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Governor Passes Constitutional Carry in South Dakota

Second Amendment stalwart Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has signed her first bill into law. It repeals the requirement for a permit to carry concealed weapons in the state of South Dakota.

Promises Kept

The law, signed Jan. 31, 2019, fulfilled a campaign promise made by the gubernatorial hopeful. South Dakota’s Argus Leader reported that Noem specifically chose the bill as her first order of business. “It’s special for me to be signing a bill into law that protects our Second Amendment rights,” stated Noem. The move validates gun-rights advocates everywhere. Gov. Noem quipped, “I believe this legislation will further protect the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of South Dakota and this country.”

Some May Choose Permits

The new concealed carry law will go into effect July 1, 2019. Residents and visitors will enjoy the freedom to carry concealed weapons without a permit — an act widely known as “constitutional carry.” Optionally, residents may still apply for a concealed carry permit. Doing so would allow legal carry when traveling to states with which South Dakota shares concealed carry reciprocity.

Bipartisan Detractors Support the Status Quo

Although the law has yet to go into effect, bipartisan activists — including South Dakota law enforcement — are already pushing a new concealed carry bill which would bar non-residents from exercising their constitutional carry rights within South Dakota. Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit gun-control advocacy group, polled South Dakotans on the eve of the law’s signing.

Eighty-four percent of respondents supported the existing CCW permit law. Ninety-two percent of those who claimed to have voted for Hillary Clinton and 81 percent of those who identified as Trump voters supported the current, more restrictive legislature. Eighty-five percent of polled South Dakota gun owners supported the status quo.

Until such a time as a new bill is ratified, Noem’s flagship constitutional carry will be the literal law of the land. When the law goes into effect in July, South Dakota will become the 14th state to adopt permitless carry.

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