WILTZ: Are you familiar with H.R. 822?Have you ever considered obtaining a concealed handgun carry permit? The time is certainly relevant for talking about it.
By: Roger Wiltz, The Daily Republic
Have you ever considered obtaining a concealed handgun carry permit? The time is certainly relevant for talking about it.
On Nov. 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 822, the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. So far as I know, the Senate hasn’t acted upon it yet. Whether or not the Senate passes this bill, a citizen will still need a permit to carry a concealed pistol from his/her home state before he/she can take advantage of a nation-wide carry privilege.
Is such a permit right for you or me? I think it depends on our individual temperament. If you believe the adage, “Better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it,” a carry permit might be right for you. You must also ask yourself whether or not you could draw a gun and use it if you, your loved ones, or your property was threatened.
Getting a South Dakota Permit to Carry is a relatively easy matter. Go to your local sheriff’s office, complete a written application, and pay a $10 fee. If you can then pass a background check, and finally get the approval of your sheriff, Secretary of State Jason Gant will send you your permit.
A concealed carry permit is not needed in one’s own home. When pondering whether or not a concealed carry permit is needed, we are talking about outside the home, and perhaps on the road. Only one of 50 states, Illinois, does not offer concealed carry permits to its residents. Twenty-eight states have concealed carry reciprocity with South Dakota. This means that you can legally possess a concealed handgun in their state, and they can do the same in ours.
The states that grant carry reciprocity with South Dakota are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Personally, I’m mildly surprised that Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and New Mexico aren’t in these ranks.
One major obstacle that prevents many from obtaining a permit to carry is the fear of being sued by the crime perpetrator if he/she is injured by the crime victim while the victim attempts to defend him or herself. Yes, you read this right! Be thankful this won’t happen in South Dakota.
About 12 years ago, state Sen. Frank Kloucek walked into my office at the Tripp-Delmont school and asked me if I had any ideas about needed legislation. I had just read about North Dakota being the first state in the union to free would-be crime victims of any responsibility for injury they might cause to a crime perpetrator while in commission of a crime. I told Frank that South Dakota needed such a law.
Using the North Dakota legislation as a model, Frank put an excellent bill together. I personally testified on behalf of the bill in front of a committee in Pierre. The committee overwhelmingly embraced the bill with the exception of a man who liked the bill but wanted to change a few words. I was naïve and thought little of it as there should be no room for self-serving acts in Pierre.
I later learned that the man was a then-Gov. Bill Janklow puppet who resubmitted the bill in Janklow’s name so Janklow could take credit for it. To my way of thinking, the governor should have given Kloucek a pat on the back and praised him for his work.
Let’s put a little scenario together. You have a South Dakota permit, and you are rolling down I-29 in Iowa when the highway patrol pulls you over. You have a handgun in the console between the front seats.
You follow protocol by remaining in your vehicle. Your hands are visible on the steering wheel. The officer may or may not ask if there is a gun in the vehicle. If he/she does ask, answer “Yes” and tell him/her that you have a South Dakota concealed carry permit. The officer will know what states have reciprocity with South Dakota. I covered this in an interview with our local sheriff, who was once a highway patrolman.
If you decide not to go with a concealed carry permit, I don’t know that your home needs a pistol. A shotgun will take care of business. Keep in mind that a bullet from a deer rifle might go through the next three homes down the block.
If you decide to buy a handgun, and you are not familiar with handguns, I’d recommend a revolver. If you’re thinking semi-automatic and your hand is large enough, buy a Model 1911. Everybody manufactures this legend of a gun, and they are as good as gold value-wise. Whatever you do, make certain none of your guns are accessible to children!
A large number of South Dakota adults already have a permit to carry. What about me? I have one. As I grow older, I will become a more likely target. If we continue to travel, a wrong turn could put us in a questionable neighborhood. Just pointing a gun will take care of 95 percent of the problems.
*See you next week.