South Dakota law enforcement ready for conceal carry permit change

Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 10:57 PM CDT
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In less than one month, people in South Dakota will no longer need a permit to carry a concealed gun.

According to the National Rifle Association, only 13 other states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Main, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming) do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Starting July 1st, carrying a gun in South Dakota will become a lot easier.

“We will be encountering more people that have firearms that are concealing firearms,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said. “Many of those will be good people. Some will be bad people.”

While you may not need a permit in South Dakota, the same rules don’t apply if you're traveling outside of the state.

“It does nothing for you outside of the state of South Dakota,” Schlueter Firearms Instruction Owner Matt Schlueter said. “So it wouldn’t matter if I drove to Minnesota or I drove to Wyoming. In both states I would still need a valid permit.”

Because without it...

“Going to jail, spending the night, having some legal fees and possible criminal history at the end of it,” Schlueter said.

Milstead said not a lot will change in how they train their officers, but rather their awareness of the rules of the new change.

“So that we protect their constitutional right, but also to increase awareness to the officers that they may be encountering more people that are armed and that’s just the reality of it,” Milstead said.

But, he has some concerns.

Milstead said in the last three years they’ve denied almost 300 concealed carry permits.

“These are people who drove to the sheriff’s office and came in thinking they would walk out with a concealed carry permit,” Milstead said.

But, they had disqualifiers like a mental health commitment, history of drug abuse, an out of state criminal conviction, or a domestic protection order against them.

Milstead worries about those people.

“We know that there are people that will break this law,” Milstead said. “They would still be prohibited people, but what is to say that a prohibited person's not just going to continue to carry.”

Sheriff Milstead said he’s already seeing a lot of permit holders renew them so they can travel outside of the state with a concealed handgun.

There are classes offered for people wanting to learn more about the permits and the laws.