Minnehaha Co. Sheriff Opposes Concealed Carry Permit Bill Sent To House Floor

Bill's Main Sponsor Says People Who Are Denied Permits Won't Get Rid Of Guns

A South Dakota House Committee recently approved a bill that would allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. The bill passed through the State Affairs Committee in a 7 to 6 vote Wednesday, sending it to the house floor.

Todd Epp of Harrisburg said, “I probably fired a rifle when I was seven or eight years old under my dad’s tutelage.”

Todd Epp, a producer at a radio station in Sioux Falls, says he owns several handguns and rifles. He not only has his concealed carry permit but an enhanced permit.

“Handguns for personal protection, but try to hit the range as often as I can,” said Epp.

Epp says if he is ever pulled over, he hands the permit to the officer with his driver’s license so there isn’t any miscommunication.

“I think it shows that I have a degree of responsibility and acceptance of that responsibility to be a responsible gun owner… versus someone who just goes in buys a gun and sticks in it their pocket,” said Epp.

Sheriff Mike Milstead says Minnehaha County issued around 4,000 concealed carry permits last year. However, they denied 125. He says they were either felons, had protection orders, disqualifying drug offenses or they were committed for mental illness.

“If you don’t require a permit, people like that are all going to carry,” said Milstead.

Milstead says he says the permit process easy and non-intrusive. It costs 10 dollars and is good for five years.  He says it takes five days to receive the permit.

Milstead said, “It takes us time to go through all of the databases and do all of the research to make sure that you’re legally authorized for that permit, that’s not something you can do at the side of the road.”

But Rep. Lynne DiSanto (Dist. 35-R) says it’s time to get rid of concealed permits in South Dakota. The main sponsor of a bill that would do just that, says eleven other states have similar laws in place.

DiSanto said, “These people don’t sell their guns and get rid of them and say ‘Oh my gosh, I got turned down for my permit so I’m going to go home and get rid of my guns immediately’.”

DiSanto says the permits only penalize and tax rightful gun owners and it’s time for that to end.

DiSanto said, “I think this would send a message to gun carriers that they’re not going to be treated like criminals anymore.”

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he would veto the bill if it came to his desk. It would take two-thirds majority vote to override his veto.

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