From my April 2020 article in the Outdoorsman Magazine.
Enhanced Concealed Carry Update 03/20/2020 Kevin Jensen
I am interrupting my series on reloading to give you an update on the South Dakota Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit law. As many of my readers know I am certified to teach the Enhanced Concealed Carry classes in South Dakota, as well as being a state legislator. In discussions last year with my fellow instructors, a number of them understood that the renewal was simply $50 and a file new application. I found that the Secretary of State website information did not state the requirements in the law accurately, and they updated them immediately. The confusion was not unwarranted. We did clarify that the law does mandate that all renewals require another background check with fingerprints cards and the additional fee of $43.25 to DCI to cover their cost.
Last fall I started a deeper review of our complete renewal process because in September 2020 many or your permits will be expiring and will need to be renewed. Some of the legislators who worked on the original law admit they focused their attention on getting the enhanced permit into law first and added a separate bill to cover the renewal process without giving it as much attention as the permit itself.
If you remember, 2 years ago the Minnesota BCA, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (Similar to out SD DCI), reviewed our statute and issued a statement that they would no longer honor our Enhanced Carry Permit because we issue permits to people 18-20 years old. We quickly drafted a bill to create a separate permit for people in that age group and passed it through with an ‘emergency clause’ that would make it effective as soon as the Governor signed it. Minnesota is among 18 states that only accept the permits of those at least 21 years old. That was a bill that needed to be passed and no one really saw it coming.
In November of 2019 I visited with an NRA counselor in Minnesota who I have worked with in the past. I also conferred with an attorney I work with from the SD Legislative Research Council, who happens to be from North Dakota and was a ND Permit holder when she was there. After those initial discussions I visited with the SD Secretary of State’s office about my concerns. The Secretary of State’s office discovered there are 8 states honoring our permits that require taking the class again and another qualifying round of shooting for their own renewals.
If you had a Utah permit in the past you already know Minnesota found that Utah doesn't have a shooting requirement for renewal, so the UT Permit was dropped. Minnesota does not except permits from Florida, Iowa or Wisconsin for the same reason. In fact Minnesota only recognizes 13 other state permits at the current time for the same reason, no requalification. In 2017 they also dropped Ohio, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
The lead person on reciprocity in the SD Secretary of State office contacted her counterpart in Minnesota for an opinion on whether or not they would continue to honor our permit after July 1 2020, but they could not give a definitive opinion. They have dropped other states in the past 2 years for this very reason. Because of the uncertainty, the Secretary of State office recommended we proceed with changes in the process.
If Minnesota and other states start dropping reciprocity because of our current renewal process there will be thousands of unhappy permit holders. On the other hand, making everyone take the class over will create thousands of unhappy permit holders. That was, and is, our dilemma. After sending inquiries to all our current enhanced instructors the general response was a definite sense of frustration. I totally understand. I had a bill drafted that does strike a compromise of sorts and at this point appears it will satisfy the other states’ requirements. I asked Representative Tom Brunner of Nisland SD, Butte County, (District 29) to introduce and carry the bill. Representative Brunner was instrumental in getting the original Enhanced Permit bill drafted and passed. Being an instructor, I did not want to have the bill fail and then have us lose reciprocity just because it appeared to be a conflict of interest.
The new law will require anyone renewing to go through the Use of Force and review of current State Law portions of the class and shoot again. You will not have to take the entire class. Many instructors I have talked to will try to put these parts of the class at the end of their regular class with a set time for the renewal requirement portion of the class so those renewing only need to be there a short time. Many of us will hold separate, abbreviated renewal classes at reduced fees (be kind to the instructors – our liability insurance is our greatest cost of operation).
I wanted to bring this to everyone’s attention now because, if you recall from your initial class, the certificate the instructor issues to you on completion is valid for one year. You can make arrangements any time between now and September to complete the new requirements. The first permits were issued in September of 2015 so that is when renewals will be starting. The renewal period is 180 days prior to expiration with a 30-day grace period after expirations.
As legislators, many of us were very frustrated about the need for this but a positive result happened, we gained total support from those who would otherwise be considered anti-gun legislators. In fact it was unanimous. House Bill 1182 passed through committee and the House unanimously, but there 6 dissenting votes in the Senate, not because they disapprove of the permit but because they disapprove of another state controlling our process. I get it.
As you read this, some instructors may not fully be fully prepared to start the renewal classes or maybe have not been fully informed. I will be working on that with all the instructors.
As a timely update, the corvid-19 virus issue is having an impact on some instructors and class schedules. There are a few instructors whose instruction certificates expired in March because their renewal training was postponed. If you look at the list of those expiring in March on the Secretary of State website, please note these instructor’s certificates have been extended to May and may be extended again at that time if needed. If you have a class scheduled, check with the instructor ahead of time. This virus should be well under control long before renewals are required.
Remember, it’s better to have ammo in times of no money than money in times of no ammo. If you have questions or concerns about this or any other article I write, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.