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Conceal Carry Permits Spike Prior To New Federal Background Checks


President Obama has announced new regulations and more stringent background checks for anyone who wants to purchase a firearm. 

Meanwhile, in South Dakota 2015 saw a spike in the number of concealed pistol permits, the permits allow a citizen who has completed a background check to legally hide and carry a handgun.  

While a state issued conceal carry permit requires a background check it doesn’t necessarily streamline the federal background checks needed to purchase a firearm.  Some state lawmakers hope that can change.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says it’s important to understand the difference between a state issued permit to carry a concealed pistol and the newly expanded federal background checks on firearms.

“The federal authorities determine eligibility to purchase firearms, whereas the state authorities determine eligibility to carry a concealed weapon,” says Jackley.

I'm certainly for any measure that would require people to be more educated. But it has to be a voluntary thing.

And those state authorities have seen a spike in conceal carry applications in recent years.  The Secretary of State’s office reports there were a record number of new permits issued in 2015.   Currently more than 85-thousand state residents have a conceal carry permit.   GOP State Representative Tom Brunner is one of them.   Brunner is also a sponsor of legislation for an enhanced carry permit that involves a gun safety class.  The enhanced permit  has reciprocity in more states.   Brunner says he hopes this permit may also help expedite the federal background check for purchasing firearms.

“I guess the biggest thing I look at especially with this enhanced carry, or any carry is getting people who want to use guns legitimately education, and getting them familiar with what they’re doing, is a big thing.  So, in that regard I’m certainly for any measure that would require people to be more educated.  But it has to be a voluntary thing,” says Brunner.  

State officials say they are still working with federal authorities to see if a state issued enhanced permit can smooth the process for purchasing a firearm.  Brunner says other than some small changes to current legislation he is not sponsoring any new major bills dealing with guns this session.


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