Shall Not be Infringed

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Shall Not be Infringed


By: Governor Kristi Noem

September 15, 2023


South Dakota has been setting the standard as the most Second-Amendment-friendly state in the nation for years. We embrace liberty and personal responsibility. We know that our Founding Fathers created a government that recognizes our God-given rights – including the right to defend ourselves, our families, and our Freedoms.


Unfortunately, not everyone respects the Second Amendment rights of every American.


Recently, New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry guns in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for at least 30 days.


Lujan Grisham classified this ban on Second Amendment rights as an emergency public health order, connecting it to a threshold for violent crimes that was only met by the Albuquerque area. This ban applied to both open and concealed carry in almost every public place. Violating the ban would result in civil penalties and up to a $5,000 fine.


This is tyrannical and unconstitutional – and a federal judge agrees. A U.S. District Judge blocked the part of the public health order that violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


When politicians overstep their authority in a time of crisis, that is how we lose our country. And that is exactly what happened in New Mexico. If our nation follows suit, we will lose the rights and the Freedoms that our Founding Fathers fought and died for.


Unlike too many other states, South Dakota is a sanctuary for Second Amendment rights. In fact, the very first bill that I signed into law as Governor guarantees Constitutional Carry for all law-abiding South Dakotans. We made South Dakota the first state to not charge a fee for a concealed carry permit, and we strengthened our “Stand Your Ground” laws. We even have legislation that prevents exactly what Lujan Grisham tried to do in New Mexico. In South Dakota, state and local governments cannot use an emergency declaration as an excuse to infringe on Second Amendment rights.


In April, I signed an Executive Order onstage at the National Rife Association’s Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum. That Executive Order protects South Dakota’s Second Amendment rights from being infringed upon by financial institutions. The EO blocked state agencies from contracting with large banks that engage in discrimination against firearm-related industries.


The United States Constitution may not always use plain language, but it is pretty straightforward when it comes to our right to defend ourselves. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”


The Second Amendment could not be any clearer. 


In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison writes, “ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone.” This is phrased a bit simpler in our state’s motto: “Under God, the People Rule.” It’s time for liberal politicians to realize that their actions are not only unconstitutional, but they take away the ultimate authority of the people, which our founders outlined so clearly.


Unlike Governor Lujan Grisham, South Dakota respects our God-given rights – the rights that our Founding Fathers risked their lives to ensure. And if anyone wants to make the move to a state that values you, your way of life, and your Freedom, South Dakota is the state for you.


In South Dakota, the God-given right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.