Several counties in our area are reporting a record number of gun permits issued. Many people believe the Newtown school shooting and talk of stricter gun control laws is causing a run on guns.
KSFY News met one woman who decided to get her first gun permit. She called it a 'special day.'
Mary Jo Toering said "it's a right we have. South Dakota says we can have concealed weapons. it's nothing to abuse. You need to respect it and it's just a privilege I'm taking."
Toering said even though we live in one of the safest parts of the country, the school shooting in Newtown made her want to get a gun permit.
"You just don't know when you're going to be in a place and help somebody or stop somebody that's a little bit off and not thinking correctly and wants revenge and help innocent people," Toering said.
The Newtown shooting and talk of stricter gun control laws has some people rushing to get gun permits. But Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead doesn't see more guns as a problem.
"It doesn't bother me or concern me that more people are getting their concealed carry permits. they're feeling maybe, some people, that that's part of the following what they believe and what is their constitutional right," Sheriff Milstead said.
Toering believes gun control only hurts law-abiding citizens.
"The guns are always going to get in the hands of criminals because there's a history there and we need people stopping that and the law can't be everywhere," Toering said.
Toering remembers hunting with her family as a child. For her, getting a weapons permit is about continuing the tradition of sharing activities as a family.
"We have a teenage son now that enjoys that sport right now and father and son occasions. Mom can't be left out of everything all the time," Toering said.
Toering tells us she plans to sign up for some classes next.
Sheriff Milstead said most of the people who are applying for permits are honest, hard-working, law abiding citizens who just want to follow the law.
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