Concealed Carry Weapon Permits Reach All-Time Monthly High

State-wide 3,879 permits were issued in January

January was a record month for South Dakotans wanting a concealed carry permit.

The month set a new record with more than 3,800 permits issued, making the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office busy.

Minnehaha County is no different. 

“This is the second highest January we’ve had,” says Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead. 

Milstead says they sold 574 permits in January 2016.

In January 2015, they only sold 288. 

“So it’s a significant increase.” 

Milstead says two factors play into this. One is when political figures discuss gun control issues.

“Obviously in January there was a lot to discussion about executive orders on firearms,” says Milstead. “As a result, a lot of South Dakota residents and a lot of people in our county decided to come down and get that concealed carry permit.” 

The second factor is crime. Milstead says the recent armed robberies and shootings is making residents question whether they need to carry. 

“I think there are more citizens that are getting permits now than they used to with the idea of wanting to protect themselves and their family, and not be in a bad situation if something happens in their presence,” says Milstead. 

Regardless of the reason, Milstead says the increase is not concerning because of the required background check. 

“For the most part people who come through the door are honest, law abiding citizens,” says Milstead.

On a statewide level, there was a surge from an all-time monthly high of 2,968 in December 2015 to 3,876 in January 2016.

In January 2015, 2,204 permits were issued.

The Secretary of State says because of the high volume, staffing will need to be reevaluated to maintain statutory compliance.