Shall Not Be Infringed: The Battle for Campus Carry in South Dakota


The Student Rights Campaign (SRC) has been waging arguably its most important battle in its ongoing mission to defend the Constitutional rights of students nationwide: the fight for Constitutional carry on campus in South Dakota. 


The campaign, which has been in operation for over two years, was initiated by SRC’s former South Dakota State Chair and current Midwest Grassroots Director Anton Mirzayants on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDM) in response to the increase in violent crime around campus that left students feeling vulnerable. 


From there, the battle for campus carry progressed quickly, with Young Americans for Liberty’s (YAL) SDM chapter hosting a rally in support of allowing students to legally possess firearms for self-defense. 


However, the school administration refused to acquiesce and continued to prohibit students’ natural right to defend themselves. 


In response, SRC purchased advertising space on a nearby billboard depicting the school’s president, Jim Rankin. The billboard also included a call to action encouraging onlookers to contact the school to demand campus carry become policy. 


After garnering an answer from President Rankin, SRC was contacted by the South Dakota Board of Regents, which claimed that the policy does not have enough student support to enact. Refusing to waiver, SRC decided to expand its campaign statewide in South Dakota and target more schools for support, eventually gathering over 757 signatures on its petition. 


The most dramatic part of the campaign came when an October 2023 meeting of the Board of Regents in Rapid City, South Dakota was peacefully stormed by YAL activists, who proceeded to pass around flyers displaying the frightening crime rate near the school and demonstrating the need for student Second Amendment access. This move was considered a pivotal moment which effectively revived the battle for campus carry in South Dakota. 


SRC is currently working to place the issue on the voting schedule of the Board of Regents and refuses to yield until the right to self-defense is protected on college campuses in South Dakota. 


Students in South Dakota can support SRC’s campaign here:


This article was written by Eric Madden, Copywriter & Editor at Young Americans for Liberty

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