More local concealed weapons permits sought in December
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
The Lake County Sheriff's Office has been busy with requests for concealed pistol permits this past month.|
Sheriff Tim Walburg said that for the month of December alone, 40 applications had been made, which is higher than any single month's total.
Up until December, Lake County saw as few as eight and as many as 23 applications during any given month in 2012. The average number of applications (16.45) for the year through the month of November was actually less than the previous year (18.25). Taking December's numbers into account, the average number of applications processed in Lake County jumped to 18.42.
Walburg said the number of applications has increased since the Connecticut shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school.
Despite the December spike in applications, the total number of permits issued for the year, however, isn't much higher than 2011, when 219 new license and renewal applications were processed. In comparison, 221 were processed in 2012. A total of 213 applications were processed in 2010.
Walburg said the permit to carry a concealed pistol doesn't necessarily mean the permit holder possesses a concealed weapon. Having the permit is an advantage when purchasing a pistol, though, because a complete background check has already been completed in order to obtain the permit.
In South Dakota, a resident can obtain a concealed weapon permit for $10. Those wishing to obtain a permit fill out an application with the sheriff's office. A National Instant Criminal Background Check is completed before a temporary permit is issued locally. The background check is typically done in less than a day, but Walburg said the applicant is required to answer a series of questions and if any of those questions are answered incorrectly, the application can be rejected.
Once a temporary permit is issued, the official permit application is then processed by the Secretary of State's Office and a four-year permit is issued.
Although valid in South Dakota, the permit is not valid in all states. Walburg said neighboring states of Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota do not recognize the permit. According to the South Dakota Secretary of State's website, reciprocity agreements are in place between South Dakota and 26 other states, but for 12 of those states, the permit holder in South Dakota must be 21 in order for the permit to be valid.
In addition to having a clean background check, South Dakota residents obtaining a permit must meet several requirements. Some are as follows: must be at least 18 years old; have no felony convictions; physically reside in South Dakota for 30 days; have no history of violence; and must not have been found to be a danger to themselves or to others. Drug and alcohol use is also taken into consideration.
The permits do not allow a person to carry a firearm into a federal building, courthouse or school, or a business that sells alcohol. Those caught with a concealed weapon and no permit are subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor, an offense that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
When issuing a permit, physical residency is key. Walburg said that in prior years, some applications had come from people who used "My Dakota Address" to establish residency in South Dakota but essentially have their mail forwarded to another location. Those applications have been denied for the past three years because the applicant did not have physical residency.
South Dakota's permit fee is far less than in neighboring states. Iowa fees start at $50 and residents are charged $25 to renew permits. New permits are $100 in Nebraska and it costs $50 to renew. Minnesota fees are set by the sheriff and can be up to $100 for new permits and up to $75 for renewal requests.
In addition to the higher fees, these and many other states also require the completion of a handgun safety course. A search by the Daily Leader found a course is $100 in Iowa; $120 in Minnesota; and $179 in Nebraska. Permits issued in Minnesota and Iowa are valid for five years; Nebraska-issued permits are valid for three years.
While 18-year-olds can be issued a permit in Iowa, applicants must be 21 in both Minnesota and Nebraska.