This past legislative session, South Dakota lawmakers passed a bill that will open the door for more people to carry concealed weapons in the state.
That new gun law, which takes affect July 1, eliminates the permit requirements to carry a concealed weapon.
Inside Gary’s Gun Shop in Sioux Falls, Brooke Ankeny is looking to buy her very first handgun.
“Protection, there are a lot of crazies in the world and decided it’s time, I carry mace but that’s not enough some times,” Ankeny said.
Come July 1, she won’t need to apply for a gun permit to conceal her gun, but she says going to apply for one anyway.
“We do a lot of traveling and I would still feel safer having a gun permit,” Ankeny said.
Dan Huls has his gun permit. He’s been carrying a concealed gun for 10 years. He doesn’t think people should be concerned with the new law.
“I don’t see a big concern about it, it’s not one way or the other I feel about it, to me I don’t think it matters to police officers,” Huls said.
“We know more people are going to be carrying concealed firearms,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.
Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead has some concerns with the new law, but he says he doesn’t make the laws, he just enforces them. He thinks a lot of gun owners who already have a permit, will continue to renew it, because they travel.
“Just our regular $10 permit is good in 31 states, so people should realize just because we don’t require a carry permit, that’s not the case in every state in the union, most states require a permit,” Milstead said.
In the past, a gun permit sort of provided a checks and balance system.
The Minnehaha County sheriff’s office has turned down hundreds of people who have applied for a permit.
“So last year the ones we turned down; it was because people had felony convictions, drug violations, habitually intoxicated, a history of violence, active warrants, fugitives from justice, mental holds, firearm violations, danger to themselves; so there were a lot of people who had to be denied a permit,” Milstead said.
But now he thinks without the checks and balances, those same people might think they’re okay to carry concealed now.
“But I think we already know the wrong people often do carry guns already, whether the law permits it or not they typically don’t follow the law anyway,” Milstead said.
“I understand their concerns, but I don’t think that law is going to change things one way or the other, people are going to carry or they’re not going to carry,” Huls said.
South Dakota will become the 14th state in the country to not require a permit to carry concealed.
One other part of the bill that’s grabbing a lot of attention is that this law pertains to juveniles, as well.
As long as they’re with a parent or legal guardian, they can carry a concealed weapon too. I asked Governor Noem about that portion of the bill.
“We will deal with and look at and listen to our law enforcement officers as this law is put into place and see if changes need to be made but as it’s going forward as it has in other states before, this is pretty standard and what language has been enacted before,” Noem said. “