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At the end of November, 2016, South Dakota had a total of 96,227 active concealed carry permits. According to, “Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says there were 30,029 concealed carry permits issued, nearly 4,000 more than the previous record in 2013.” The total regular, renewed, and enhanced permits issued up to at the end of November, in 2016: 27,877.  Some 2,848 permits were issued or renewed in December of 2016.

The notes that 3,879 were issued in January of 2016. The Secretary of State for South Dakota informs us that at the end of that month there were 87,655 active permits. A rough approximation of the permits at the end of 2015 would subtract about half of those issued in January, to include renewals and permits that have expired. The estimate would be 85,094 permits.

That gives us a pretty good estimate for the increase in the first 11 months of 2016, which would be 96,227 – 85,725 or 10,551 about a 959 per month increase. Using the number of active regular and enhanced permits for the middle 10 months listed on the SoS page, the average increase is 862 permits a month. Using the more conservative figure, the total active permits for the end of 2016 is about 97,089.

With that number, South Dakota is the state with the second highest percentage of concealed carry permits of the adult population in the United States. South Dakota has about  654,285 adults 18 or over.  If that number holds (estimated for July, 2016), the percentage of adults in South Dakota with active concealed carry permits is slightly over 14.8 percent.

In the middle of 2016, the honor of the highest percentage of concealed carry permits was held by Indiana, with 15 percent of the adult population. It is unknown if Indiana residents have stepped up to the plate and maintained their advantage.

Both South Dakota and Indiana are considering bills that would allow for permitless or “constitutional” carry of concealed weapons. Indiana appears to have a good chance. In South Dakota, the bill may well be blocked by a Republican headed committee. Watch this space.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. Yeah I’m surprised but in no way shocked Indiana is numero uno. In part because no limit lifetime carry($175?),open carry and very friendly about guns.

  2. Welp.
    At least the wifey has promised to add to Texas’ total by one this year…
    Y’all go take a fence-straddler out shooting this year, we need to improve our score.

    • Overall, Texas has a lot; we have something north of a million permit holders.

      But as a percentage, it’s not so high. We’re somewhere around 5% of adults 18+.

      • Texas is sad when it comes to carry and I think it’s funny ironic. Everyone talks about Texas this or that about guns yet no one seems to want to carry. Seriously y’all need to step up. Davey Crocket would cuss you for being a wimp.

        • Actually, nobody talks about that. Only people whose image of Texas stems from old westerns on T.V. think like that. Texad was run by racist, disarmist Democrats for generations. Other states had a head start on us restoring concealed carry. Gov. Bush signed it into law as fast as he could in 1995.

          Besides, just looking at overall rates is misleading and hardly a justification for your scorn. For example, for a large state, Texas has a relatively large percentage of rural population. Crime, especially crime by strangers, is much lower in rural areas. So concealed carry is less of a priority there, but that doesn’t mean people are slacking in exercising their 2A rights. South Dakota is rural, true, but doesn’t have several major cities to pump up the population and water down the licence rates.

          Also, Texas has a large percentage of minorities who, whatever state they live in, tend to have lower carry license rates. South Dakota? Not so much.

          Also, Texas has unlicensed car carry. Plenty of people don’t get a license because they can already carry in their car and can’t carry at work, anyway. So these things are a bit more complex and nuanced than at first glance.

        • Johnathan,Ma Richards a dem. Sighted concealed carry into law, but I see where you are goin with this. Erik is just mad I wore a rubber w/ his mom and he wasn’t born here.

        • Jonathan, Ma Richards a dem signed concealed carry into law , but see where you are going with this. Erik is just mad I used a rubber w/ his mom and he wasn’t born here.?

  3. Second Highest based on permit holders. Huh. So I guess Constitutional carry isn’t really a thing.

    Oh well. Carry on (pun intended).

    • Constitutional carry is a thing. A wonderful thing. Just not a measurable thing.

      Much as I hate the infringements of government permission slips, I love how the numbers are growing. Real, government-produced numbers that the gun haters can’t argue with. Illinois now has over a million FOID card holders. When they try to claim that gun ownership is declining, we throw the numbers in their face. Must give Josh Sugarmann nightmares.

  4. South Dakota is also a state that is very friendly to firearms businesses. They make an active effort to recruit firearms companies into the state, and have enjoyed some success in this.

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