South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has introduced a pretty important proposal for gun owners in the state and it is something that the country at large should debate and discuss.
Governor Noem promised in her State of the State Address that she intends to eliminate all fees for concealed carry permits and have the state of South Dakota pay the cost of the federal background checks that are required to buy a firearm. Governor Noem then backed this up with a tweet about the proposal that added the line “In my proposal it won’t cost you a penny to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in South Dakota.”
Yesterday, in my State of the State Address, I proposed the elimination of all fees for concealed carry permits. SD will also pay the cost for the federal background check. In my proposal it won’t cost you a penny to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in South Dakota. #2A pic.twitter.com/oVf5o5FJ4o
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 12, 2022
There are two pieces to this proposal and I think it would be best to consider them as two entirely separate proposals because one I like a lot and the other I am no fan of.
One part of the proposal is taking the financial burden of a background check off the consumer and making it the state’s problem.
The other part of the proposal is eliminating the fees associated with obtaining a concealed carry permit.
I am very much a fan of the first part, shifting the financial burden of a background check, but not so much a fan of the second part, where fees for getting a concealed carry permit are getting removed.
At first glance, this seems like a really good idea that the 2A crowd should get behind, but this proposal flies in the face of Constitutional Carry and may prevent it from getting passed in the state if this goes through.
While not having to pay fees when you apply for a concealed carry permit is nice, not having to get a permit at all is far more valuable to Americans who want to express their 2nd Amendment rights. This proposal, while nice, is not going to solve the permit issue. This proposal, if enacted, would give legislators in the state an excuse to not push for constitutional carry.
As for the other part of the proposal, moving the financial burden of background checks from the consumer to the state is a pretty solid idea that should be pushed through ASAP. Background checks are required by federal law and guns are already expensive as it is, if South Dakota wants to save the consumer a little bit of cash and has the money in the budget go for it. The fees associated with background checks are not all that expensive so this part of the proposal, while nice, isn’t really all that meaningful.
These proposals from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem are a political tool, while they do help out gun owners in the state there are better alternatives and the impact with this proposal will come in the form of more support for Noem and other Republicans in the state for this next upcoming election.