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South Dakota’s hope to joint Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming as a Constitutional Carry state was squashed when its Governor, Republican Dennis Daugaard, vetoed legislation passed by large majorities in the state’s legislature. The measure was opposed by South Dakota’s Sheriffs Association. As reported by USA Today, Sheriff Mike Milstead claims that he was just trying to help out the poor folks who would be denied permits under the current system . . .

“It’s that small group who are denied that I am most worried about with this bill,” he said. “Those are the people who actually took the time to come down to the sheriff’s office, applied and thought they would be issued a permit when in fact they had a disqualifier.”

Wyoming’s Christopher Lynch, who runs the concealed carry program for the nation’s latest convert to constitutional carry, disagrees. “I’ve been looking for problems,” he said. “I really haven’t encountered any. I haven’t heard anything from the sheriffs and chiefs.”

So there you have it, South Dakotans. Sheriff Milstead’s priorities are to help out the 20 or 30 disqualified persons a year while screwing everyone else. And when it comes to your rights, Gov. Daugaard don’t guard.

An override of the veto is considered unlikely.


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  1. Unless you show me some other less than Republicna actions your calling Governor Daugaard a RINO is as bad as the leftwing loonies calling Senator Lieberman, who had a voting record to the left of Hillary Clinton, a neo-con for his support of the GWOT.

    • Neoconservatism is essentially a meshing of liberalism with interventionist foreign policy. Lieberman in your own words is a leftist. He also fervently supported the Iraq War and sanctioning of Iran. So labeling him a “neocon” would be apt.

      • You must mean the Buchananite definition of a neo-Conservative, i.e., a Jew or a supporter of Israel. This is the paleo-Conservative code word for anti-Semitism.

        Neo-conservatism came from liberals who rejected both leftwing foreign and domestic policy in the 1960s. Neo-Conservatism ceased to be a functional ideology when Berlin Wall fell and Soviet Union went out of business. The neo-Conservative movement was led by both former Jewish leftists and Irish Catholics.

        Joe Lieberman, like the late Chritopher Hitchens, ia a leftwinger who believed Islam to be a threat to Western Progressive values.

        • Your non-sequitur about Jewish people is as amusing as it is irrelevant. Otherwise, you found a rather verbose way to agree with my prior comment.

      • I find it odd that you define neoconservatism as a mesh of “liberalism with interventionist foreign policy.” Exhibit A would be the obvious zenith of neocon influence exactly in the George W. Bush DoD. I would suggest that neoconservatism consists of an adventurist (alternately, interventionist) foreign policy necessarily attached to some varied mix of domestic policy positions, the resultant stew suitable for packaging and marketing under one of the convenient labels, Republican or Democrat. The goal of such a platform is to attract suitably large financial contributions and voter response sufficient to retain or attain power, also called ‘office.’ There is a clear and consistent difference between our two major political parties: One seeks to use massive fundraising to buy votes. The other seeks to raise massive funds to buy votes. RINO? DINO? I once voted for Senator Arlen Specter. Don’t tell me RINO isn’t a useful term making a crucial distinction. It identifies a latent Democrat not yet ready to give up a previously advantagous Republican voter base because his recent polls of likely voters in each party are still ambiguous.

        • The neoconservatives’ “anti-liberalism” is derived from essentially liberal premises (ideology over concrete nationhood, bourgeois sentiments, egalitarianism, the welfare-state, etc).

        • Charlie: There isn’t room here, nor the audience, to try and delineate all the strands that contributed to what was called ‘neoconservative’ in the period after the fall of the Soviet Union, which then was transformed in membership (a loose use) and focus during the G.H.W.Bush and Clinton years, and then came to its greatest influence during G.W.Bush’s two terms. If this were the forum, I’d argue that national states are again the preferred focus (i.e. via ‘democratic peace theory’) and that the ‘liberal’ roots had shriveled, most of the social liberals having retreated to the democrat party. The neocons became, actually, big government people just in this sense, that a large government was needed to run and expand the DoD, while spending in deficit (non-Hayek) to conduct foreign adventures while maintaining a semblance of a ‘safety net’ domestically. They’ve become neither fish nor fowl. Your list of liberal premises seems accurate at a certain date, three decades ago. I won’t debate it. I first came upon Irving Kristol’s writing, and Encounter magazine which he edited, as an offshoot of following Cord Meyer’s activity so long ago for the Company. Meyer heavily subsidized Encounter. That was back in the day when trying to counter communism meant supporting ‘liberal democracy’ as the nearest attractive ideal. Life is complicated.

