South Dakota gun owners could be in for some fee relief this year.
That’s if Governor Kristi Noem (R.) gets her way. She announced at her annual State of the State address on Tuesday her intention to eliminate all fees associated with gun-carry permits and background checks during gun sales.
“Yesterday, in my State of the State Address, I proposed the elimination of all fees for concealed carry permits,” she tweeted following the address. “[South Dakota] will also pay the cost for the federal background check. In my proposal, it won’t cost you a penny to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in South Dakota.”
The proposals were part of a broader theme in her speech of making reduced taxes and limiting government a part of her agenda leading into 2022, a year in which she is up for possible re-election. It also marks another instance of a red-state Governor with rumored Presidential aspirations making public shows of support for Second Amendment rights.
Noem’s name has been considered among the Republican politicians possibly vying for Presidential candidacy in the 2024 election. Noem, along with the likes of Governors Ron DeSantis (R.) of Florida and Greg Abbott (R.) of Texas, has leaned into pro-gun policies even with the official presidential primary season still several years off.
After announcing her proposals for eliminating fees for gun owners and concealed carriers, she highlighted her past support for Second Amendment rights as Governor when she signed permitless carry into law.
“Three years ago, Constitutional Carry was the very first bill that I signed as Governor,” she said. “We guaranteed the right of our people to keep to and to bear arms. Together, we will continue to defend this key constitutional liberty.”
While South Dakota is one of 21 states that currently allows lawful gun owners to carry a gun without a permit, the state still offers residents the option to obtain a permit, which is typically done for purposes of state reciprocity. Current fees for South Dakota permits vary by permit type. According to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website, the fee for a regular permit is $10, the fee for a gold card permit is $70, and the fee for an enhanced permit is $100.
Those fees would all be waived, should the Governor’s proposal become law.