Price said Monday that after the notification, a supervisor looked at the video monitoring system and saw that an armed plainclothes state trooper was already in the room. He says a uniformed officer responded to verify there was no emergency.
Republican Rep. Larry Rhoden, who hit the button, said the response time was longer than he had thought it would be.
Price says that while not all responses may be visible, officers take seriously their responsibility for security at the Capitol and the state government complex.
A South Dakota lawmaker whose committee was considering a bill to allow concealed guns in the Capitol says he hit a panic button during debate just to see how quickly authorities could respond.
Republican Rep. Larry Rhoden, who supports the legislation, said Monday the response time was about five minutes — longer than he'd thought it would be.
The Highway Patrol, which provides security at the Capitol, didn't immediately comment on Rhoden's action. During the hearing, Maj. Rick Miller testified against the legislation.
The House committee voted to approve the bill, which opens up carrying in the Capitol for people who have an enhanced carry permit. Similar legislation has failed in the past.