Noem signs bill allowing firearms in South Dakota Capitol
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed bills allowing people to carry firearms in the state Capitol building and requiring public schools to prominently display signs that say “In God We Trust.”
Under the Capitol carry bill signed Monday, people with an enhanced concealed carry permit will be able to take firearms into the Capitol in Pierre starting July 1, as long as they notify the Highway Patrol superintendent at least 24 hours in advance.
The Capitol is “already a safe place thanks to the dedicated men and women of our Highway Patrol,” but under the new law, “law-abiding citizens with the proper permit will be able to carry in the Capitol, just like they can in so many other places,” Noem said in a statement.
The Capitol carry bill is one of several firearm bills that have been considered by South Dakota lawmakers this year. Residents and visitors will be able to carry concealed handguns without a permit statewide beginning July 1 under a bill the Republican governor signed into law in January.
Also Monday, Noem signed the bill requiring schools to display easily readable signs no smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches (30 centimeters by 30 centimeters) that say “In God We Trust.” That law takes effect in the 2019-20 school year, the Argus Leader reported.
Under the bill, the signs must be displayed in a prominent location such as a school entryway, cafeteria or other common area. If the display results in a lawsuit, the state’s attorney general will represent the school district at no cost and the state will assume responsibility for any legal expenses, under language added by the House.