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South Dakota Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond After South Dakota House Passes Dangerous Legislation That Would Let People Carry Hidden, Loaded Handguns in Public Without a Permit

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following response after the South Dakota House of Representatives voted to advance Senate Bill 47, which would allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit, threatening public safety in South Dakota.

States that have enacted permitless carry laws have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence. The bill is opposed by the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association and the State’s Attorneys Association. It now heads to Governor Noem’s desk, where she will either sign or veto the legislation.

“It seems our concerns for public safety have fallen on deaf ears in the statehouse,” said Shannon Hoime, volunteer chapter leader with the South Dakota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Despite talking with lawmakers in person and testifying against this dangerous legislation at the capitol just yesterday, it’s been passed through the House. We implore Governor Noem to veto SB 47 and keep South Dakotans safe.”

Among other findings, the poll of found that:

  • 84 percent of South Dakota voters ― including 85 percent of South Dakota gun owners – support the law requiring a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun in public.
  • Support for the permit requirement is bipartisan, with wide majorities of Republican and Democratic respondents saying they support the state’s permit requirement.
  • South Dakotan voters will hold elected officials accountable ― 59 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a legislator that voted for permitless carry, and 57 percent said they would be less likely to vote for the Governor if she signs the bill into law.

In 2017, South Dakota’s Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a permitless carry bill, saying, “As a longtime member of the NRA, I support the right to bear arms. It is paramount that our state protect the rights of our citizens while at the same time protecting the lives of our citizens.” He also authored an opinion piece in the Argus Leader describing current South Dakota gun laws as “effective, appropriate and minimal.

Last year, not a single state enacted permitless carry ― in fact, 17 states rejected permitless carry legislation in 2018 alone. This includes several states where Republican governors have come out against permitless carry in recent years. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed a permitless carry bill last May after a coalition of 50 state associations, universities, business owners and law enforcement organizations opposed the legislation. And in Montana, Governor Steve Bullock cited concerns from law enforcement in his veto of permitless legislation in his state. Additionally, Indiana’s 2018 legislative session ended with the defeat of permitless carry.