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Republicans Propose Mandating Gun Ownership

In a measure apparently mocking the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate, Republican lawmakers in South Dakota want to force everyone over 21 years of age to buy a gun by 2012. If the measure passes, those turning 21 would have six
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In a measure apparently mocking the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate, Republican lawmakers in South Dakota want to force everyone over 21 years of age to buy a gun by 2012.

If the measure passes, those turning 21 would have six months to buy a firearm "sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense."

Residents would be required to pick a gun "suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference."

The bill was intended to be a form of protest against President Barack Obama's health care reform law, which required that every American purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty.

South Dakota state Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls) was sponsoring the measure. He told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he knows the bill won't get far.

"Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not," he said. "But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance."

A federal judge in Florida ruled Monday that the individual health insurance mandate was unconstitutional, and the entire law must be voided. South Dakota was one of 26 states that filed the lawsuit.

US District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida went even further than a federal judge in Virginia last month who also struck down the law.

The Obama administration has announced plans to appeal the rulings, and the Supreme Court could eventually take up the case. Two other federal judges have upheld the law.

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter told Fox News' Sean Hannity Monday that if the health care law is allowed to stand "then Republicans should turn around and mandate all citizens be forced to purchase a gun and a Bible."

"There's a lot more evidence that owning a gun and a Bible is better for society than everyone having to own health insurance," she said.

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