South Dakota Gun Owners champion ‘Constitutional Carry Bill’

Walther PPQ (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
January 9, 2012

Contact: Zach Lautenschlager

Right-to-Carry legislation wins support in South Dakota and nationwide

Pierre, SD – State Representative Don Kopp (R-Rapid City) has filed HB 1015, the South Dakota “Constitutional Carry Bill” of 2012.

Backed by South Dakota Gun Owners and their 4,000 members and supporters, this Right-to-Carry legislation mirrors current law in Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming.

“This common-sense bill provides safety for South Dakota families and matches the clear intent of the Second Amendment,” said Rep. Don Kopp.

The bill has also won strong support from the National Association for Gun Rights. With nearly 1 million members and supporters nationwide, the National Association for Gun Rights played a key role in passing Constitutional Carry last year in Wyoming. The legislation became law there in July of 2011.

The “Constitutional Carry Bill” removes the penalty for carrying a concealed handgun without a permit. It eliminates intrusive, government mandated background-checks for law-abiding citizens and does away with the tax or “fee” and the waiting period currently required to obtain the permit.

However, the bill does leave the pistol permit system in place for those who want a permit for concealed carry reciprocity in other states.

“Law-abiding people shouldn’t be forced to get a government permit before they can exercise their right to self-defense,” said Zach Lautenschlager, Senior Analyst for South Dakota Gun Owners.

“Criminals don’t stop to get a permit before they commit a crime with a handgun,” Lautenschlager said. “The pistol permit requirement has yet to prevent a crime, but it does keep some law-abiding people from defending themselves.”

Currently, a woman who lawfully defends herself with a handgun in her purse or her car, but who does not have a pistol permit, faces 1 year in jail and a $2000 fine.

“South Dakota should not be making self-defense a crime,” Kopp said.

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