Battle over guns brews in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA TV) – The Second Amendment taking center stage in Pierre this week as two controversial gun laws could be headed to the governor's desk soon.

House Bill 1072, also known as "constitutional carry," would allow anyone who can legally own a gun to carry a concealed weapon without filing a permit as is required under current state law.

South Dakota already allows open carry without a permit, but has recently been changing the way a person obtains a concealed carry permit.

House Bill 1072 is on the agenda for full Senate debate Monday afternoon. If it passes, it goes to Governor Dennis Daugaard's desk, where he is expected to veto it despite passionate argument from bill sponsors saying the Second Amendment should not need special circumstances to be followed.

"To begin with the Constitution's Second Amendment has no qualifiers on it,” Senator Phil Jensen of Rapid City said. “It says the people's right to keep and bear arms shall not be impinged. It doesn't say you can if you get a permit."

"I think we've got a permitting process that's very simple, easy and cheap,” countered the governor. “One of my staff was curious on how long it would take her to get a permit processed. She went to the Hughes County Courthouse, submitted her application, went to lunch, came back to the office before her lunch hour was up … three days later her permit arrived in the mail,” Daugaard explained.

Sponsors of the bill remain optimistic even though the governor says he will veto the bill, saying they believe they have the votes needed to override the governor’s choice

The other controversial gun rights bill is House Bill 1056, which would allow people with enhanced concealed carry permits to carry a concealed firearm in the state capitol.

That bill is also awaiting final Senate debate; and like the bill repealing the requirement for a concealed permit, is expected to be vetoed by the governor.