Last updated on 2017.03.07
If I'm going to spin a tenuous hypothesis that Governor Dennis Daugaard is using his veto of HB 1228 to take a swipe at us green Lefties, then I am obliged to recognize his veto of HB 1248 as a swipe at gun Righties. The latest expression of Rep. Betty Olson's rather narrow legislative agenda (basically, if it doesn't have to to do with guns, critters, or GF&P, Rep. Olson doesn't have much to say) would allow anyone with a South Dakota drivers license to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.
In his veto statement, Governor Daugaard says he's all about gun rights, but he also wants the Legislature to balancing protecting rights with protecting lives. He doesn't mention Rep. Nick Moser's claim of epidemic gun-running in South Dakota. He does offer two good conservative justifications for vetoing HB 1248.
The Governor calls HB 1248 "a solution searching for a problem." He says the current system properly balances rights with public safety. No one has shown a serious problem with the current concealed-weapons permitting system, which allows law-abiding citizens to get a permit from their local sheriff in minutes. No mugger has gotten the drop on some poor oppressed citizen deprived of a pistol by those few minutes at the sheriff's office. No local sheriffs have gone on a permit-denying bender and left their populaces trembling in gunless terror. Until we see a problem, we don't need to enact a solution. (Dang: now where was that thinking on HB 1234's education reforms?)
The Governor notes that HB 1248 might actually cause gun-toting citizens to spend more time detained by law enforcement, not less:
This bill will also result in longer and more frequent detention of those who legally carry a concealed weapon. Absent a permit requirement, law enforcement would not be able to ascertain whether an individual is "otherwise eligible to be issued a permit to carry a concealed pistol." If this bill becomes law, innocent citizens could be detained by law enforcement and subjected to time-consuming criminal and mental health background checks [Governor Dennis Daugaard, veto message on HB 1248, 2012.03.16].
HB 1248 might also cause unpleasant run-ins for less legally attentive South Dakotans on their trips out of state:
Even if this bill becomes law, those who wish to conceal a weapon in another state would, in almost all cases, still be required to have a concealed carry permit. Repealing that requirement in South Dakota could lead to our citizens being arrested in other states because of an honest misunderstanding as to whether they are lawfully entitled to carry a concealed weapon in that state [Daugaard, 2012.03.16].
There is no problem, and the proposed action could create more problems: what more conservative reasons does the Governor need to say no to a bad bill?