By: Governor Kristi Noem
April 14, 2023
President Reagan famously said, “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Yet today, too many Americans are still relying on the government for their livelihoods and depend on the government to grant them their Freedoms. They have forgotten that their Liberties do not come from government, they come from God.
While our Founding Fathers created a government that recognizes our God-given rights, “We the People” do not have to ask permission to defend them. God gave us the right to defend ourselves, our families, and our Freedoms.
Here in South Dakota, we have been embracing Liberty and personal responsibility for years, and we are thriving as a result. Our state is setting the standard as the most Second-Amendment-friendly state in the nation.
The very first bill I signed as governor guarantees Constitutional Carry for all law-abiding South Dakotans. I signed legislation to block state and local governments from using an emergency declaration as an excuse to infringe on Second Amendment rights. We strengthened our “Stand Your Ground” law. And we made South Dakota the first state in America to not charge a fee for a concealed carry permit – we’ll even pay for your federal background check.
While leadership in Washington, D.C. has failed time and time again to deliver true, meaningful solutions for this nation, South Dakotans are enjoying the strongest economy in the nation, the lowest unemployment, and unprecedented economic growth. The media may call us crazy for defending our rights, South Dakotans are able to go to sleep at night knowing that they can protect their families.
These things don’t just happen – Freedom generated these blessings.
And it’s not only big government and the media that are attacking our rights. Now, we are seeing banking institutions go after industries they don’t agree with, threaten to withhold funding, cancel loans, or hold them to a different standard. None have been more impacted that those who support the Second Amendment.
I will not stand for it, not in South Dakota.
I have signed an Executive Order to protect the God-given right to keep and bear arms from being infringed upon by financial institutions. My Executive Order, which is effective immediately, blocks state agencies from contracting with large banks that discriminate against firearm-related industries.
Our founders recognized that the right to bear arms is about deterrence. It is about ensuring the government respects the Liberty of citizens. In a letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson wrote of his commitment to Freedom. He made his point in Latin, but it translates as, “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
It is my hope that this is the kind of Freedom the people of South Dakota can enjoy for generations. A Freedom that empowers. A Freedom that respects. And a Freedom that strengthens.
In South Dakota, Freedom is guaranteed.