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South Dakota Gun Laws

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


“The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.”

Gun Laws Overview

Permit to Purchase No No
Registration of Firearms No No
Licensing of Owners No No
Permit to Carry No Yes

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

Castle Doctrine Enacted
No-Net Loss No Legislation
Right to Carry Confidentiality Provisions Enacted
Right to Carry in Restaurants Partial Ban
Right To Carry Laws No Permit Required
Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition Outright Recognition
Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions With Provisions
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
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Click on a State to see the Gun Law Profile


Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms


South Dakota allows residents of contiguous states and residents of this state, not otherwise precluded by any applicable laws, to purchase, sell, trade, convey, deliver or transport rifles, shotguns, ammunition, reloading components, or firearms accessories in South Dakota and in states contiguous to South Dakota.


The buyer must complete an application to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) if he does not possess a valid carrying permit.

The seller must within 6 hours, mail or hand deliver the application to the police chief of the municipality or sheriff of the county of which the purchaser is a resident. The duplicate shall be returned to the seller by the police chief or sheriff and the original shall be retained by him for a period of one year.

When a pistol is delivered it must be unloaded and securely wrapped.


No state permit is required to possess a shotgun, rifle or handgun.


A person under 18 may not possess a pistol. This prohibition does not apply when a minor has the consent of his parent or guardian and the minor:

  • is in the presence of his parent or guardian;
  • is on premises owned or leased by him or his parent, guardian or immediate family member;
  • is in the presence of a licensed or accredited gun safety instructor, or
  • is using the pistol for farming, ranching, trapping, target shooting, or gun safety instruction.

No person who has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of a crime of violence or a felony may possess or have control of a firearm.  This does not apply to any person who was last discharged from prison, jail, probation or parole more than fifteen years prior to the commission of the principal offense.

No person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor crime involving an act of domestic violence may possess or have control of a firearm for a period of one year from the date of conviction.  At the end of the one-year period, any civil rights lost as a result of this provision shall be restored.  Any person who has lost their right to possess or have control of a firearm as a result of a misdemeanor conviction involving an act of domestic violence, prior to July 1, 2005, shall be restored to those civil rights one year after July 1, 2005.  Once eligible under this statute, a person convicted under this section may petition the convicting court for an order reflecting the restoration of any firearm rights lost if the person has not been convicted within the prior year of a crime for which firearms rights have been lost.


A permit is not required to possess a handgun in one’s dwelling house or place of business or on land owned or rented by him or by a member of his household.

No person shall carry a pistol concealed in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person, without a license to carry. The issuing authority for a permit to carry is the sheriff of a county in which the applicant resides.



The permit shall be issued if the applicant is:

  • at least 18 years of age;
  • has not been convicted of a felony or crime of violence;
  • is not a habitual drunkard or drug user;
  • has no history of repeated acts of violence;
  • has not been found in the previous ten years to be a “danger to others or a danger to self”;
  • is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent or has not been found in the previous 10 years to be mentally ill;
  • has been a resident of the county for at least 30 days preceding application;
  • is a citizen of the United States;
  • has not been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offence within the preceding 5 years under the South Dakota weapon laws, firearm control laws or controlled substance laws;
  • is not a fugitive from justice.

Prior to issuing the permit, the sheriff shall execute a background investigation, including a criminal history check, of every applicant for the purposes of verify the qualifications of the applicant pursuant to the requirements. A background investigation is defined as a computer check of available on-line records. 

A temporary permit to carry shall be issued within 5 days of application to a person who satisfies the above standards. The original copy of an application for a permit shall serve as the temporary permit until the permit is issued. All permit denials may be appealed to the circuit court.

The permit is valid for 5 years. The fee for a permit to carry is $10.00.


South Dakota Laws 23-7-7.4 recognizes any out-of-state concealed carry permit issued to a non-resident of South Dakota as valid in South Dakota. If the permit holder becomes a legal resident of South Dakota, this recognition no longer applies. See South Dakota Secretary of State website.

Prohibited Places

A permittee may not carry a concealed pistol into:

•     an establishment licensed to serve alcoholic beverages on the premises if the establishment derives more than 50% of its sales from alcoholic beverages,

•     a county courthouse,

•     an elementary or secondary school premises, including school vehicles or buildings,

•     a snowmobile, unless firearm is unloaded and entirely enclosed in a carrying case,

•     a game preserve or refuge unless the permit holder is:

      o    on a public highway and the firearm is enclosed in a  case; or

      o    a resident within the preserve or refuge and is carrying the firearm to use against non-game and predatory animals or birds on his or her own premises.


