South Dakota Governor Vetoes Constitutional Carry Bill

(Photo: Hegshot 1987)

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) on Friday vetoed two pro-gun bills, one of which would have allowed South Dakota residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

HB 1072—also known as South Dakota’s “constitutional carry” bill—passed the House of Representatives 37-30 and the Senate 23-11.

Despite the legislature’s decisive decision, Gov. Daugaard vetoed the measure because, according to his letter to lawmakers, current concealed carry permit laws do not infringe on the Second Amendment and have effectively stopped ineligible persons from obtaining permits.

“I am unaware of a single instance in which a person who could lawfully possess a gun was denied a permit to carry a concealed pistol,” Daugaard said in the letter.

He noted that a standard concealed carry permit can be obtained “in a matter of minutes,” which, while technically not true, does reflect the ease with which South Dakotans can acquire a permit.

Unlike many states, South Dakota does not require fingerprints or the completion of a concealed carry class to receive a permit. Residents simply fill out a form and submit it to their local sheriff, who must issue a regular temporary permit within five days from the date of application. The application fee is $10.

An “enhanced” concealed carry license does require fingerprinting and a class, which allows enhanced license holders to carry concealed in six more states than regular permit holders.

Even with such minimal oversight, South Dakotan authorities have been able to bar prohibited persons from obtaining concealed carry permits, according to Daugaard.

“Our permit laws are effective in screening people who are not eligible to carry a concealed weapon. Over the last three years, Minnehaha and Pennington Counties have turned down nearly 600 permit applicants who were disqualified due to mental illness or due to violent or drug-related crimes,” Daugaard asserted.

Proponents of constitutional carry point to the text of the Second Amendment to argue that any concealed carry requirements—no matter how minimal—infringe upon the right to bear arms.

Not only are permit requirements unconstitutional, but they also argue they do little to keep law-abiding citizens safe. South Dakota Rep. Lynne DiSanto (R), who introduced HB 1072, noted on her Facebook page that criminals don’t adhere to permit requirements to carry concealed firearms.

“Pennington County has had 5 murders in 71 days, and yet our Sheriff, Kevin Thom, was opposed to constitutional carry,” she said. “Constitutional carry is about giving the law-abiding citizens the right to carry the way they choose and protect themselves. Does he honestly think the people that have committed these murders care about the permit system?”

DiSanto and others will work to override Daugaard’s veto, but, according to another Facebook post from DiSanto, lack of support from some Republicans will make a successful override difficult.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • RCS Optics May 19, 2018, 11:45 pm

    As a SD enhanced CC permit holder, i agree with the governor’s decision.

  • Nick M December 22, 2017, 8:08 am

    Daugaard doesn’t know what infringe means. Neither does the poster who monetizes on constitutional rights. If your class was firearm usage against attackers and safety, that would be different.

  • OCD Class March 27, 2017, 11:26 am

    Keep in mind, having a permit from a “shall issue” state gives you many benefits that Constitutional Carry states can’t or won’t offer. My state of Nebraska, for which I am a State certified CCP instructor (full disclosure) has a permit that is honored by 31 other states. When I go buy a new gun of any type, I don’t have to wait for the 45 minute “instant background check” because I’m a CCP holder. I just fill out the ATF form, pay and go! My permit is good for 5 years, and the re-up is only a $50 fee.

    I know and understand what my State and Federal Law does and does not allow because I invested 8 hours in the class, passed a 30 question written test and a 30 shot shooting test. The test only ensures you ca safely handle a handgun and hit what you’re aiming at…it’s not to make anyone a sniper. It’s designed so your Grandma can pass, because she has the same right to legal self-defense in public as you or me.

    People in Kansas, with no permit required, cannot carry in Nebraska since they have no permit for us to recognize. Kansas residents can take a voluntary class (for a fee) to get a permit, and then they can enjoy the benefits of state-to-state permit carry, etc.

    In my opinion, as a CCP instructor, investing 8 hours in a quality state certification process in a “Shall Issue” state is well worth the time and money. If State X has a crappy 2 hr CCP class, that’s their own fault.

    And yes, it’s not free, because it takes manhours for LE to process this stuff, and time is money. LE budgets are already bad enough.

    In summary, as long as the state is “Shall Issue”, the benefits of Permitting outweigh the “inconvenience” of the process to get a Permit.

