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Secretary of State Gant statement on Smith V. Nelson





PISTOL PERMIT REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN STATUTE;

LEGISLATURE ADDED CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT IN AFTERMATH OF 9/11

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Contact:  Jason M. Gant (605) 773-3537

 

 
According to the Secretary of State’s office in Pierre, there are a total of 58,287 concealed pistol permits valid in the and in force in the State of South Dakota. That’s over 7% of the State’s population who have applied to their local Sheriff and been granted the right to carry a concealed weapon. In 2010, 14,940 permits were processed and issued to South Dakota applicants who successfully met the requirements set forth in South Dakota law.  
 
Secretary of State Jason M. Gant wants to remind South Dakotans of the requirements that the state has put in place for those who are seeking permits:
 
As codified in South Dakota Law (23-7-7.1) the requirements for an applicant are as follows:
 
             (1)      Is eighteen years of age or older;
             (2)      Has never pled guilty to, nolo contendere to, or been convicted of a felony or a crime of violence;
             (3)      Is not habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition;
             (4)      Has no history of violence;
             (5)      Has not been found in the previous ten years to be a "danger to others" or a "danger to self" as defined in § 27A-1-1 or is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent;
             (6)      Has physically resided in and is a resident of the county where the application is being made for at least thirty days immediately preceding the date of the application;
             (7)      Has had no violations of chapter 23-7, 22-14, or 22-42 constituting a felony or misdemeanor in the five years preceding the date of application or is not currently charged under indictment or information for such an offense;
             (8)      Is a citizen of the United States; and
             (9)      Is not a fugitive from justice.

The statute also provides that a person denied a permit may appeal to the circuit court.
 
Gant noted, “A denial of a permit does not necessarily preclude or infringe upon the right of a South Dakotan from owning firearms, rather, it is a denial of a permit from the state to carry a pistol on a concealed basis.”
 
Acknowledging a recent lawsuit filed as a result of the enforcement of South Dakota’s pistol permit laws, Gant noted that the section concerning United States citizenship was one change that was made during the 2002 legislative session.  
 
“According to legislative testimony, 2002’s House Bill 1129 amended our statute on qualifications for concealed pistol permit rights limiting their issuance to United States citizens as a result of the events of 9/11. It had the strong support of many, including our Attorney General, the South Dakota Chiefs of Police, the South Dakota Sheriff’s association, and the South Dakota Shooting Sports Association. The measure passed without opposition or a dissenting vote at any level.”
 
Secretary of State Gant stated, “While a legal challenge is in the hands of Attorney General Marty Jackley, as the issuing agency for concealed weapon permits, if the issue is brought up by the legislature during the 2011 legislative session, the Secretary of State’s office stands ready to assist legislators in addressing the issue and subsequently we will educate new applicants on any changes in law that are made.”