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South Dakota Gun Control Laws

Gun control has become an increasingly discussed and debated topic throughout the United States. While the federal government has limited laws about the ownership and use of firearms, state gun control laws tend to vary quite a bit among the individual states.

South Dakota Gun Laws

South Dakota has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation.

The main provisions of South Dakota gun control laws are listed in the table below. See Details on State Gun Control Laws to learn more.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 22, Chapter 14, Sections 22-14-5 through 22-14-28
  • Possession of firearm with altered serial number - Section 22-14-5
  • Possession of controlled weapon—Felony--Exceptions - Section 22-14-6
  • Possession of firearm by one with prior violent crime conviction or certain drug-related conviction—Felony - Section 22-14-15
  • Possession of firearm by one with prior drug conviction - Section 22-14-15.1
  • Possession of firearm by one convicted of misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence - Section 22-14-15.2
South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 23, Chapter 7, Sections 23-7-1 through 23-7-71
  • Permit to carry concealed pistol—Background investigation - Section 23-7-7
  • Requirements for issuance of temporary permit - Section 23-7-7.1
  • Application for permit, enhanced permit, or gold card permit to carry concealed pistol - Section 23-7-8
  • Form and contents of permit, enhanced permit, and gold card permit - Section 23-7-8.1
  • Age requirement for enhanced permit - Section 23-7-54.2
  • Carrying concealed pistol in malt or alcoholic beverage establishment prohibited - Section 23-7-70
South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 13, Chapter 32, Section 13-32-7

Illegal Arms

The following are illegal in South Dakota:
  • Silencers
  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Firearms with a serial number removed or altered

Waiting Period

South Dakota does not have a waiting period to purchase a gun.

Who May Not Own

It is illegal to possess a firearm if a person:
  • Has a prior conviction for a violent crime or certain drug-related crimes in the previous 15 years
  • Has been convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance or marijuana in the previous 5 years
  • Has a misdemeanor conviction for a domestic violence offense in the previous year

License Required?

South Dakota does not require a license to own a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

A permit is not required to carry a concealed weapon in South Dakota.

Open Carried Allowed?

South Dakota does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

Concealed carry permits are no longer required in South Dakota. However, the state continues to offer them, and some people obtain them to be able to carry a concealed firearm in states that recognize South Dakota's permit. To obtain a permit, a person must:
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States
  • Have physically resided in the county where the application is being made for at least thirty days immediately preceding the date of the application
  • Have never pled guilty to, pled nolo contendere to, or been convicted of a felony or a crime of violence
  • Not be habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition
  • Have no history of violence
  • Not have been found in the previous 10 years to be a danger to others or a danger to self and not currently be adjudged mentally incompetent
  • Have had no violation of South Dakota's firearm or drug laws in the five years preceding the date of application or not be currently charged under indictment or information for such an offense
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Not be otherwise prohibited by state law or federal law from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm, as verified by passing a National Instant Criminal Background Check.

Machine Gun Laws

Possessing a machine gun is illegal in South Dakota.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possession of a controlled weapon is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Possession of a firearm after being convicted of a prior drug offense or a prior violent crime is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Possession of a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $2,000 fine.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Illegal possession of a firearm on school property is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $2,000 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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For More Information, Contact a South Dakota Lawyer

If you've been charge with a gun crime, you should speak with an experienced attorney licensed in South Dakota. An attorney also can help you with questions about your eligibility to own a gun and whether a specific gun complies with South Dakota law.

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