Should Non-Citizens Have Concealed Carry Permits in South Dakota? Lawsuit May Decide Question

In January, a federal lawsuit was filed in South Dakota challenging a state law which prohibits non-US citizens from obtaining a concealed carry permit.  That law, “was enacted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when states were looking for ways to tighten security and guard against future attacks, Secretary of State Jason Gant said,” according to the Rapid City Journal.

“It had tremendous support at that time to make sure only U.S. citizens were receiving the permits,” Gant said. “It had bipartisan support along with several other agencies.”

“At the time, Attorney General Mark Barnett, the South Dakota Police Chiefs Association, the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association and the South Dakota Shooting Sports Association all supported the change. Gant said the measure passed without opposition or a dissenting vote at any level.”

But in the suit, one Wayne Smith argued, “that he should be allowed to receive a permit as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. Smith, of Sioux Falls, has been a lawful permanent resident since 1979 after moving to the United States from the United Kingdom.”

Source: Rapid City Journal 1/6/11


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