AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The term “constitutional carry” is used for permitless carry for one very specific reason. That reason is that the Constitution says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and permit systems infringe on that right. By removing the requirement for a permit, a state returns to a more constitutional setting with regard to carrying a firearm.

And now, South Dakota residents get to enjoy that more constitutional setting.

A new law effective this week in South Dakota eliminates the need for a permit to carry a concealed pistol.

South Dakota is the 14th state to enact such a law for both residents and visitors. Pennington County Capt. Marty Graves tells KOTA-TV he thinks it’s a good thing for gun owners. Graves says it will lighten the work load for his office because it will no longer issue the permits and collect the fees.

Graves is right. That frees up officers to take care of more important things like…oh, I don’t know…fighting actual crime?

Time and time again, I read criticisms of constitutional carry and how it will empower criminals. But guess what? Bad guys have been carrying guns for a long, long time. They were doing it when there was no way for private citizens to carry guns. That’s the problem here.

You see, good guys are prevented from defending themselves because of laws that create a burden for them. It doesn’t stop the bad guys from doing jack. They carry, they shoot people, and they keep doing it while the law-abiding are hamstrung by a law that makes them into targets. This means the law-abiding have two choices. One is to continue being lambs to the slaughter. The other is to disobey the law, that is unless they can get the law changed.

As noted, there are 14 states with constitutional carry laws on the books. Thus far, there’s been no signs of an uptick in violence in any of these states. Why is that?

Again, it’s because those who commit the violence are already carrying guns regardless of what the law plainly states. Why would violence increase when the rules had no impact on them?

What does happen, though, is now the good guys are going to carry more. Those who couldn’t afford permits or who couldn’t take the time to get one for whatever reason don’t have to now. They can now carry a firearm and defend themselves without the hassle or expense.

As a result, South Dakota just made its streets a great deal safer.

I don’t see South Dakota as being all that unsafe, to begin with, but no place is completely safe. It never will be. Now criminals in South Dakota have to consider the possibility that their target may also be carrying a firearm since they don’t require a permit anymore. There will be more guns in good guys’ hands, and that means the occupational hazards of criminal activity have increased.

Sounds like a fine time for them to start reevaluating their life choices.