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South Dakota With Most Concealed Carry Permits Exempt From NICS

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South Dakota With Most Concealed Carry Permits Now Exempt From NICS, iStock-884198188
South Dakota With Most Concealed Carry Permits Now Exempt From NICS, iStock-884198188

PIERRE, SD-( The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) has issued a letter allowing South Dakota gun owners who hold a Gold Card Concealed Carry Permit or an Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit issued after 2016 to buy firearms without going through The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). South Dakota residents that hold a South Dakota Regular Concealed Carry Permit issued after June of 2018 can also skip being run through NICS.

According to the letter and pursuant to 18 U.S. Code § 922 and 27 C.F.R § 478.102(a)(3), a federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL) can transfer a gun to a buyer as long as they comply with the following requirements:

    1. Have the transferee complete and sign ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record;
    2. Verify the identity of the transferee through a Government-issued photo identification (e.g., driver’s licenses, passport);
    3. Verify that the permit is either a South Dakota Regular Concealed Carry Permit issued on or after July 1, 2018; or a South Dakota Gold Card Concealed Carry Permit or an Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit issued on or after January 1, 2017;
    4. Verify that the permit was issued within five years from the date of issuance by the State in which the transfer is to occur, and has not expired under State law; and
    5. Either retain a copy of the transferee’s permit and attach it to the Form 4473, or record on the Form 4473 any identifying number from the permit, the date of issuance, and the expiration date of the permit.

The Brady Law requires that FFLs run buyer’s information through NICS. The law does have an exception for concealed carry permit holders from states that meet or exceed the Brady Law requirements. These gun owners can purchase a gun from an FFL without going through the FBI background check system. The states that qualify for the exception must run the background check on the permit holder at the time the jurisdiction issues the permit to the gun owner. The permit has to be issued by the state within the past five years.

In recent years the ATF has pushed back against states allowing their citizens to use concealed carry permits instead of the FFL having to submit the buyer’s information to NICS. Gun Owners of America (GOA) launched multiple lawsuits in states like Michigan and Alabama against the ATF for revoking those state’s exceptions to NICS. Both state’s concealed carry permits meet all requirements for an exception under federal law and require the holder to be subjected to NICS at the time of permit issuance.

The ATF argues that some Sheriffs might run the applications through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) instead of NICS. NCIC is the database that NICS pulls information. The only difference is that NICS gives an approved, delayed, or denied, and NCIC shows the report. Both state laws require that the applicant goes through NICS, and GOA argues that because Sheriffs don’t follow the law doesn’t mean that the state requirements do not meet the Brady exceptions.

Since the lawsuits launched, the ATF has not revoked any state’s exception and has started reissuing exceptions to states that meet the requirements. The cases are ongoing.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

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