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What are the Gun Laws in South Dakota?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms


(As of March, 2008)

Quick Reference Chart

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.

  • Permit to purchase handgun? No. 48-hour waiting period. Police record purchases from dealers.
  • Registration of handguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No.
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes. Permit required if concealed, where concealed means totally hidden from view.


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.

No seller may deliver a handgun to a purchaser until 48 hours have elapsed.

A person with a valid carrying permit shall be exempt from the 48-hour waiting period.

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.


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.

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