Gun permits are rising in Minnehaha County. Sheriff Mike Milstead told us the number of permits issued has nearly doubled since this time last year. We talked with him about what this means for the safety of the community.
In 2014, Minnehaha County issued just shy of 3,000 conceal carry permits. Last year, they did over 3,600.
“About 591 permits issued just in January of this year. As a comparison, last January we did 288. So a significant increase,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.
The highest number they’ve seen was in 2013, right after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Milstead says any big event or announcement in politics is likely to cause a spike in permits requested.
“Because of things in the news. Comments made by the administration, whatever it may be. It prompts people to say, ‘You know what? I think it’s time to get my concealed carry permit to make sure that I have it,'” Milstead said.
Milstead says a background check is required to get a permit. However, this rarely disqualifies the people coming to the county offices.
“Maybe 75 people out of, in a year are disqualified from being able to get that permit,” Milstead said.
Milstead says he believes the increase in permits being issued shows people are trying to follow the laws and do not pose a threat to the community.
“The fact that South Dakotans choose to go out and exercise their second amendment right, doesn’t concern me,” Milstead said.
Some of the red flags that prevent someone from getting a conceal carry permit would be chronic drug or alcohol abuse, felonies in any state and past signs of domestic violence.