        • Thanks for the insights into neoconservatism. Metaphysically, I can’t distinguish it from the Left. It smells of “permanent revolution” and I believe Kristol was not untainted by his Trotskyist activities as a youth. And there is no real audience for it here. Cheers and thanks for the input!

  2. He’s concerned with being ‘fair’ to those who are ‘disqualified’? WTF? Why are they disqualified? Maybe it is the permit denying part of the system that should change. This should not be the problem of those SD who are qualified. Why make it their problem too? Sheriff Milstead appears to be speaking with a forked tongue out of the side of his mouth.

    • Dummy me. I really misunderstood what I read earlier. I thought the sheriff was using the dumb excuse that he was against the ‘unfairness’ of the new proposed bill discriminating against a few people to then reason that the majority should not get the new treatment. Sometimes that is how PC progressives reason and I misunderstood the information.

  3. I expect better thinking on the part of gun owners.

    The question is: Were pro-RKBA groups against the bill? Someone told me they were and that the bill was not “clean”. What were the problems with the bill (never mind the governor’s comments)?

    I’d much rather see a good bill go through the legislature than a bad one that results in some terrible state court precedent. VCDL (Virginia Citizens Defense League) recently stood against a “castle doctrine” bill here in Virginia. The bill was badly written and a zealous anti-gun prosecutor could have done whatever he or she wanted to the good guy. It also would have destroyed several centuries of extremely strong case law in favor of the good guys. There really is no reason to have such a law in Virginia and VCDL (and others) recognized that fact. If this law would have created poor conditions for gun owners, then it should be revised until it gives them legal advantages.

    • Were pro-RKBA groups against the bill?

      As far as I am aware, RKBA groups were on board. The bill even provided for an optional permit so that South Dakotans could continue to carry in reciprocal states.

  4. FYI: I tried sending an email to TTAG using the site’s ‘Contact Us’ link. I just had a response sent to my inbox from the Mailer-Daemon that it did not go through:
    Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender

  5. I don’t think this makes the Gov. a RINO. Good cases can be made for a license to carry as well as Constitional carry. My own personel opinion is that some form of instruction on the legal ramifications of carry and use of a concealed weapon are very important.

  6. “Kopp’s HB 1015 would let any South Dakotan who can legally carry a gun, conceal their handgun without having to get a state-issued permit.

    Under the current system, people who want to carry a concealed weapon have to pay $10 and undergo a background check in order to get their permit. Applications can be denied for a variety of reasons, including a felonious criminal history, drug violations, a “history of violence,” or having been judged “mentally incompetent.”

    “The current process we have for issuing concealed carry permits is very easy and helps us to identify people who, because of mental health issues or criminal convictions, shouldn’t be carrying a concealed weapon or issued a concealed carry permit,” Milstead said. “The bill as it was written was going to eliminate that process and have people more or less self regulate whether or not they were qualified to carry.”

    “His office issues about 2,000 permits a year, Milstead said, and denies only roughly 30 to 40 applications.”

    “… cited a variety of statistics statewide and for Pennington County that showed eight to 15 percent of permit applications were denied annually in the last five years. He asked what the problem was with the current system.”

    • And because of this, the Governor described the bill as “a solution in search of a problem.” Snce the state is shall issue any way for those qualified, only the disqualified would benefit from the new law by being able to carry concealed weapons. Not a good thing, thought the
      Gov., and I tend to agree.

      • Because somehow through the power of rainbows and magic unicorns, a permit denial will keep a mentally deranged wackoid or any garden variety criminal from carrying, right ?

