South Dakota Senate approves constitutional carry

01/24/19 3:30 AM | by

South Dakota Senate approves constitutional carry

A bill to recognize the Second Amendment as the only license needed to carry a concealed handgun in South Dakota passed the state Senate on Tuesday.

The measure, Senate Bill 47, zipped through the chamber’s judiciary committee last week and sailed to an easy 23-11 victory this week in the Republican-controlled body, heading to the state House for further consideration. The move would repeal the requirement that those carrying a concealed pistol or revolver first obtain a license to do so.

“Essentially we’re being asked as law-abiding citizens to go to our county and seek to lease back our constitutionally protected right to bear firearms, and I think that’s inappropriate,” said the bill’s prime sponsor, state Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark.

The legislation would keep in place the current permitting system, which issues five-year licenses for concealed carry for $10. Under its current language, South Dakota law would change to allow concealed carry by those lawfully able to possess a handgun without having to first have a permit. Currently, it is a misdemeanor under state law to carry a concealed handgun without a license. Some 107,172 licenses of all kinds were in circulation in Nov. 2018, the most recent figures available.

A similar bill passed the legislature in 2017 only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who had scuttled an early constitutional carry bill in 2012.

Should the measure win the approval of the GOP-controlled state House without changes it will proceed to newly-installed Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican that replaced Daugaard earlier this month. As a lawmaker representing South Dakota in Congress, Noem voted in favor of national concealed carry reciprocity in 2017 and campaigned for her current office last year as being a supporter of the Second Amendment– the latter to include constitutional carry.

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