Dawn Rye | Writer
People have guns for various reasons that extend beyond hunting, personal defense, exercising citizens’ rights, recreational activities and freedom. Some people don’t personally own guns but live with someone who does own a firearm.
The open carry law, referred to as “constitutional carry,” gives South Dakotans the right to carry a gun without obtaining a permit. It does not change the restrictions, excluding those with felony charges, weapon-related misdemeanors, or controlled substance abuse charges.
The minimum age to obtain a concealed permit is 18-years-old. Any individual without a permit carrying a handgun in a vehicle must be in plain sight or inform the law enforcement officer when being pulled over. Elementary, secondary schools and school buses are off-limits.
There are three permits available through the local sheriff’s offices — Regular, Gold Card and Enhanced. A regular license costs a resident $10.00 and it allows holders to carry concealed and is recognized in South Dakota. In addition to the benefits of a standard license, the gold card permit is $70 and proves passage of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when purchasing a firearm, resulting in no required waiting period. The enhanced permit is $100, requires a firearms training course, benefits from the purchase exemption and is recognized in six more states than the regular license. In terms of reciprocity, South Dakota recognizes permits issued by all states.
Deputy Tricia Erickson said they roughly provided 11 permits in February and 16 in January. She explained during a presidential election she would see more residents wanting to purchase a permit.
Turner County Sheriff Steven Luke noted on average Turner County Sheriff’s Office provides 14 concealed permits a month to residents. There is no federal law that bans carrying a concealed weapon while wearing a mask.