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Will Gov. Noem Be the Next Republican Governor to Veto Permitless Carry Legislation?

Over the opposition of law enforcement and a dozen Republican lawmakers, the South Dakota House yesterday passed legislation that would allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit, including non-residents visiting South Dakota from other states.

The House vote came the same day as new polling showing that 85 percent of South Dakota gun owners — and the wide majority of South Dakotans in both political parties — support the permit requirement this legislation would eliminate. 57 percent said they would be less likely to vote for Gov. Noem if she signs this type of legislation.

As the bill moves to Gov. Noem’s desk, it’s worth keeping in mind that three governors — two of them Republicans – have vetoed this type of dangerous legislation in the past two years:

In 2017, then-Governor Daugaard vetoed permitless carry legislation, quoting the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his veto message and also writing:

As a longtime member of the NRA, I support the right to bear arms. South Dakota’s current permit process is simple and straightforward, and permits can be obtained in a matter of minutes. It is paramount that our state protect the rights of our citizens while at the same time protecting the lives of our citizens. I believe our current laws appropriately protect both interests, and I ask that you sustain my veto.

Last year, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, also a Republican, vetoed legislation that would have eliminated the requirement that residents of Oklahoma get a permit before carrying a loaded handgun in public, writing:

Oklahoma is a state that respects the Second Amendment. As governor, I have signed both concealed-carry and open-carry legislation. I support the right to bear arms and own a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun.

Oklahomans believe that law-abiding individuals should be able to defend themselves. I believe the firearms requirement we currently have in state law are few and reasonable.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock also vetoed permitless carry legislation in 2017, citing law enforcement concerns.

For more information on permitless carry and the impact this legislation would have if enacted, please don’t hesitate to reach out.