South Dakota Gun Laws/Restrictions

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is being presented to the website users only as reference material to assist in the making of informed purchasing decisions; however, it is not intended to constitute legal advice nor counsel in determining compliance of the purchaser's Federal, State and Local gun laws, regulations and restrictions. has used reasonable effort in providing this information, from sources deemed reliable, but does not warrant or guarantee the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or currency of the information contained herein, or linked to or from this website. The information provided here is presented as an overview to the myriad of laws, regulations and restrictions in selling to, and shipping into, the customer's State, to be in compliance of that State's laws pertaining to restrictions of: firearms, dangerous weapons, ammunition, magazine round capacities, stun guns, Tasers, accessories, etc. Federal, State and Local gun laws are constantly changing, therefore, it is incumbent upon the purchaser to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the current status of Federal, State and Local gun laws governing their community, to assure that they are in compliance with those laws, regulations and restrictions.


Code Sections

22-1-2; 22-14-6, 16; 23-7-9, 46

Types of Illegal Firearms

Possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of the below firearms is illegal:

  • Controlled weapons
  • Silencers
  • Machine guns
  • Short shotguns or rifles
  • Altered manufacturer's serial numbers.

Waiting Period Before Purchase

  • South Dakota imposes no waiting period between the time of purchase and the actual physical transfer of a firearm.

Who May Not Own Guns

South Dakota prohibits several different categories of individuals from owning or possessing pistols:

  • Those convicted of felony or crime of violence in last 15 yrs.
  • Minors (under 18 yrs. old)
  • Those convicted of drug possession in last five (5) years.

Laws Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

  • Misdemeanor 13-32-7

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.

Firearms Restrictions
  • Machine guns.
  • Short shotguns or rifles.
Stun Guns/Tasers Restrictions

State Statute or Definition: (22-1-2 Stun gun definition: Battery-powered, pulsed electrical device of high voltage or low/no amperage that can disrupt the central nervous system and cause temporary loss of person's voluntary muscle control.)

  • If committing a felony while armed with stun gun is Class 5 felony (22-14-13.1)
Accessories/Ammunition Restrictions
  • Device made or adapted to muffle the report of firearm (i.e. silencers).
Other Restrictions
  • Defaced firearms (i.e., altered, or removed, serial mark or identification number).

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.


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.

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:
    • on a public highway and the firearm is enclosed in a case; or
    • 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.

A permit is not required to carry an unloaded handgun if it is carried in the trunk or other closed compartment of a vehicle or if it is in a closed container, which is too large to be concealed on the person or within his clothing. This container may be carried in a vehicle or in any other manner.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 7-18A-36 (2011) - 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.


SD CL §§ 7-18A; 22-1; 22-14; 23-7

Last edited: 6/17/2016