  7. Tossing around terms like “RINO” seems anti-intellectual. What is a real Republican? Or a real Democrat? Most Republicans and Democrats are interchangeable save for a few hot-button issues.

    • Most Republicans and Democrats are interchangeable save for a few hot-button issues.

      You proved my point. When a Republican is indistinguishable from a Democrat on a hot-button issue, he’s a RINO. Not a Democrat. A RINO.

      • Lamentably, nobody took the bait and tried to positively define what “real” Republicans are. What a buzzkill.

      • Lamentably, nobody took the bait and tried to differentiate between the two parties on issues of consequence. Touché, Ralph, your sophistry is unmatched although quite a buzzkill.

        • …he’ll go straight to his Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms, no doubt. Yet we know that any sophistry involved in legal pleadings is merely the sledge upon which actual statutes and cases must be dragged into battle, sans outright misrepresentation, though a suitable interpretation of precedent is useful.

      • Ralph,

        With all of the back and forth here I don’t know enough of the details to have a dog in this fight, but it seems to me that what you call a RINO might just be a Republican with whom you disagree. Maybe still a Republican, though, no?

    • “A real Republican,” “a real Democrat”? Where did this “real’ concept enter the picture? Do you live under a rock? These labels are mere conveniences, abstractions referring to a different set of planks in a unique and “new and improved” platform during each successive election cycle. Anti-intellectual? Creating fine but often empty categories is the defining hallmark of intellectualism. I’m all for it. Our ill-educated under class needs to get more involved in this activity. Stop wasting time on trade apprenticeships or technology OJT. At least until our per capita GDP matches Bolivia’s.

  8. Here in the state of Alabama, the Sheriff’s Association is one of the biggest obstacles to getting more reasonable gun laws passed. Permits are “may issue” by each individual Sheriff’s office. They make standard objections like officer safety or the state will become the wild west. The real objection is the Sheriff’s Association doesn’t want to pass any law that will jeopardize the $25 the sheriff gets for each permit.

  9. Personally I don’t bother with the Republican vs. Democrat thing any more. Both parties frequently betray the goals and values they claim to uphold. Really the only way I judge these matters any more is Conservative vs. Not Conservative (I try to leave out the liberal, progressive, ect.). That’s not to say that the subject of Conservatism can’t ever be debated at all, rather that taking actions directly contrary to the Constitution or it’s principles equates to not being conservative.

  10. Okay. But does support for gun control make a politician a “Republican in Name Only”? Ronald Reagan himself signed into law quite a few gun control laws, not least of which the ones the plague California today.

    Do what you can to support the right to keep and bear arms, but please keep these inane headlines to a minimum.

  11. He’s a RINO because he vetoed a gun rights bill? I thought you said gun rights were’t divided along the lines of democrat and republican?

    He’s right to be concerned about the hidden criminals among you. Guys like that shouldn’t be carrying guns around.

  12. Seems folks don’t like the term RINO. They are getting all huffy about it. Arguing the details of what a RINO/Republican/etc. is may be great sport, but the term conveys the meaning the author wanted. I had no trouble understanding what Ralph meant. I wonder why so many others chose to nitpick the term and ignore the fact that a supposed Republican governor vetoed a bill that the Republican legislature passed. For those of you who are not Republicans it is really interesting that you are jumping in to defend the governor against being labeled a RINO. Why would you care?
    By the way, he is a RINO.

  13. This was more of a huge family feud than anything else.

    There were various competing gun bills that went round and through the processes that eventually left everyone mad at everyone else. One association, the South Dakota Gun Owners Association, ended up pissing off just about everyone involved with their alleged threatening tactics against legislators who failed to vote for the version they wanted.

    By the time one version of the bill made it through, quite a few legislators were publicly admitting that they had voted for it only because the SDGO people wanted a different bill, and they were damned if they were going to give in to the SDGO’s high-handed threatening tactics.

    The governor is still held in high esteem by the SD Tea Party people, if that’s any indication of rinosity or not.

    • I knew there was more to the story and it looks like bobby b found it. Politics…what a pain!! Why does something this simple have to be so difficult?


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