Pistol permits soaring in SDLocal January permits four times higher than last January.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Concealed-carry permits soared locally and statewide in January, a rush observers link to proposed new national restrictions on gun ownership.
Paul Paulson, of the Davison County Sheriff’s Office, said 163 temporary permits were issued in the county last month, a 318 percent increase from the 39 permits issued in January 2012.
“It’s been crazy,” secretary Grace Murphy said, noting that processing applications has kept her office extremely busy.
Deputy Don Radel said the national discussion on gun control is driving the application traffic.
“I think people are concerned about where legislation is going to go in relation to firearms,” he said.
Counties issue 30-day temporary permits that are forwarded to state officials, who issue the official, four-year permits. The cost of a permit is $10.
South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant said 4,365 permits were issued statewide in January, which was a 145 percent increase from January 2012, when 1,785 permits were issued.
“We are averaging 284 permit applications received per day,” Gant wrote Thursday in an email response to The Daily Republic. “We have 1,336 applications pending processing as of today.”
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, there were 67,581 active permits in the state.
The permit process is designed to screen out felons and people with histories of violence, drug use, or mental incompetence.
Anyone who wishes to carry a concealed pistol “on or about his person or in a vehicle,” according to the secretary of state, must obtain a permit. A person does not need a permit to own a pistol, keep it in a home, business or property, or visibly carry it.