S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 7-18A-36 (2011)
No county may pass any ordinance that restricts possession, transportation, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture or repair of firearms


S.D. CODIFIED LAWS §  7-18A-36 (2011)

§  7-18A-36.  Firearms regulation ordinances prohibited

   No county may pass any ordinance that restricts possession, transportation, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture or repair of firearms or ammunition or their components. Any ordinances prohibited by this section are null and void. 

Controlled Weapons

The term “controlled weapon” is defined to include machine guns, silencers, and short shotguns.


No person shall possess a controlled weapon unless he:

  • is a law enforcement officer or member of the armed forces of the U.S. or of the South Dakota National Guard acting in the lawful discharge of his duties; 
  • has a valid state or federal license or has registered the weapon with the proper authority; or
  • possesses the machine gun briefly after having found it or taken it from an aggressor.
Antiques and Replicas

An “antique firearm” is defined as any firearm, including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system, manufactured before 1899 and any replica of a firearm if such replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the U.S. and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.


The weapon laws of South Dakota are not applicable to antique firearms or those firearms that have been permanently altered so they are incapable of discharge.

Range Protection

S.D. CODIFIED LAWS §21-10-28 (2011)
The use or operation of a sport shooting range may not be enjoined as a nuisance if the range is in compliance with those statutes, regulations, and ordinances that applied to the range and its operation


S.D. CODIFIED LAWS §21-10-28 (2011)

§21-10-28. Normal operation and use of sport shooting range not a nuisance

The use or operation of a sport shooting range may not be enjoined as a nuisance if the range is in compliance with those statutes, regulations, and ordinances that applied to the range and its operation at the time when the initial operation of the range commenced. The use or operation of a sport shooting range may not be enjoined as a nuisance due to any subsequent change in any statute, regulation, or ordinance pertaining to the normal operation and use of sport shooting ranges.


No county, municipality, or township may pass any ordinance that restricts possession, transportation, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture or repair of firearms or ammunition or their component. South Dakota Statutes  7-18A-36, 8-5-13, and 9-19-20.

No state agency may adopt or promulgate any rule that restricts the ability to carry or possess a pistol pursuant to being licensed to carry a concealed pistol. South Dakota Statute 1-26-6.10.

Vehicle Carry

South Dakota Statute 22-14-9 allows the carrying of an unloaded handgun in a vehicle without a permit for the purpose of, or in connection with, any lawful use, if the unloaded pistol or revolver is carried: (1) In the trunk or other closed compartment of a vehicle; or (2) In a closed container which is too large to be effectively concealed on the person or within the person's clothing. The container may be carried in a vehicle or in any other manner.


No state agency, political subdivision, official, agent or employee of any state agency may knowingly keep or cause to be kept any list, record, or registry of privately owned firearm or registry of holders of permits to carry a concealed pistol.

No person, other than a law enforcement officer, shall have in his or her possession any firearm or airgun on any school premises or in any school vehicle or in any building or premises used for school functions.  This does not apply to firearms or airguns at firing ranges, gun shows, and duly supervised schools or sessions for training in the use of firearms.

No person shall possess a firearm on which the manufacturer’s serial number has been changed, altered, removed or obliterated. This does not apply if the owner or possessor of the firearms has applied for a new serial number with the director of criminal investigation.

It is unlawful for any person to recklessly discharge a firearm.

No person shall set a device designed to activate a weapon upon being tripped or approached and leave it unmarked or unattended by a competent person.

Firearms manufacturers, distributors, and sellers are not liable for injury caused by firearms because of use of the firearm by another.  The potential of a firearm to cause serious injury, damage, or death as a result of normal function does not constitute a defective condition of the product.

South Dakota NEWS

Monday, December 3, 2001

Governor Bill Janklow (R) Says No to Gun Control Activists

Governor Bill Janklow (R) has publicly stated that he will not allow gun control activists to place restrictions ...

Gun Laws  

Sunday, October 1, 2000

Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, S.D., 11/24/99

A 13-year-old Sioux Falls, S.D., boy was sick at home one morning when an intruder apparently intent on ...

Gun Laws  

Sunday, August 1, 1999

Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD (5/5/99)

Jerry Pommer of Canton, South Dakota, was shocked to find that his herd of medical research sheep had ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, August 1, 1985

The Tribune, Mobridge, SD, 5/22/85

A man broke into Burrell Brown's Mobridge, S. Dak., home and found the gunsmith's loaded .44 Mag. revolver. ...

Gun Laws  

Saturday, September 1, 1984

The Journal, Rapid City, SD, 6/13/84

Hearing a scream from the room where his daughter was sleeping, Aaron Johnson of Rapid City, S. Dak., ...


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.