House Bill 1248, passed the South Dakota Legislature last Tuesday awaits Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s signature or veto.
If Gov. Daugaard signs the law, South Dakotans will bypass a layer of bureaucracy, including a background check and fee, before being able to carry a concealed weapon.
Anyone with a valid South Dakota driver’s license who isn’t disqualified from carrying a concealed weapon – including convicted felons, people with a “history of violence” and people with mental illness – will be able to carry a concealed weapon without the permit under the state law and the U.S. Constitution.
South Dakota law does not require permits to own guns, keep or bear them in a home or business or carry guns openly. However, the law currently requires that people have permits to carry concealed guns.
Permits still will be available for people who want one. Many other states recognize South Dakota concealed weapon permits as valid, and travelers would need a permit in order to carry concealed weapons those states. If the bill is signed into law, it would make South Dakota the fifth state to not require a concealed carry permit. Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming don’t require permits to carry concealed weapons.
The bill won’t change where people are allowed to carry a weapon. It will still be against the law to possess a firearm inside a courthouse or to possess a loaded firearm while intoxicated.
Federal laws requiring background checks for people buying firearms remain.
Supporters say it is a matter of giving citizens their freedoms.
Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, said there’s no reason to make South Dakotans get a concealed weapons permit as long as they have valid driver’s licenses and would meet the requirements for getting a concealed weapons permit. People have a constitutional right to bear arms, he said.
“I believe this simply restores some of the constitutional rights of the citizens of South Dakota, the law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center.
Rhoden said constitutional rights trump any argument for leaving control with local law officials.
“When in doubt, give us our rights,” Rhoden said.
It is uncertain whether the Governor will sign the bill. Gov. Daugaard said Wednesday that he has yet to examine it closely. The governor is required by law to sign or veto the law two weeks after he receives it.
Today I received more information on HB 1015 from Ray Lautenschlager, Director of South Dakota Gun Owners:
Once again, NRA “A” rated politicians have hurt gun rights in South Dakota.
And they want you to thank them for it!
Right now, they’re crowing about how they passed a “pro-gun” bill. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As reported last week, several politicians in Pierre are trying desperately to cover up their anti-gun actions against Constitutional Carry (HB 1015). After leading the fight to kill this REAL Right-to-Carry bill, anti-gun Speaker of the House Val Rausch and his allies pushed through their own limp-wristed substitute.
Their compromise bill (HB 1248) requires gun owners to have a valid South Dakota driver’s license PLUS jump through all the current permit hoops. At very best, it simply substitutes the pistol permit for the driver’s license. All the permit restrictions are left intact.
Law-enforcement bureaucrats are already threatening to detain gun owners under this new bill and force them to undergo background checks on the spot if they try to carry a handgun without the permit.
Speaker Pro Tem Brian Gosch led the effort to kill Constitutional Carry in the House. Sadly, Rep. Betty Olson made a serious mistake and worked with Rep. Brian Gosch to create the limp-wristed HB 1248, providing cover for rabid anti-gunners like Rep. Gene Abdallah. Both Gosch and Abdallah claim to have “A” ratings from the NRA.
After it passed the House, HB 1248 was taken up by another NRA “A” rated politician. Senator Larry Rhoden carried this do-nothing bill to the Senate, and when he had the opportunity to change it back to a true Constitutional Carry bill, he refused. When constituents asked him to reconsider, he rudely dismissed them.
Once Rhoden’s limp-wristed bill passed the Senate, he proclaimed to the media with stunning hypocrisy that he is working to restore “constitutional rights.”
Don’t let Sen. Larry Rhoden blow smoke in your face. Please contact him and let him know that gun owners are not satisfied with HB 1248, his weak excuse for Constitutional Carry.
The Legislature is now in recess but you can contact Sen. Rhoden at home: (605) 985-5461.
You can also email Sen. Rhoden: firstname.lastname@example.org
As already mentioned, Rhoden’s bill leaves ALL of the current permit restrictions in place. Police are already threatening to detain folks who try to carry a handgun without the permit and force them to undergo a background check.
Sadly, this is not the first time Larry Rhoden has pushed an anti-gun agenda. In 2004, he led the charge to kill the Right-to-Carry in Your Car bill (HB 1247, 2004). And in 2005, Rhoden sponsored legislation allowing pistol permit holders to be registered and profiled as a threat to law-enforcement (HB 1209, 2005).
SDGO will continue to push to pass a real Constitutional Carry bill in South Dakota, but for this year, it appears the compromisers have succeeded in sinking that hope. Let’s see if voters approve of their actions in the upcoming elections.