    • Capn_Stefano March 27, 2017, 12:42 pm

      What part of “shall not be infringed” is so difficult to understand? What you describe is infringement, plain and simple

      Your arguments are therefore irrelevant

      • OCD Class March 27, 2017, 1:33 pm

        I know it is hard for some folks to understand, but there are many “infringements” we have adopted and endorsed…like filling out the ATF form,,,if you don’t do it, you can’t buy the gun. Under 18? You can’t own a handgun. Can’t carry in a church, school, bar, courtroom, police station, blah blah blah…all are infringements, and with good, justifiable rationale in MOST cases. Like drug abusers, felons, mentally insane people, etc, etc, these are all infringements that society has accepted as reasonable. Yelling fire in a theater. It is reasonable in my state that to carry a concealed handgun in public, you must demonstrate to an instructor (who does not work for the state) that you can safely handle a firearm.

        Arguing about “what part of shall not be infringed” just means you don’t know how the law works. Every Bill of Rights has limits…can’t vote until you’re 18, etc. The key is we’re talking about “Shall Issue” states. In general, 98% (or whatever) of folks get issued their permit. It is the “May Issue” States that need to be changed. Don’t lose sight of the real infringement.

        • Scott Smith December 28, 2017, 10:14 am

          Few states infringe on firearms rights more than NE.
          The Great State of AK is a Constitutional Carry State, that right is unrecognized by NE.
          I am unable to get a NE CCW permit as a nonresident.
          NE requires you to buy a “handgun buyers permit” every 3 years.
          An unloaded shotgun in a case in the backseat or for that matter the cargo area of an SUV is considered a concealed weapon under state law.
          Very jumbled and expensive regulations for hunters, particularly out of state hunters.
          Ever out of state children and disabled vets must pay, pay, pay…
          Born and raised in NE it is an embarrassment what they have become regulatory speaking.
          Definitely one of the top contenders for “Tax me State”

  • Gerald March 24, 2017, 9:04 pm

    Now just hold on here a second, I am a gun toting , ex military , ex cop, American Constitution defender kind of guy. I am all for carrying a weapon, but you are making a statement that is not true. When I moved to South Dakota, I walked into the Sheriff’s office and asked to apply for a concealed carry, in less than 10 minutes I walked out with a temporary permit and the promise my hard copy would come in the mail before long, which it did. Now you need to stop telling these people this crap about not getting a license to carry right away because you’re wrong. Secondly , what dumb ass would carry his weapon where everyone can see it, does any logical person not know that you will be the first one the bad guy takes out. Come on here, let’s get the thinking caps on. I am no big fan of Dennis but in this case he is right.

    • Cam March 25, 2017, 4:29 pm

      Applied? You mean requested and possible had to pay a fee to carry out a right? Interesting.

      • Blasted Cap March 28, 2017, 6:23 am

        Yeah. The application is similar to a 4473 only shorter, just like the APPLICATION you fill out every time you purchase a firearm. The fee is a whole $10 and the permit is good for 4 years. Plus it’s a shall issue State. Oh the infringement. Go to Maryland and try to get one. 13 pages, 2 mental evaluations​, and only a may issue.

  • DaveGinOly March 24, 2017, 8:07 pm

    If you’re asking permission (“permit”) or paying a fee (a tax on a privilege), you’re not exercising a right. The permitting system does not infringe upon a constitutionally-guaranteed right, it is a substitute for it. If you must pay a fee to carry concealed, the state must permit permit-less open carry, and vice versa. If it does not, then together that which is strictly prohibited and that which is prohibited without a permit become an infringement. There are only two ways to carry – concealed and openly. If one is forbidden and the other requires a permit, together they infringe upon the right to bear arms.

    If one form of carry is allowed without a permit and the other requires a permit, an argument can still be made that there is an infringement upon the form of bearing that requires a permit. Saying that when a state permits (in the strict sense of that word) one form of carry and prohibits the other does not infringe upon the right to bear arms because a form of bearing is still available to the citizen is like saying prohibiting Presbyterianism and Seventh Day Adventism doesn’t infringe upon the right to religion because other denominations are available to the worshiper.

    • Clem March 26, 2017, 5:04 pm

      Their should be a permit and fee to give up your right to carry and not for exercising it. Make the felons, Democrats, and anti 2nd amendment people get a permit to void their right and pay the tax.

  • Grady March 24, 2017, 12:44 pm

    We have the same problem with our idiot democrat governor Bullock here in Montana. This is his second term and thankfully the last. Each campaign he gets up and swears he is a strong supporter of the 2nd and believes in it. His last term he vetoed 10 pro gun bills that hit his desk and has vetoed two this term and two more are on the way that he will also veto. Two last term and one this term were Constitutional Carry bills. Typical democrat. Our last governor Schwitzer was the same way and also a democrat. Same with our senior democrat senator John Testor who says he supports the 2nd but always votes against any pro gun bill. Democrat politicians all seem to be liars.

