South Dakota Takes Every Word of the Second Amendment Seriously

Feb. 1, 2019
by Bob Adelmann

This writer (who lives in the now dark blue state of Colorado) wishes his governor would sound more like South Dakota’s. Before signing into law a bill removing state requirements that a citizen must first obtain a permission slip before carrying a firearm concealed, Governor Kristi Noem tweeted:

Our Founding Fathers believed so firmly in our right to bear arms that they enshrined it into the Constitution. Tomorrow [January 31] I will sign SB47 into law. This constitutional carry legislation will further protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding South Dakotans.

It does a whole lot more than that.

First, her sentiments echo those of the bill’s sponsor, state senator Brock Greenfield: “We’re simply trying to create a situation in which we recognize that the Second Amendment is paramount and will not be infringed.”

It gives great encouragement to those involved in the freedom fight that not everyone in government has lost their minds when it comes to the right (as Jefferson wrote in the Declaration) to life and the complimentary right to defend it from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. In fact, Texas is considering a similar bill, which, if passed, will make the Lone Star State the 15th giving those wishing to carry concealed the freedom to do so.

It levels the playing field between criminals and law-abiding citizens. In a strange twist in the law, until Thursday it was legal to carry a firearm openly in South Dakota but not concealed unless a permit was granted. Now a citizen is free to carry however he or she wishes. It places those citizens so choosing on the same playing field as criminals who also carry concealed but without regard to the previous law. As Greenfield expressed it, “Criminals … are already carrying concealed firearms without permits, with no regard to our laws.”

It’s also encouraging legislators in Mississippi, which allowed constitutional carry in 2016, to take the next step: prohibiting state officials from cooperating with the federal government in enforcing unconstitutional laws. In Mississippi’s case, the bill is written in such a way as to preclude federal enforcement of the ATF’s “bump stock” ban that goes into effect next month. As Mike Maharrey wrote for the Tenth Amendment Center:

The legislation would bar any state agency, department, or political subdivision of the state, along with their employees, from planning, implementing, assisting with, participating in, enabling, or cooperating with “any federal law, rule, regulation, or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2018, if the law, rule, regulation, or order attempts to:

(a)  Ban or restrict ownership of a semiautomatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm;

(b)  Require any firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner; or

(c)  Confiscate a firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory from law-abiding Mississippi citizens.

Because the bill is retroactive to January 1, 2018, it would prohibit the confiscation of bump stocks under the unconstitutional bump stock ban instituted by President Trump through executive action late last year.

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The new freedom in South Dakota is encouraging to Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center as well. He sees a much more important, farther-reaching effect of the move towards allowing citizens the freedom to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights:

While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway….

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions such as passing [and signing into law South Dakota’s] SB47 would lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.

Boldin noted that federal enforcement efforts often rely heavily on state and local assistance. But Mississippi, “by withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”

So the impact of South Dakota’s governor Kristi Noem extends far beyond her state’s borders. Her state’s new freedom for citizens to enjoy constitutional carry is in effect a nullification of federal laws that infringe on the Second Amendment. The more Americans enjoy these freedoms the more difficult it will be for the federal government to take them away.

Although South Dakota is tiny (population 882,000; two senators and just one representative in Congress) the impact of the new freedom supports the cause of freedom across the land. It is said that big gates often swing on little hinges. May it be so with South Dakota.



History of South Dakota

The Tenth Amendment Center: To the Governor’s Desk: “Constitutional Carry” Passes in South Dakota

The Tenth Amendment Center: Mississippi Bill Would Bar State Enforcement of Federal Bump Stock Ban Noem pledges to sign ‘constitutional carry’ bill

The Washington Times: South Dakota Legislature passes bill allowing concealed handguns without a permit Freedom! South Dakota Becomes Latest State to Pass ‘Constitutional Carry.’ South Dakota Headed for Constitutional Carry with Senate Win

States with constitutional carry in place

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