It’s hard to find a Republican willing to stand up to gun nuttery in Pierre.
Fortunately, one Republican willing to take such a stand is the biggest Republican in Pierre:
Governor Dennis Daugaard is also weighing in on the discussion. Thursday, he announced that if the bill passes through the state senate, he will veto it.
“I think like a courtroom, the capitol is sometimes a good place where emotions run high and I think it’s good for people who are trained, repetitiously trained on managing dangerous situations like that should be the ones that protect us,” Daugaard said.
Another issue talked about revolves around “constitutional carry” bills. Those proposed laws would let people carry concealed guns without a permit. Daugaard says he would veto that bill as well.
“My belief is South Dakota has reasonable gun laws today with regard to owning guns. Some states are much more restrictive,” Daugaard said [Leland Steva, “Daugaard Threatens Veto of Potential Concealed Gun Bills,” KELO-TV, 2017.02.09].
One of those veto-worthy bills, House Bill 1156, which would allow enhanced permit holders to carry concealed firearms in the Capitol, passed the House 46–20 Wednesday. I agree fervently with the Governor: the Capitol, our Temple of Democracy, built on the foundation of our faith in reasoned discourse over force, is no place for firearms.
Practically speaking, the Capitol already has armed security and surveillance. The last newsworthy incident of violent crime in the building took place over 40 years ago, when the Legislature was not in session. Whatever the legislators backing guns in the Capitol are afraid of, it’s not grounded in fact.
HB 1156 is one of ten pending bills* seeking to ease the rules on carrying concealed firearms in South Dakota. The Legislature has two bills pending** to increase funding for education. It has no bills pending to make it easier for citizens to petition or vote.