photo by Jake DeGroot
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South Dakota is on a fast track to become the nation’s fourteenth state with nationwide constitutional carry after Senate Bill 47 passed on Tuesday with a 23-11 vote after about one hour of debate. Both the Senate and House currently have Republican majorities, the House even more than the Senate. The reason constitutional carry hasn’t been passed already isn’t for lack of trying on the legislators’ part: In fact, permitless carry has passed in both the House and Senate in South Dakota before. However, both bills – HB1248 and HB1072 – were vetoed in 2012 and 2017 respectively by the former (Republican) governor Dennis Daugaard. With the new governor Kristi Noem, also a Republican, in office, we’re optimistic for this third attempt.

State Senator Brock Greenfield made the following case in support of the proposed law, which will sound comfortably familiar to all of you:

“Law-abiding citizens are currently the only people obtaining permits to carry concealed. If you’re not a law-abiding citizen, you cannot obtain that permit. Allowing these individuals to carry concealed without a permit will not change the fact that they’re law abiding. Criminals, on the other hand, are already carrying concealed firearms without permits, with no regard for our laws,” Greenfield said.

The strongest argument against the bill was that is doesn’t have the support of the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association. As Republican State Senator Lee Schoenbeck pointed out, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment isn’t “limitless,” and indeed, a few hundred people are denied concealed carry permits annually in South Dakota. The county sheriffs’ offices are responsible for identifying residents who are disqualified from carrying a concealed weapon, and they oppose the legislation.

“I’m sticking with my sheriff on this one,” said Schoenbeck.

State Senator Stace Nelson also spoke out in favor of the bill with another well-rehearsed and well-loved argument, according to the Argus Leader:

The Second Amendment is the “law of the land” and the Legislature’s duty is clear when it comes to the bill. It would take longer to dial 911 than it would for him to reach his firearm, [Sen. Nelson] said. He added that allowing residents to carry concealed handguns without permits is “common sense” legislation that protects South Dakota residents.

In contrast, speaking as a minority voice in opposition to the bill, Democrat State Senator Susan Wismer said this interpretation of the Second Amendment is “damaging the fabric of our democracy” every time the topic is raised.

“We are creating an expectation of extraordinary absolute rights, and that is not healthy for a democracy,” said Sen. Wismer. “I think our democracy would be doing much better if we encouraged our citizens … to exercise just a bit of restraint and responsibility rather than sell that entitled attitude, the ‘we demand our rights’ philosophy.'”

In response to that, Republican State Senator Lance Russell said:

“I think describing people who want to exercise their constitutional rights as having an ‘entitlement mentality’ is a very dangerous of way of characterizing the right of people to exercise their constitutional rights, whether it be the First Amendment or the Fourth Amendment.”

We’re inclined to agree with South Dakota’s legislative majority on this one.

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  1. Citizen entitled to constitutionally protected rights = bad
    Anyone who’s not a citizen entitled to a free ride on the backs of citizens = good
    I feel bad for my younger (D) acquaintances who still think it’s 1990 something or the geriatric ones who peaked at JFK. Their heads are totally in the sand for what their party has become.

  2. Finally another state hopefully in the books for
    “Common Sense” gun control. Libitards arguments have zero responsibility behind them and don’t make for any “Common Sense” in them what so ever.

  3. So we are classified as ” entitlement minded ” if we expect to exercise the rights that are spelled out in the constitution. Should we really have to pass a law in each state to exercise a right that we already have nationwide. ” Shall not be infringed ” means that neither the state or federal government has any authority over changing or modifying our rights. That they have done so is treasonous. Anyone in state or federal government with the attitude of infringement should be removed from office for violating their oath of office. Read the Federalist papers as to how our founding fathers said to handle this matter. Meanwhile, here in Texas, we are struggling with the Socialist Democrats over repealing the last vestiges of post civil war carpetbagger laws to get constitutional carry.

  4. Holy shit, Sen. Wismer is a dangerous kind of delusional.
    No Senator, its ideas like ‘you shouldn’t expect absolute rights’ and ‘the government should “encourage” citzens to excercise “restraint/responsibility”‘ that damages the fabric of democracy.

    At the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Bashar Al-Assad, the “democratically-elected president” of Syria, made sure that his citizens had no “extraordinary right” to peacefully-protest a set of laws set up by Bashar’s father. When the citizens seemingly forgot that in-fact do not have this “extraordinary right”, he “encouraged” them to stop the same way any benevolent leader would (with live ammunition, mortar, artillary and tank fire aimed at the crowds of protesters). Thank God that he did, as the country and it’s citizens are much better for it. 🙃

  5. “allowing residents to carry concealed handguns without permits is “common sense” legislation that protects South Dakota residents.”

