Polling shows vast majority of South Dakotans oppose ‘constitutional carry’ bill

 Photo courtesy of SDBA
Photo courtesy of SDBA (KSFY)
Published: Jan. 31, 2019 at 8:51 PM CST
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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed her first bill into law, the constitutional carry bill senate bill 47. While gun rights supporters are defending Noem's action today, one woman who fought against the bill said she's very frustrated.

The new law will now allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in the state but some wonder if this will affect public safety.

"We are frustrated and embarrassed that Governor Noem has decided to sign this into law," Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Shannon Hoime said.

For years the constitutional carry bill has been vetoed until today. Shannon Hoime is a leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She’s afraid this is going to affect public safety with the permitting system being taken away.

"I think it's really dangerous and I’m frustrated that this has turned into a political issue instead of what the American public and the South Dakotans realize is a public safety issue," Hoime said.

The permit system was supposed to be one final safety check because it required an additional background check by law enforcement, but now she feels without the system there are many guns that can exchange hands with people who don't get a background check.

"Unfortunately, there's a small set of lawmakers who subscribe to this dangerous and extreme interpretation of the second amendment that anyone should be able to carry a weapon anytime, anywhere with no questions asked," Hoime added.

Noem says the law will further protect the second amendment rights of the citizens of South Dakota.

"It will keep our permit system in place and allow residents reciprocity with other states but for those in the state that choose to carry a weapon for self-defense will no longer have to worry about how they choose to do so," South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem said.

The South Dakota Sheriff's Association had opposed the measure arguing current limitations were reasonable.

"I think that they will have their debate and there is other policies that are being thoroughly vetted through committee and we'll see how that debate and discussion goes. I know that law enforcement still has some suggestions and they'll continue to offer that throughout session," Governor Noem said.

"I think it is harder for law enforcement if everyone’s carrying a weapon and they don't really know who's a good guy and who's a bad guy and they come into a situation where everyone's drawing their weapon they really don't know," Hoime said.

Shannon said she appreciates that some of the legislators took the time to really consider the bill.

Moms Demand Action will work to support common sense gun policies and responsible gun ownership.

The National Rifle Association thanked Noem for her leadership on this issue. The executive director said, "this law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding South Dakotans to exercise their fundamental right to self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs."