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South Dakota legislature votes to allow concealed handguns without a permit

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The South Dakota legislature has passed a bill allowing residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit, sending the measure to Gov. Kristi Noem (R) for a signature.

The state House passed the Senate legislation in a 47-23 vote on Tuesday to allow for the so-called constitutional carry, The Argus Leader reported.

Noem has vocalized support for the measure before but said she will consider the language in the bill before signing it into law.{mosads}

“We are pleased to see constitutional carry pass the state Senate and House of Representatives. Hopefully Gov. Noem will see the benefit in providing law-abiding South Dakotans with the ability to better defend themselves and their families,” a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association said in a statement.

State Rep. Lee Qualm (R), a bill sponsor, told the newspaper that the measure was “simple” because it repealed the concealed carry permit requirements.

South Dakota’s new Republican attorney general, Jason Ravnsborg, has also said he supports the measure and isn’t concerned crime would rise in the state as a result of the law.

Democrats and some law enforcement officials have reportedly opposed the bill, arguing that permits are a safety check to prevent gun violence or suicide.

Meanwhile, members of the South Dakota’s Sheriff’s Association testified Monday that they preferred that the measure be limited to South Dakota residents, The Argus Leader reported.

The House on Friday introduced a bill that would limit permitless concealed carry to South Dakota residents only but it has not been scheduled for a hearing, according to the newspaper.

According to a poll from the nonprofit gun safety group Everytown for Gun Safety released Tuesday., the vast majority of South Dakotans surveyed, 84 percent, said they support the state’s existing concealed carry permit requirement.

Support for the permits appears to be bipartisan, according to the poll. Eighty-one percent of respondents who voted for President Trump and 92 percent of respondents who voted for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election support current requirements.

Tags Concealed carry Donald Trump Handguns Hillary Clinton Kristi Noem South Dakota

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