Constitutional carry bill sent to South Dakota governor
By Chris Eger
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled state House on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed a measure to drop a requirement that those carrying concealed handguns in the state first get a permit.
The measure, Senate Bill 47, passed the Senate 23-11 last week and the House 47-23 this week, sending it to the desk of Gov. Kristi Noem, a pro-gun Republican who recently took office. The bill would recognize the Second Amendment as the only license needed to carry a concealed handgun in South Dakota.
“I’m thoroughly convinced—as I said on the floor—that a good guy with a gun will beat a bad guy with a gun any day,” said state Rep. Lee Qualm, the House Majority Leader and lead sponsor of the bill. “It’s a deterrent. I firmly believe it’s a deterrent to crime, more than it adds to crime. It’s a deterrent because then the bad guy has no idea who is carrying and I think that’s good.”
SB47 would keep in place the current permitting system, which issues five-year licenses for $10, but removes the crime of possessing an otherwise legal concealed handgun without having such a permit. Currently, it is a misdemeanor under state law to carry a concealed handgun without a license.