According to the latest statistics from the Crime Prevention Research Center, South Dakota is second to Alabama in the U.S. when it comes to states with the highest percentage of adults with permits to carry concealed firearms. That ranking framed a Sunday front-page story in Gannett’s Argus Leader by Mark Walker, a watchdog reporter covering law and justice.
Walker surmises that the prevalence of this particular South Dakota permit has a lot to do with the price:
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,” Crime Prevention Research president John Lott Jr. said.
Another reason Walker wrote the piece now is that South Dakota set a new record in January for conceal carry permit applications (3,879). In both his main article and sidebar, the reporter highlights the reasons of various residents for getting the permit. Included in that group is 54-year-old Susan Lathrop, a wife and convenience store clerk whose co-workers dealt with a robbery last month.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Reporter Documents Southwest Florida Suicides