NSU student Steven Meyer came to crackerbarrel Saturday to learn what the substantive difference is between Senator Lance Russell’s Senate Bill 38 and Senator Brock Greenfield’s Senate Bill 47, both of which would allow South Dakotans to sneak around with guns in their pants without a permit. Meyer left, like the rest of us, without an answer, as Senator Greenfield spent six minutes not answering the question.
The only distinctions Senator Greenfield made were that legislators like his SB 47 better and that SB 47 more closely copies the vetoed 2017 measure. Greenfield then slips into the tired old tales of how putting on a jacket shouldn’t make a gun carrier a criminal and how “a lot of people” don’t realize their concealed-weapons permits have expired. Greenfield then added a vague story about some unknown woman in an unknown jurisdiction who was prosecuted for driving around oblivious to the gun her husband had hidden in her car.
To those points:
- For more impact, we should reword the jacket story: “Suppose I like walking in a Speedo with my gun on my hip. Why should I be made a criminal just because I put pants on?” I hope that example makes clear that the concealed weapons permit is not about what you’re wearing; it’s about whether you are carrying openly or hiding your pistol. If you’re carrying a gun, you have an obligation to the people around you to be aware of the position and visibility of that weapon. If you forget that putting on a jacket conceals your openly carried gun, you’re not paying responsible attention to your weapon.
- Carrying a concealed weapon is a privilege, just like driving. If you aren’t paying attention to the laws you’ve agreed to follow and the dates on which you are expected to renew those privileges, you aren’t responsibly exercising your privileges.
- The woman in Brock’s third tale was placed in legal and physical jeopardy by her husband. If your spouse has a gun, your spouse should tell you the whereabouts of that gun. And responsible gun owners never leave their guns unattended or unsecured. This story doesn’t justify ending the permit requirement; it justifies punishing the husband for irresponsible gun ownership.
I’m not sure why Brock thinks telling stories about irresponsible gun handling would make anyone want to loosen gun regulations.
By the way, Steven, the major policy difference I see between Russell’s bill and Greenfield’s bill is that Section 15 of Greenfield’s bill explicitly forbids kids from carrying concealed weapons… unless they’re with a parent or legal guardian… because, yeah, as long as Mom and Dad are around, nothing will go wrong with a six-year-old hiding a gun in his pants.
SB 47 comes before House State Affairs this morning at 7:45.
Reminder: concealed carry, permitless or not, satisfies fantasies but doesn’t improve safety: