By Associated Press - Monday, November 21, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker plans to sponsor a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would allow people who can legally carry a concealed handgun in South Dakota to do so without a permit.

Right now, it’s a misdemeanor under state law for someone to carry a concealed pistol or to have one concealed in a vehicle without a permit. Rep. Lynne DiSanto said Monday that her bill is about personal protection.

“I just hope this opens the door to people considering being gun owners and having the opportunity to protect themselves and their families as it was intended by the Constitution when it was written,” she said.

On Oct. 31, there were more than 95,000 active concealed pistol permits, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard doesn’t generally comment on bills until he can see them or in many cases until the measure has worked through the Legislature, Chief of Staff Tony Venhuizen said in an email.

Daugaard in 2012 vetoed a measure that would have allowed people over 18 with a valid South Dakota drivers’ license to carry a concealed pistol without a permit.

A similar proposal passed through the House in 2015, but died in a Senate committee.

There are currently 11 states that have what’s known as constitutional carry, according to spokeswoman for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

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