FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

South Dakota Gun Laws

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Introduction

South Dakota is bordered to the north by North Dakota, to the west by Montana and Wyoming, to the south by Nebraska, and to the east by Iowa and Minnesota. The Missouri River bifurcates the state into two districts, known as East River and West River to South Dakota inhabitants. Open carry is legal in South Dakota with a valid license to carry.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the South Dakota Constitution states:

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

[http://gunla.ws/sd1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of South Dakota’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“No county, [township, or municipality] 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.”

[http://gunla.ws/sd2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, South Dakota will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes South Dakota’s license:

 “Any valid permit to carry a concealed pistol, issued to a nonresident of South Dakota, is valid in South Dakota according to the terms of its issuance in the state of its issue, but only to the extent that the terms of issuance comply with any appropriate South Dakota statute or promulgated rule. However, if the holder of such a nonresident permit to carry a concealed pistol becomes, at any time, a legal resident of South Dakota, the provisions of this section no longer apply.” [http://gunla.ws/sd3]

And,

“The attorney general shall compare South Dakota permit issuance statutes with the permit issuance statutes in states with which reciprocity is sought or requested in order to determine whether the laws of the other state meet or exceed the requirements of this chapter for the issuance of a permit.  The secretary of state may enter into reciprocity agreements with other states after the attorney general has notified the secretary of state that the other states’ laws meet or exceed the provisions of this chapter.”

[http://gunla.ws/sd4]

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with South Dakota and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list. South Dakota’s reciprocity agreements can be viewed here: [http://gunla.ws/7w8p]

South Dakota issues both regular and enhanced carry permits, as well as “gold” carry permits.  Information about these permits and the differences between them can be viewed here: [http://gunla.ws/sd5]

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D. NFA Items

South Dakota permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. It is legal to use suppressors for hunting.

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E. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

South Dakota generally prohibits carrying concealed handguns in vehicles without a permit, unless the handgun is unloaded and is carried for any lawful use within a trunk or other closed compartment of a vehicle or in a closed container that cannot be concealed on the person. [http://gunla.ws/sd6]

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F. Self-defense Laws

South Dakota has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws.  There is no duty to retreat from anywhere You have a legal right to be. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into a dwelling, place of business, or occupied motor vehicle. [http://gunla.ws/sd7]

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G. Criminal Provisions

Under South Dakota law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • It is a crime to discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle
  • Any school premises, school vehicle, or building used for school functions, if not for supervised gun training sessions
  • Any courthouse
  • The state capitol
  • In a bar
  • While operating or riding a snowmobile (unless the firearm is unloaded and within a carrying case)

 For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/sd8]

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H. Duty to Inform LEO Immediately on Contact?

No. You must possess a valid South Dakota permit to carry any time you carry a concealed pistol. You are not required to inform a LEO that you are carrying a firearm immediately on contact, but if a LEO requests, you must display Your license/permit. [http://gunla.ws/seu5]

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I. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

No. “No Firearm” signs in South Dakota do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in state law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to criminal charges.

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J. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes, if you possess a valid concealed handgun license/permit. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carrying into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol. [http://gunla.ws/zjvk]

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K. Open Carry

Open carry is legal in South Dakota. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible. The minimum age for open carry is 18.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More