On Tuesday, the South Dakota state legislature passed a bill allowing for permit-less concealed carrying. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD), who has already expressed support for the measure.
Although South Dakota is a reliably Republican state — President Trump carried the state in 2016 by 30 points — The Hill reports that members of the South Dakota Sheriff's Association testified Monday in the state House that the bill should ideally be limited to South Dakota residents. A companion bill that mandates such a restriction was introduced in the state House on Friday, but thus far has not been scheduled for a hearing.
Pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety released polling attempting to demonstrate that the proposed bill was at odds with South Dakotans' desires. Per the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:
Eighty-four percent of South Dakotans said they support the state's concealed carry permit requirement, according Everytown for Gun Safety's poll results released Tuesday. The scientific poll surveyed 875 South Dakotans and was completed by Survey USA.
The support for the current law requiring a concealed carry permit was also bipartisan — 81 percent of people who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 and 92 percent of people who voted for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said they supported requiring a concealed carry permit, according to the poll.
Eighty-five percent of gun owners, and 84 percent of people holding a concealed carry permit, said they support South Dakota's current concealed carry permit law, according to the poll.
Fifty-nine percent of South Dakotans said they'd also be less likely to support a legislator and Noem if they supported repealing the state's current concealed carry permit law.
Regardless of Everytown for Gun Safety's polling, South Dakota seems poised to become the fourteenth state with a "constitutional carry" legal regime. The passage for such laws is a top priority item for many state-level Second Amendment activist groups, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that it is already on the radar for some at the recently commenced Texas legislative session:
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland has filed a bill to allow "Constitutional Carry" — to let any Texan who legally owns a handgun carry it openly or concealed without first getting a permit — across the state.
"It is a major legislative priority for the Republican Party and very popular with my constituents," said Stickland, R-Bedford. "I think there’s a real need for it."
Many concealed carry enthusiasts are eager for a carry case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court, which has otherwise been silent on the Second Amendment since its landmark McDonald v. City of Chicago ruling in 2010, recently granted a writ of certiorari on a new gun rights case: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York. The Daily Wire recently reported:
It is nothing less than momentous that the Supreme Court has finally agreed to hear a fresh Second Amendment challenge. For years, conservatives lamented what seemed to be a conscientious refusal by the justices to hear a fresh challenge post-McDonald. Justice Clarence Thomas, in various dissents to the denial of writs of certiorari in Second Amendment cases post-McDonald, repeatedly inveighed against what he saw as the Supreme Court's politically motivated belittling of the solemnity of the Second Amendment individual right.