    Enough said.

  6. “We are creating an expectation of extraordinary absolute rights, and that is not healthy for a democracy…”

    Oh no, not rights! Can’t have them!

    (however, if you’re an ‘undocumented visitor’ you must have every right to enter, live, work, and do whatever else you want in the country without permission and any anyone who disagrees is a bigot!)

  7. “We are creating an expectation of extraordinary absolute rights, and that is not healthy for a democracy.”

    What bullshit. Yes, I have an absolute right to defend myself and family and those endangered in my vicinity. And there’s not a thing extraordinary about it.

    People who want to limit, and finally remove, our right to own guns, are communists, whether or not they know it.

  8. Similar bills have passed x3 times in MT state legislature–to be three-times vetoed by our most recent governors (D).

    MT is a great state, but we’re being co-opted by uber-liberal carpet-baggers (out of state politicians) and “progressive” university faculty who have gotten into the habit of importing every ultra-left-wing professor a-hole they can to not educate, but indoctrinate students.

    “Follow my political beliefs or get failed.” Basically…

    College used to be a place to expand your horizons, learn to challenge both your own beliefs as well as question those of others. Not follow blindly to get ahead with minimal resistance.

    It’s sad, really. Such a beautiful state, I fear it’s going the way of Colorado.

    • I hear ya. Missoula and their bullshit especially. I live in Kalispell, MT. It is the most beautiful state I have ever been to, and I have been around the world (Germany was effin amazing too) and proud to call this place home. But it is definitely being overrun by liberal idiots and hippies. I feel like this will be the first state to have a vegan/organic McDonalds.

    • Yeah, that seems like an error or, at best, a poor choice of words. Either the initiative is STATEWIDE constitutional carry. Or, the initiative is constitutional carry for anyone in the nation while they are in South Dakota. Remember, Wyoming only has constitutional carry for Wyoming residents. Perhaps South Dakota is distinguishing this new law from Wyoming’s constitutional carry which is limited only to Wyoming residents.

  9. S. Dakota advances towards Constitutional Carry. Meanwhile in Washington, the Dems press to place another obstacle (training) in the application for a concealed pistol permit. While they also press to limit the rounds you carry in said pistol, and God forbid that you built that pistol yourself without permission, in the form of a serial number.

    • Has their ever been a law that facilitates firearms training (as in sets up a program to make it cheaper/easier to obtain training or incentivises/encourages firearms training without outright requiring it)? I havent found any instances of that happening, but it seems like a good middle-ground law.
      The left would get their reduction of gun violence (and the politicians can boast that they did something) and The right get ‘moar training!’ and other potential goodies (depending on whats in the law) without infringing on anyone’s rights.

    • Nothing wrong with training. Just about everyone would agree that training is pretty much essential if you’re going to own a pistol.

      But… making a requirement to hold a permit? All well and good, as long as the State pays for the training, provides it in a timely manner and compensates for time off work. It’s all just part of a “well-regulated militia”.

      • At first I was thinking “fuck no it’s not a good idea”

        But if they are paying, fuck it, you can never have enough training. I really like your idea, but it will never happen. Too much common sense.

  10. I want to make sure that everyone understands the GINORMOUS implication of South Dakota Democrat State Senator Susan Wismer’s statement about people feeling “entitled” to their rights.

    The implication of her statement is that we absolutely do NOT have any inherent rights at all and that we are utterly subservient to government.

    THAT is the mindset that is utterly prevalent in and dominates the Democrat party. Sadly, that mindset is even fairly prevalent in the Republican party. We MUST push back on this sort of mindset at every possible opportunity.

  11. “We are creating an expectation of extraordinary absolute rights, and that is not healthy for a democracy,” said Sen. Wismer. “I think our democracy would be doing much better if we encouraged our citizens ”

    I have news for the esteemed Leftard,ours,the United States is not a Democracy rather a Constitutional Republic.

  12. We need “Sensible Word Control” so people like (SD State) Senator Wismer who use words to commit felonies – like using words to restrict Citizens’ constitutional rights – are permanently barred from ever using words again.

    After all, it’s a public safety issue.

    • We can hope! Hell, I used to think that it took more than your state legislature to give you nationwide constitutional carry, imagine my surprise!

  13. Hope they make it. MS traveled this road for years and finally passed permitless carry and related laws in 2016. But we still have to deal with various legislators, judges, mayors, etc. on a regular basis. Getting permitless carry is not the end of the road, it’s only the beginning.

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