September 22, 2020

Who Has a Right to Know Who's Carrying?

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In South Dakota, HB1199, if passed, will ensure that anyone who has applied for or who owns a permit to carry a concealed weapon, will not be available to the public. In what is being described as a privacy issue, supporters of the new Bill say that it is legal to own guns and it is legal, through lawful permitting, to carry a hidden gun and it shouldn’t be information that is necessary for the public to know. Many feel those wanting to know who has a permit, want to know so they can harrass permit holders or applicants.

Opponents of the Bill claim that they have a right to know and that withholding the information also will infringe on their 1st Amendment right to free speech. These people want to be able to publish lists of names of people possessing permits. Of course, I haven’t stretched my weak mind far enough to be able to see how this is an infringement on free speech.

The Bill was embraced by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now goes before the full Senate. At present, those in the process of applying for a concealed weapons permit, are added to a list that is public. The new Bill would make that list private as well as permit holders.

Tom Remington

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