  • Larry March 24, 2017, 11:12 am

    Another rino at work. We need to start electing pro Constitution Conservatives. Vote out the rinos in the primaries.

  • Glenn March 24, 2017, 10:05 am

    Does South Dakota have provisions for the recall of the governor? If so a recall petition with a substantial number of signatures citing this decision on his part as the motivation for recall might just get his attention and get him to reconsider.

  • Chris March 24, 2017, 9:17 am

    I personally like the way it is done in TN, and what seems to be the way South Dakota does their “enhanced” carry permit. You take a class and you get a background check. I’m all for it being legal for law abiding citizens to carry a gun, but they need at least basic training. Many law abiding citizens are idiots and many others have never been taught basic gun safety. Can you honestly tell me that someone who thought South Dakota’s basic permit requires too much time commitment can be trusted to get gun training? I don’t want some idiot who is carrying legally to shoot me because he doesn’t know enough about his own gun to handle it safely.

    • Felix Nunez March 24, 2017, 10:47 am

      I guess we will need a background check for freedom of speech too, right?

      • Rouge1 March 24, 2017, 1:12 pm

        And to vote.

        • Clem March 26, 2017, 5:08 pm

          No background check required to sneak across the US borders to rape and sell drugs.

    • Tom S. March 24, 2017, 11:49 am

      Do you really think that the “training” that’s given in the two-hour class at a gun show to make it legal is better than a lifetime of gun safety and hunting that your Dad gives you? It’s just a rubber stamp that means nothing. I’m an NRA Range Safety Officer and my daughter has been shooting with me for years. hen my daughter came out of the Concealed Weapon “class” at the local gun show she said to me “well that was a joke, we fired one shot into a barrel in a trailer behind the building!” I reminded her that she wasn’t there that learn anything, she was there to get her certificate, fingerprints, and the forms filled out correctly. Because that’s all that those courses really are.
      And again, people who are going to break the law don’t care that what they’re doing is against the law. Bad guys will still carry concealed without a permit, let alone take training.

  • sd March 24, 2017, 8:52 am

    The second Bill was to allow Lawmakers to carry concealed inside the Statehouse

  • Altoid March 24, 2017, 7:13 am

    If someone were not able to legally posses a firearm and did anyway, why would they apply for a concealed permit? Even if they do and are turned down, they could still carry concealed no matter what the permitting law says.

    The Governor’s reasoning sounds a bit naive, assuming those who are already in violation of the law by illegally possessing a firearm will magically comply with concealed carry permitting laws.

    There was a bunch of bellyaching in Arizona about fender benders turning into bloodbaths as a result of concealed carry. That was over 20 years ago – hasn’t happened yet.

  • Gerald March 24, 2017, 6:23 am

    Republicans again are the problem with restricting gun rights.

    “lack of support from some Republicans” << this statement from above says it all. Democrats are bad, but anti gun Republicans are worse. They act like you can trust them until they get elected and then there true colors come out.

    I bet the NRA gave them A ratings. This is the same kind of thing we face in Florida. Republicans are killing open carry and campus carry bills again this year. Senator Flores who is termed out and cant run again is the one this year killing our gun rights bills. They take turns taking the fall. The Florida Republicans are very crafty and organized in their efforts to lie and subvert the will of the people.

    In Florida the NRA helps them with their efforts. They are as bad as John McCain or Lindsey Graham on the national level.

  • Jeff March 24, 2017, 4:35 am

    Dumb move Dennis… Guess who’s not getting re-elected… 😉

  • curious March 23, 2017, 4:31 pm

    what was the second bill turned down?

  • SuperG March 23, 2017, 12:27 pm

    It’s all about money if you ask me.

    • Aaronbern March 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

      About the money? No shit? Our governor here in Connecticut wants to make the pistol permit fee $400. can anyone say poll tax!

      • Luke March 24, 2017, 9:44 am

        Same in the socialist state of Minnesota. More and more like California here complete with our very own liberal jester-in-residence Franken-Stein. Tax the hell out of everybody to finance the largest population of Somalian terrorists in the US. Put this on the calendar: suicide bombers are in the future of downtown Minneapolis and St. Cloud. Just a matter of time. Get your money while you can, Dayton.

      • Rouge1 March 24, 2017, 1:15 pm

        It keeps the weeds from carrying weapons.

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