(The Center Square) – Starting Friday, it will no longer cost money for people in South Dakota to receive their concealed carry permit.
Senate Bill 212, passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Kristi Noem, removed the fee.
“It will not cost you a penny to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in South Dakota. We are even paying for your federal background checks,” Noem said in a news release. “In South Dakota, we will always defend the rights of law-abiding gun owners to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their loved-ones.”
Secretary of State Steve Barnett told the Joint Appropriations Committee in January that the state could lose between $100,000 and $250,000.
Barnett’s office would have to find a way to make up for the lost revenue or ask for a “straight general fund appropriation to cover that loss,” Barnett said.
Some said taxpayers should not have to pay for the concealed carry permits.
The Democrats of South Dakota District 22 responded by tweeting: “Why should the people of South Dakota have to pay for the federal background check!?!”
Under the new law, the Office of the Secretary of State will reimburse counties based on the number of concealed carry permits issued each year. For example, a county will be reimbursed $3 per regular permit, $50 for each enhanced permit, and $30 for each gold card permit issued.
A gold card permit streamlines the process of buying a firearm and “reduces hassle for law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” according to the National Rifle Association. Those that hold a gold card concealed carry permit can forgo criminal background checks when buying a firearm but will have periodic background checks to ensure continued eligibility.
Noem said the new law means South Dakota becomes the first state in America to eliminate fees for its concealed carry permitting system.
“The only other state without fees – Vermont – does not operate a concealed carry permitting system,” Noem said.