If you have a South Dakota enhanced-carry permit for a concealed pistol, or if you’re thinking you might get one, you could soon have another place to take it: the South Dakota Capitol.
The state House of Representatives voted 44-19 Monday to allow people with enhanced-carry permits to take their hidden weapons into most parts of the Capitol.
The exceptions in SB 115 are the Supreme Court chamber where cases are argued and the governor’s office.
The Senate approved the bill 20-13 last month.
It now goes to Governor Kristi Noem, who’s already signaled her support. It would take effect July 1.
Under the legislation, someone wanting to carry in the Capitol would need to notify the superintendent of the Highway Patrol at least 24 hours in advance and provide the dates.
Those dates may not exceed 30 consecutive days. The person could apply for additional 30-day periods. The superintendent wouldn’t be limited on the number of renewals granted to a person.
Noem, who took office January 5, has already signed into law legislation that allows most people to carry concealed weapons without needing a state permit for most places in South Dakota, other than locations such as bars, county courthouses and the Capitol.
Watching the debate Monday from the Capitol’s fourth-floor gallery was the National Rifle Association lobbyist for South Dakota, former state lawmaker Brian Gosch, who was House speaker and House Republican leader
House Republican leader Lee Qualm of Platte led the fight for the Capitol-carry bill Monday. Qualm said about 4,800 people currently have the enhanced permits that require additional training, more education and a fingerprint background check.
Qualm said security is tighter when the Legislature is in session, but only two Highway Patrol officers cover the Capitol and other state-government buildings in Pierre the other nine-plus months.
He said elected constitutional officers in the Capitol would benefit most from additional self-protection.
“Good guys are not the bad guys,” Qualm said.