Gun advocates likely to renew efforts to loosen South Dakota's concealed carry laws

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - After years of unsuccessful attempts, those in favor of getting rid of concealed handgun permits are depending on Governor-Elect Kristi Noem to get a bill passed, and they are looking optimistic.

"We're just excited that there’s actually a governor that’s interested in learning more,” Brandon Maddox said, who is the owner of Dakota Silencer.

For years under Governor Dennis Daugaard the permitless concealed carry bill has been vetoed.

"I feel like in the past we've had a governor that’s not second-amendment friendly, so it’s kind of music to our ears that we actually have someone that’s open to debating the issue instead of shutting it down before it starts," Maddox said.

"The current laws are working perfectly fine. Everybody who is in the right state of mind and who's been deemed eligible to have a gun and carry concealed has been approved in the process,” Sam Parkinson said, who is the executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party. “We also want to make sure we're keeping guns out of people’s hands who shouldn't have them.”

Right now, the gun owners must visit the county sheriff’s office to be approved for that permit.

"The new law would say that if you legally own and possess a firearm per state and federal law, you can carry one concealed without getting the Sheriff's permission," Maddox said.

Maddox feels like the current law in place is making him go through an extra step.

"I think that the second amendment friendly people in the state of South Dakota would say that I had to have the background check when I bought the firearm, I passed the background check, I now legally own and possess this handgun. Why should I then have to go to my Sheriff’s Office and get a piece of paper and permission from him to now be able to carry this firearm concealed?" he said.

"I wouldn't call it an extra step by any means. It's just a procedural motion that we've seen in other states that we do in this state just to make sure that everybody who should have a gun can have a gun,” Parkinson said.