By: Teresa Mull

State Rep. Drew Dennert has filed Constitutional Carry legislation (House Bill 1041) in South Dakota.

South Dakota Gun Owners (SDGO) reports:

Constitutional Carry legislation recognizes law-abiding citizens’ right to carry concealed firearms for self-defense, without obtaining a permit, but retains the concealed carry permitting system for out-of-state reciprocity.

Dennert’s bill has garnered the support of more than a dozen other legislators, along with that of SDGO and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).

Constitutional Carry passed both the Senate and House in 2017, and SDGO reports the policy "has been anticipated by gun owners throughout South Dakota since the election of Governor Noem, who pledged last year to sign the legislation into law if passed by both chambers again."

“We have the promise of our Governor, strong support from both chambers, and widespread public support for Constitutional Carry,” Dennert said. “I expect it to pass this year with little opposition.”

A press release from SDGO reports:

A Senate complimentary Constitutional Carry bill has also been filed by Senate Judiciary Chairman Senator Lance Russell. Senator Russell reiterated Representative Dennert’s optimism in passing Constitutional Carry this year.

“Since 2017, we’ve seen a growing amount of support for Constitutional Carry among legislators and their constituents throughout South Dakota,” said Senator Russell. “Now with a Governor that supports our Second Amendment rights, we should have the support we need to finally pass this into law.”

Senator-elect, Lynne DiSanto, who was the prime sponsor of Constitutional Carry in 2017 said, “I think under the new governor it’s very likely to pass.”

SDGO Executive Director Ray Lautenschlager said they are now calling on Governor Noem to honor her promise, stating, “South Dakota Gun Owner’s 18,000 members and supporters call on Governor Noem to honor her pledge and ask that she give Constitutional Carry her full support.”

“Constitutional Carry leads to safer neighborhoods, compared to the rest of the nation,” said Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights.

Three of the four safest states in the U.S. — Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire — honor Constitutional Carry. South Dakota would join 12 others — Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming — as Constituional Carry States.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at [email protected].