South Dakota Legislature passes gun bill known as ‘constitutional carry’

January 30, 2019 GMT

The South Dakota Legislature passed a bill Tuesday allowing residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit, also known as “constitutional carry.”

The bill, which passed the state House in a 47-23 vote, is now headed to Gov. Kristi Noem for a signature. The Republican governor, who took office Jan. 5, has expressed support for constitutional carry in the past but said she’ll consider the bill’s exact language when making her decision, the Argus Leader reported.

Republican state Rep. Lee Qualm, the bill’s sponsor, called it a “simple” solution that repeals the state’s current permitting requirements but doesn’t change who can carry a concealed handgun.


“We are not changing that much,” Mr. Qualm explained in his closing remarks Tuesday, a local CBS affiliate reported. “We are getting rid of a little piece of paper if you don’t want to carry it.”

“Criminals, on the other hand, are already carrying concealed firearms without regard to our law,” he said.

Ms. Noem has until next week to make her decision. If she vetoes the bill, it will return to the legislature, where it can override her veto with a two-thirds majority vote, the Argus Leader said.

South Dakota would join 13 other states, including North Dakota, that allow constitutional carry.