Keeping and Bearing Arms for Generations
By: Governor Kristi Noem
January 26, 2024
Growing up in rural South Dakota, shooting sports and hunting were a big part of how I was raised. Some of my favorite memories with my family are of our time hunting and shooting guns. And one of my earliest memories is pheasant hunting with my Grandma Dorris.
Many South Dakotans have the same kind of experiences with their own families and had similar upbringings. We are all very proud of our small-town way of life and our rural values – and that has led us to become the most Second Amendment-friendly state in the nation.
In South Dakota, we encourage our people to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Constitutional Carry was the very first bill that I signed into law as Governor. Two years ago, we became the first state in America to waive all fees for concealed carry permits. We even pay for people’s federal background checks. So it doesn’t cost South Dakotans a penny to exercise their Second Amendment rights. And last year, I signed an Executive Order which says that the state will not do business with any financial institution that infringes on people’s Second Amendment Rights.
We have marketed our state as a Second Amendment haven. Last year, California became the first state in the nation to levy a special tax on guns and ammunition. I immediately invited California gun manufacturers to move here to South Dakota, and my Office of Economic Development is continuing to recruit firearms business from state that infringe on the Second Amendment. Freedom Works Here for gun sellers and manufacturers, and we are welcoming businesses that are looking for a state that supports their industry.
I am determined to uphold South Dakota’s reputation as the most Second Amendment-friendly state in America for generations to come. That is where the South Dakota Shooting Sports Complex comes in. The Department of Game, Fish & Parks (GFP) has already started to move dirt on this world-class shooting range in the Black Hills.
Originally, this was going to be a federally funded project, but the Biden Administration is undermining it by changing the rules after they had already signed off. The good news is South Dakota has never relied on the federal government. I We do things better on our own, anyways. That’s why we’re just going to raise the money and build this shooting range ourselves.
I am working with GFP to continue to build this range which will host world class events and positively impact our economy in the long term. We went to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Shot Show to fundraise for this range. We met with leading firearms businesses from around the country who pledged their support – and some of them may even be interested in moving their companies to South Dakota.
This will be the premier firearms range in the Midwest. It will give our residents and our visitors access to quality shooting ranges where they can learn safe and responsible use of firearms. The South Dakota Shooting Sports Complex will provide opportunities so that generations to come can learn to love shooting sports just as I did.
To learn more about the South Dakota Shooting Sports Complex, and to donate to help us complete the project, visit GunRange.SD.Gov.