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South Dakota Gun Laws

South Dakota has extremely permissive gun laws. The state constitution affirms that the right to bear arms shall not be denied, and South Dakota’s legislation has continued to allow for lawful firearms ownership. There are very few hardware restrictions in South Dakota. No type of license is required to carry concealed firearms in public. Further, no type of license or registration is required to obtain a handgun.

South Dakota Gun Laws at a Glance

Concealed Carry Premit Required No
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check No
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements

No type of license is required to obtain a firearm in South Dakota.

Background Checks

South Dakota does not require background checks on firearms transfers through unlicensed sellers. Per federal regulations, any transferee buying from a licensed seller will be subject to a background check.

Gun Shows

South Dakota does not regulate gun shows.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons Not restricted
50 Caliber Rifles Not restricted
Machine Guns Machine guns are prohibited unless the person possessing the machine gun is:
  • In the Armed Forces or part of a law enforcement organization acting in the discharge of duties.
  • Possesses the gun only briefly after having found it or taken it from an offending party
  • Has a valid state or federal license issued for the machine gun or has registered the gun with the proper state or federal authority
Large Capacity Magazines Not restricted
Ammunition Not restricted

Prohibited Persons

No person shall own or possess a firearm if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a violent crime or one of a list of drug-related felonies
  • Has been convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance or marijuana in any state in the past five years
  • Has been convicted of any misdemeanor crime involving an act of domestic violence within the past year
  • Is under the age of 18

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Firearms are prohibited on the grounds of primary or secondary schools, even by concealed carry license holders. Law enforcement officers are exempt from this prohibition.

Schools are also allowed to designate a “school sentinel.” This program permits designated school employees or volunteers to carry concealed weapons on school premises
Vehicles Any person over the age of 18 may carry a handgun in a vehicle. Any person under the age of 18 may carry a handgun in a car under the supervision of an adult.

Concealed Carry Laws

Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs Not Enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Permitted
Restaurant Carry Permitted
State Park Carry Permitted

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

Any person over the age of 18 who is not prohibited from owning a firearm may now carry concealed firearms without a permit in South Dakota.

However, South Dakota still issues concealed carry weapons permits for the purpose of carrying in another state. South Dakota is a ‘shall issue’ state. This means that any applicant who meets certain qualifications must be awarded a license.

South Dakota also issues enhanced licensed referred to as “Gold Cards”. These licenses allow the licensee to forgo all background checks when purchasing firearms.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
  • Is 18 years of age or older
  • Has never pled guilty to, no contest to, or been convicted of a felony or violent crime
  • Is not habitually intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Has no history of violence
  • Has not been found in the previous ten years to be a danger to self or others
  • Is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent
  • Has resided for the past 30 days in the county or municipality where applying for a permit
  • Has not violated any of South Dakota’s laws regarding firearms, weapons, controlled substances, or marijuana in the five years preceding the date of application
  • Is a United States citizen or a non-citizen with an alien or admission number issued by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Is not a fugitive
  • Is not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law
  • Passes a National Instant Criminal Background Check

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

South Dakota does not require concealed carry applicants to undergo any type of firearms training.

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a concealed carry permit, you may not carry a concealed firearm in the following locations:

  • A public elementary or secondary school premises, including school vehicles or buildings
  • A county courthouse or state capitol
  • An establishment licensed to serve alcoholic beverages on the premises (only if the establishment derives more than 50% of its sales from alcoholic beverages)
  • A game preserve or refuge
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.