South Dakota Gun Laws: What are the gun laws in South Dakota?
The gun laws in South Dakota are one of the least restrictive laws in the nation. The state allows its residents and non-residents to sell, trade, purchase, deliver or transport shotguns, ammunition, firearm accessories in South Dakota and states that share reciprocity with South Dakota. It is a “shall issue” state concerning concealed weapon carry. Open carry is legal in the state of South Dakota. The county sheriff issues the permits and licenses for concealed carry.
Carrying in vehicles
Anyone can take a loaded handgun in their cars without a permit in the state of South Dakota. A concealed handgun, however, needs to be hidden and not displayed in an unlocked glovebox or console otherwise it is considered illegal. Residents need a permit to carry their concealed weapons in their vehicle.
Open carry in South Dakota
The state of South Dakota permits open carry and residents can carry their firearms everywhere except places and areas that are listed in the off-limits section. Some of the local governments can place limited restrictions on open carry laws in some locations. No person is permitted to carry a concealed weapon in any vehicle whether it is concealed on or about, without a license to carry. The permit to carry is issued by an authority, who is the county sheriff in which the applicant resides.
Notifying a police officer
The gun laws in South Dakota state that you don’t need to inform or notify a law enforcement officer of the firearm you are carrying when you are approached while on official business. You need to carry your permit in case you have a concealed handgun in your possession.
Constitutional carry in South Dakota
The South Dakota gun laws don’t permit constitutional carry.
Residents are prohibited from carrying firearms into an establishment whose primary business is to serve alcohol. Restaurants, in general, allow you to carry firearms into restaurants as long as it's not at the bar area and also if the restaurant does not have a “no weapons” sign.
Is the “no weapons” sign enforced in South Dakota?
No, these signs are not enforced under the gun laws in South Dakota, and if anyone disregards this sign when they enter private property or business, there are no legal penalties. It is advisable to avoid entering properties or establishments that display this sign and are considered off limit by the law. If a person refuses to leave the premises while carrying in such venues, that person is breaking the law and is at risk of being charged.
Concealed handgun permit in South Dakota
With regard to South Dakota Statute 14-402, it is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell, give away, or transfer, or to purchase or receive, any pistol without either a Pistol Purchase Permit or a South Dakota concealed handgun permit held by a resident of the State at the time of the purchase.
Controlled Weapons in South Dakota
These weapons include machine guns, silencers, and short shotguns.
No person can possess a controlled weapon unless he/she:
- is an officer of law enforcement or member of the armed forces of the U.S. or the South Dakota National Guard acting in the lawful discharge of his duties;
- has a valid federal license or has a registered weapon with the proper authority.
Places and areas that are off limit for concealed carry in South Dakota
- A county courthouse
- An elementary or secondary school premise.
- A snowmobile, unless the concealed firearm is unloaded and entirely enclosed in a carrying case
- A game preserve or refuge
- Any place that the federal law prohibits the carrying of firearms