SD State and Federal Lawmakers Discussing Concealed Carry Bills

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota lawmakers are discussing concealed carry.  

In South Dakota, you have to apply for a concealed carry permit. Applying for a concealed carry permit in South Dakota is pretty straight forward. You go to your county sheriff’s office, apply, and usually hear back in a few days. If you’re granted a permit, it’s good for five years.

This could change. State lawmakers in both chambers are introducing permitless concealed carry bills. If passed, a state resident could concealed carry without a permit within South Dakota. You would still need a permit if you plan on travelling out of state with a concealed firearm.

Neighboring North Dakota passed similar legislation in 2017.

“The sky didn’t fall in North Dakota,” said Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead. “They’re managing it quite well.”

However, Milstead has his worries.

“We have people that we turn down permit requests to that thought they were going to get one,” said Milstead. “That’s a little concerning.”

In 2016, 4,883 people applied for a concealed carry permit in Minnehaha County. All but 125 people were approved.  Most of those people were denied because of a drug or domestic violence conviction. In 2018, 66 of the 2,267 applicants were denied.

In Washington D.C., U.S. Senator John Thune is hoping to make changes on the federal level. He’s reintroducing the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This legislation would allow individuals who can conceal carry in their home state to do so in another state, so long as it respects that particular state’s laws.

“I think if you’re a law-abiding person in this country, who wants to be able to exercise their constitutional, second-amendment right, this is a way in which you can do that, and it still respects the sovereignty individual states have,” said Thune.

Seeking support has been a largely partisan issue, with all of the 2017 sponsors being republicans.

“That reflects in some ways the sort of divide we have in the country right now both along political lines, but also on geographical lines,” said Thune. “It seems like a lot of the support for this comes from the middle of the country.”

When it comes to state laws, sheriff  Milstead says that he’ll enforce whatever the state legislature passes.

Former Governor Daugaard vetoed permitless concealed carry legislation, but new Governor Kristi Noem has said she likes the general idea of constitutional carry.

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