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Gun Talk Triggers Surge In Pistol Permits

January 16, 2013, 10:04 PM by Don Jorgensen

Gun Talk Triggers Surge In Pistol Permits

Talk of gun bans and new laws triggers an influx of gun sales and concealed weapons permits.

Just in the last three weeks, 3,029 people have applied for a pistol permit in South Dakota, bringing the total number of active permits in the state to 65,754.  And law enforcement expects that number to keep growing.

To obtain a concealed pistol permit, you must apply in person at your local sheriff's office. That's what Sandra Bonham is doing. She already owns a gun, now she just wants to make sure she's legal.

"In case I carry it around in my car and go to the shooting range, I'm at least covered, a lawful citizen," Bonham said.

The Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office says they've never seen anything like it. As of 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, they had already received 45 applications just on Wednesday.

"It's been extremely busy," Minnehaha County Deputy Sheriff Paul Niedringhaus said.

Niedringhaus says since the Connecticut school shooting, their office has received 600 applications for gun permits, three times as many as they would normally would get in a month's time.

But he says law enforcement isn't too concerned by the high number.

"Really, the majority are law abiding citizens who want to make sure they're not committing a crime if they wish to carry a gun," Niedringhaus said.

Whether it's for recreational use or their own safety, gun permit applicants say it does give them piece of mind.

"Might need the protection sometime," Bonham said.

Last year, Minnehaha County issued 2,300 gun permits. As of right now they've already issued 600 in 2013.

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