South Dakota Gun Laws

south dakota gun laws

South Dakota Gun Laws are based on the Article 6, Section 24 of the State of South Dakota’s Constitution which reads, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.”

In general, South Dakota Gun Laws do not require permit to purchase, registration and licensing of owners. However, a permit to carry is required from individuals who wish to carry their handguns outside their dwelling places or business establishments.

Validity of Permits Issued Under South Dakota Gun Laws in Other Jurisdictions

The following states honor permits issued under South Dakota Gun Laws:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. Colorado
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. Idaho
  9. Indiana
  10. Iowa
  11. Kansas
  12. Kentucky
  13. Louisiana
  14. Maine
  15. Michigan
  16. Mississippi
  17. Missouri
  18. Montana
  19. North Carolina
  20. North Dakota
  21. Oklahoma
  22. Pennsylvania
  23. Tennessee
  24. Texas
  25. Utah
  26. Vermont
  27. Virginia
  28. West Virginia
  29. Wyoming

On the other hand, only permits issued from these states are recognized by South Dakota Gun Laws:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. Colorado
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. Idaho
  9. Indiana
  10. Kentucky
  11. Louisiana
  12. Maine
  13. Michigan
  14. Mississippi
  15. Missouri
  16. Montana
  17. North Carolina
  18. North Dakota
  19. Oklahoma
  20. Pennsylvania
  21. Tennessee
  22. Texas
  23. Utah
  24. Virginia
  25. West Virginia
  26. Wyoming

Key Provisions of South Dakota Gun Laws

Here are the main rules and regulations enumerated under South Dakota Gun Laws:

1. The purchase of rifle, shotgun or ammunition in states contiguous to South Dakota is allowed as long as the laws of South Dakota and the laws of the place where the purchase is made are being followed.

2. A person who does not possess a valid permit to carry is allowed to purchase a handgun as long as he completes and application to purchase which is provided by a federally-licensed firearms dealer.

3. The application to purchase must be sent to the police chief of the county where the buyer resides.

4. The pistol should be delivered unloaded and wrapped in a secure container or encasing.

5. A person below 18 years of age is not allowed to possess a pistol unless he has permission from his parent or legal guardian. Also, he must be within the supervision of any of the persons mentioned or a licensed instructor, he is within the premises owned or leased by him or the people mentioned, or he is using the pistol in lawful hunting, trapping, farming, target shooting or gun safety training.

6. The following factors would disqualify a person from exercising the right to own or possess a firearm:

  • Not meeting the age requirement stated above
  • Conviction of felony
  • Conviction of a misdemeanor that involves an act of violence
  • A court order that bars a person from possessing a firearm

7. Person without a license to carry is prohibited from carrying a handgun within himself or inside a vehicle. This applies regardless if the weapon is being carried openly or concealed from view.

8. In addition to the disqualifying factors stated in item number 6 of this list, here are the things that would disqualify a person from acquiring a permit to carry:

  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Addiction to illegal narcotics
  • Has a history of repeated acts of violence
  • Has been found to be a danger to others or self 10 years prior to the application
  • Has been adjudicated as mentally ill for the past 10 years
  • Has a conviction of misdemeanor or felony five years prior
  • Being a fugitive from justice
  • Not a US citizen or not a resident of the county where he is applying for at least 30 days
  • Failure to pass the background check conducted by the sheriff
  • Not being able to supply all the necessary documents and fees required by the issuing authority

9. A permit to carry is only valid for 4 years after its issuance.

10. Even with a permit to carry, a person is not allowed to possess a handgun in the following places:

  • Courthouses
  • Schools premises, including its buildings and vehicles
  • Establishment wherein 50% of its sales is derived from selling alcoholic beverages
  • Snowmobile (except when the handgun is unloaded or stored safely in a container)
  • Game preserve or refuge (unless the person in possession is within a public highway with his firearm enclosed within an encasing or a resident within the preserve)

11. A permit to carry is not needed when the firearm is being carried in the trunk or other enclosed compartment of a vehicle. The firearm can also be kept in a container which is large enough not to be concealed within a person’s clothing. Likewise, a permit is not needed when the handgun is only being carried within the residence or property of a person or a member of his household.

12. The possession of a firearm classified as a “controlled weapon” (machine gun, silencers or short-barreled shotgun) is prohibited.

13. Having in possession of a firearm with obliterated or altered identification marks is illegal.

14. All the prohibitions mentioned above do not cover law enforcement officials or members of the armed forces who are using any of the weapons during the performance of their duties, or the people authorized by law or the appropriate authorities to carry certain types of firearms.


The power to pass laws that regulate the possession, transportation, trade, transfer, ownership, manufacture or repair of firearms or ammunition is only reserved to the State Legislature under South Dakota Gun Laws.

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