OUR VIEW: Permits for concealed weapons are a mustIf state Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, gets his way, South Dakota no longer will require a permit for residents to carry concealed weapons.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
If state Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, gets his way, South Dakota no longer will require a permit for residents to carry concealed weapons.
We figure most everyone knows that it doesn’t take much to get a handgun in South Dakota. It’s also likely that most everyone knows that, except for a few exceptions, it’s legal for those gun owners to carry those weapons on their person; they just can’t be concealed without a permit.
Kopp has said he wants to repeal a state law that requires gun owners to pay the $10 fee and undergo a criminal background check before they are granted a concealed weapons permit. He notes that Wyoming has abolished its concealed weapons permitting process and has not seen an uptick in gun violence.
We acknowledge that South Dakota is different than more populated states, where gun-related crimes may be more prevalent. We also acknowledge that South Dakotans, for the most part, probably have a better working knowledge of guns than people in most other states, thanks to our rural heritage and outdoors upbringing.
Some lawmakers have said they are leery of Kopp’s proposal, and we side with them. We do not consider a $10 fee and background check prohibitive to gun owners’ rights, and we also worry that changing the process would put law-enforcement officers at a higher risk.
We do know that this one extra hurdle — i.e. the process of obtaining a concealed weapons permit — may be the deciding factor that keeps a gun out of the hands of someone who has trouble on his mind.
If the current process uncovers even one questionable gun owner — and thereby restricts that gun owner’s ability to legally conceal a handgun — then the system has done its job.