The Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has a story about how the last two months have seen a record breaking increase in the number of concealed handgun permits in the state.
That’s according to a 2015 report by a pro-gun research organization, the Crime Prevention Research Center, which found only Alabama to have a higher percentage of adults with concealed carry permits.
And a recent surge in applications might have pushed South Dakota into the lead, though the same national political fears are driving up sales and permits across the country.
Conversations with South Dakota concealed carry permit holders reveal a wide range of motivations, including interests in hunting, self-defense and the Second Amendment. . . .
Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott, Jr., wouldn’t discount the convenience factor, either, though.
In South Dakota, it’s cheap and easy to get a permit to conceal a weapon.
Just about anyone over 18 qualifies as long as they aren’t a convicted felon, mentally incompetent, or a habitual abuse of drugs or alcohol. There’s no training or testing required, as in some states, and the cost: $10.
By comparison, another gun-friendly state, Texas, charges $140 for a permit and its percentage of concealed carry holders is about a third of South Dakota’s.
“If you make it more costly for people to get permits, you will have fewer permits,” Lott said.
South Dakota is coming off a record-breaking month for concealed carry permits. The state’s sheriff’s department issued 3,879 permits in January, breaking the previously monthly high set in December. . . .