South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem attended SHOT Show 2022 with one message for firearm industry manufacturers and businesses: “South Dakota is open for business.”
Gov. Noem told NSSF’s Nephi Cole, Director of Government Relations – State Affairs, that was the theme of her 2020 State of the State address and it applied before the coronavirus pandemic as well as now. That goes especially for the firearm and ammunition industry.
“I think a lot of people in other states that wanted to get outdoors, wanted to try hunting and fishing, wanted to spend some time somewhere, maybe have a vacation where life seemed a little bit normal, they came to South Dakota,” Gov. Noem said. “We have the number one economy in the country right now. We’re growing faster than we ever have in our 133-year history. And that’s allowing us to do some incredible things that I really do think make us the example for the rest of the nation.”
That strong economic growth has given the governor the opportunity to ensure South Dakotans can exercise their Second Amendment rights and made the state an attractive destination for firearm industry businesses.
“We have a lot of firearm manufacturers and ammunition businesses in our state,” Gov. Noem said. “In fact, this year with the revenue increases we’ve seen, I’ve eliminated all costs to getting your permits. If you need to run a federal background check… we’re going to pay for it. The very first bill I signed years ago as governor was Constitutional carry. That set the priority for my administration.”
Speaking of what the hunting and recreational shooting sports traditions have meant to her, Gov. Noem was clear.
“Oh, well for me all my good memories growing up were hunting and fishing with my family. My grandmother was the one who took me bird hunting all the time… My dad is the one who taught me big game hunting… It’s a really, really special time and it’s how my husband and I are raising our kids as well.”
Watch Gov. Noem’s full remarks from SHOT Show 2022 here.
Matt Manda is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.