On Wednesday we discussed South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s call for lawmakers to ditch the state-mandated fees for concealed carry licensees in the state, and I’m thrilled that the governor herself was able to join me for today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to talk about why she’s pushing for this change, as well as her thoughts on the expansion of Constitutional Carry, blue-state governors trying to impose training mandates on gun ownership, and more.
“You know, we have different permits in South Dakota to allow folks to carry handguns, and many people, even though we did Constitutional Carry, still get their permits because they want reciprocity across state lines,” Noem told Bearing Arms.
“I proposed in my State of the State address that we eliminate all fees for anybody who wants to carry in the state of South Dakota, ” Noem continued.
“If they want their permit they can go do that but it will be free of charge, and also the state will take care of the cost of doing the federal background checks too. We want to send a clear message to the entire country that we support our constitutional rights. We support citizens having the right to protect and defend themselves, and that also we’re not going to charge them for it because during this day and age people need to keep more of their dollars in their pockets considering what’s going on at the federal government level.”
The very first bill that Noem signed as governor was South Dakota’s Constitutional Carry law, and I asked the governor what she would tell other Republicans like Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who are among several Republican governors who could have the opportunity to sign Constitutional Carry legislation this year.
“I would always side on the Founders’ side,” Noem replied without hesitation. “The men who set up this country and risked their lives for our freedom. I choose that side every time. They gave us documents and agreements that have kept this country special for hundreds of years, and I don’t want it to degrade on my watch.”
As for those anti-gun governors who are actively trying to destroy those freedoms (often with the false promise of greater security), Noem doesn’t mince words.
“It actually grieves me. I can’t believe that people are this aggressive at taking that right away from individuals, but we’ve seen that over the past couple of years; unprecedented actions by people to take away freedom and liberty from individuals. What I’ve found that’s been phenomenal about the last couple of years is that we’re getting people engaged in government and politics that never have before. And people are literally picking up their families and moving to states like South Dakota because of their government.
And most people who are moving here, and we have thousands and thousands of them, aren’t coming here for our beaches or our lovely January weather, but because they want to be like us. They’re done living somewhere where they don’t get to make decisions for their family, they don’t get to have their kids in school, they don’t get to exercise their rights.”
Today’s New Jerseyite is tomorrow’s South Dakotan, though I’m sure that Noem and the other residents of South Dakota would remind those settling in the state to remember why they left their old home behind.
I encourage you to check out the entire discussion with Gov. Noem in the video window above, and we’ll hopefully be able to continue the conversation in the near future. As long as the weather cooperates I’m hoping to catch up with her and several other pro-2A governors next week at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas, and we’ll be sharing what they have to say here on the site and on the show.