Bill to restrict local control of firearms in South Dakota passes House

An important area of focus for enthusiasts of gun deregulation is restricting local control over laws - removing the ability of cities, municipalities and even school districts from passing rules that make sense for them, and instead forcing them to adhere to the laws passed at the state level.

Current law in South Dakota already does this, saying that “no township [or municipality] may pass any ordinance that restricts possession, transportation, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture, or repair of firearms or ammunition or their components.” Now, legislation that would go even further in handcuffing local governments has been passed out of the state House.

This bill, HB 1056, would amend that section to include prohibitions on towns and municipalities from imposing taxes or fees, or any licensing requirements on firearm ownership. It also authorizes the state Attorney General to send cease and desist orders to towns that attempt to regulate firearms or firearm licenses and even take legal action if the entity doesn’t comply.

Only one Democrat defected to vote with Republicans to pass the bill by a 53-16 over bipartisan opposition and comes on the heels of Gov. Kristi Noem signing “constitutional carry” legislation into law law last month. Following the vote, fourteen members of the state House have retained perfect grades on LEAP Forward’s scorecard, including seven Republicans.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to pass a Republican-dominated chamber.