"It was such an unanticipated bump at the beginning of the year, it kind of caught us off guard because the numbers went up so dramatically," Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said.
But pistol permits began to plateau when a bill calling for expanded criminal Nike Metcon 1 On Sale background checks for gun purchases failed in the US Senate last month. And since there no national registry for firearms, federal agents rely upon records kept by local businesses to help them track guns used in crimes.
The backlash over calls for stricter gun measures is also prompting more applications for concealed weapons permits. The Minnehaha County Sheriff Department is on a record pace.
of guns, but we don see a lot of significant gun crime, especially when you compare us to other areas around the country, or even the world," Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Explosives agent Bob Boland said.
South Dakota gun dealers have seen a several months long run on guns: lock, stock and barrel.
The highly charged debate over guns highlighted by recent national tragedies is bringing more and more customers into South Dakota stores.
"At one time, we had four handguns left. That all. Out of probably what was probably the largest selection in South Dakota," Gary Gun Shop owner Steve Naatjes said.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can read a gun like a book, with telltale markings like serial numbers imprinted on each weapon. The Sioux Falls ATF office says it has a good handle on South Dakota gun supply.
shootings like in Connecticut or out in Colorado that gets politicians wanting to do something and, of course, when politicians start wanting to do something, people get a little afraid," Daniels said.
Gary Gun Shop in Sioux Falls has since reloaded by boosting its inventory.
As volatile as the politics of gun control have been, another spike in permits and purchases could be just around the corner. For gun enthusiasts throughout South Dakota, the right to bear arms also means the right to buy arms.
"I have enough. I wish I had more," Naatjes said.
Gun manufacturers are having a tough time keeping up with demand. And it not just firearms flying off the shelves. Ammunition is also in short supply.
SIOUX FALLS, SD South Dakotans are arming themselves like never before. Gun sales are way up and the state is seeing record numbers of concealed carry permits. There have been more than 14,000 registrations and renewals of the permits so far this year. That compares to just over 18,000 for all of 2012.
"I not even sure when, especially squirrel season opens up that there going to be any rounds available, so you can go out and throw rocks," gun owner Harry Daniels said.
"We never had demand like we had for the last few months. We would typically run 10,15,20 applicants for conceal carry permits on a daily basis. There were days when we were over 100," Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.
"There is a lot of craziness out there. These Nike Kyrie Doernbecher
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have went," Naatjes said.
And the gun permit frenzy isn limited to eastern South Dakota. So far this year, at the Pennington County Sheriff Office in Rapid City, they approaching nearly two thirds the total number of applications filed during all of last year.
"We do a lot with the federal background checks that we do on all of the guns and helping the ATF where some of these guns Nike Zoom Mercurial Flyknit Sail
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