South Dakota is currently a shall-issue, constitutional carry state. Permits are processed at the county level by the sheriff’s office. No permits, firearms registration or background checks are required to buy a handgun from a private individual.
Open carry is legal in South Dakota without a permit. The minimum age is 18 years old. Based upon an unofficial 2004 Attorney General Opinion, without a permit, handguns in a vehicle must be in plain sight. Some areas are off-limits, including elementary and secondary schools and school buses.
South Dakota is now a constitutional carry state, so anyone at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm, may concealed carry a firearm without a concealed carry permit. Those wanting to concealed carry out-of-state will still need to get a concealed carry permit. Concealed Pistol Permits (CPP) are issued to residents as well as members of the military and their spouses stationed in South Dakota. There are three permits available: Regular, Gold Card and Enhanced. The regular permit allows holders to carry concealed and is recognized in a number of other states. The gold card permit, in addition to the benefits of a regular permit, proves passage of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when purchasing a firearm, resulting in no required waiting period. The enhanced permit requires a firearms training course, benefits from the purchase exemption and is recognized in six more states than the regular license. In terms of reciprocity, South Dakota recognizes permits issued by all States. As of July 1, 2019, enhanced CPP holders are able to carry in the State Capitol building following 24-hour prior notification to the superintendent of the Highway Patrol.
South Dakota is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. There is no duty to retreat as long as the force used is justified, and the law applies as long as the person is in a place where he or she has the right to be.
Justifiable Use of Force to Protect Property A person is justified in the use of force or violence against another person when the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other criminal interference with real property or personal property lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal right to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only as provided in §§ 22-16-34 and 22-16-35. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
Justifiable Use of Force in Self-Defense or Defense of Another Homicide is justifiable:
While defending against murder, the commission any felony upon the person, or the commission any felony upon or in a dwelling house; and
If committed by a person in the lawful self-defense or defense of the person’s husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress or servant if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in South Dakota?
South Dakota statutes don't specifically address firearms at hotels. Please note that each hotel develops their own policies and the individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See theHandguns at Hotels pagefor additional information.
Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?
Does South Dakota have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in South Dakota? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
No. "No Weapons Allowed" signs are not enforced in South Dakota.
Does South Dakota have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?
Yes, the state has preemption of firearms laws in South Dakota. If a county, township or municipality attempts to pass or enforce an ordinance in violation of state preemption law, the attorney general will bring an action in the name of the state for injunctive relief against the municipality. In addition, a court shall grant any person charged with a violation of an ordinance prohibited under this section reasonable costs, expenses and attorney's fees.
No definition of brandishing was found in South Dakota law. However, any person who intentionally causes serious public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person, or creates a risk thereof by is guilty of disorderly conduct.
Does South Dakota have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or drugs?
Not addressed in state statutes.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does South Dakota issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Yes, for members of the military and their spouses stationed in South Dakota.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?
Does South Dakota allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
No. South Dakota does not allow the public to access concealed carry registry information.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in South Dakota?
No. A permit is not required to purchase a handgun in South Dakota.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in South Dakota?
No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.
South Dakota Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current South Dakota concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Yes, Gold Card Concealed Pistol Permits and Enhanced Permits to Carry a Concealed Pistol issued on or after January 1, 2017, only.
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in South Dakota?
No. There is not a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in South Dakota.
Do handguns need to be registered in South Dakota?
No. Handguns do not need to be registered in South Dakota.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in South Dakota?
The minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in South Dakota is 18.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with South Dakota
South Dakota offers resident and non-resident (members of the military and their spouses stationed in South Dakota) permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors South Dakota resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old
Regular - 5 days for a temporary permit. Because of the fingerprint background investigation for the enhanced and gold permits, the issuance of these temporary permits may take longer. Official permits are issued in 30 days.
Regular – requires a clean SD criminal record for 5 years;
Gold Card – requires fingerprinting and a federal background check; recognized for concealed carry within South Dakota and 32 other states; satisfies the purchase exemption from the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act; and
Enhanced – requires fingerprinting, a federal background check and a firearms safety course; recognized in 37 other states; satisfies the purchase exemption from the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act. As of July 1, 2019, carry will be allowed in county courthouses and the State Capitol building following 24-hour prior notification to the superintendent of the Highway Patrol.
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:
Permits granted to members of the military and their spouses stationed in South Dakota. The process is the same as for residents.
Write a letter to the office of the secretary of state with name, DOB, old address, new address, (or former name, new name) permit number and $2 (cash, check or money order). Send to:
Secretary of State Attn: Permits 500 E. Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501
Write a letter to the office of the secretary of state with name, DOB, address and $2 (cash, check or money order). Send to:
Secretary of State Attn: Permits 500 E. Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501
Moving to South Dakota and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply? South Dakota issues permits to residents and active-duty military personnel and their spouses stationed in South Dakota only. You can apply for your permit with the sheriff of your county once you have been a resident of the county for at least 30 days prior, are active duty military stationed in the state or the spouse of active duty military.
Moving from South Dakota and have a South Dakota resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your South Dakota permit remains valid? If a person with a South Dakota concealed pistol permit establishes residency in another state, the pistol permit expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.
South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit Application Process
How to Apply for a South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit
Determine which permit you want; there are three available: Regular, Gold Card and Enhanced.
Complete a training course within 12 months preceding your application if you want an Enhanced Permit.
You must complete a temporary application in person at your local sheriff's office. Your fingerprints will be taken for Gold Card or Enhanced Permits. A separate payment is required for the cost of processing the fingerprint background check.
The sheriff will issue a temporary permit within 5 days.
Within 7 days after the temporary permit has been issued, the sheriff will send a copy of the application to the secretary of state who issues the official permit. The official permit will be issued within 30 days.
South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process
How to Renew a South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit
The holder of the enhanced permit may renew the permit through the sheriff of the county where the holder resides for a period beginning 180 days before the permit expires and ending 30 days after expiration of the permit The holder must do the following:
Present proof that during the period of renewal set forth in this section, the person:
Successfully completed the live fire component of a qualifying handgun course;
Received instruction regarding the use of force standards; and
Received instruction regarding relevant criminal statutory changes.
Pay the $50 renewal fee;
Pay the fingerprint background check fee; and
Pass the fingerprint background check and National Instant Criminal Background Check.
If the holder of the enhanced permit to carry a concealed pistol does not renew the permit within 30 days of expiration of the permit, the holder must reapply for an enhanced permit to carry a concealed pistol.
The holder of a gold card permit may renew the permit within 90 days of expiration, as well as the holder of a regular permit who may renew 90 days prior to expiration.
Individuals who have a permit issued in accordance with chapter 23-7 have a 60-day grace period to renew the permit. During the grace period, the permit holder may continue to carry a concealed pistol; however, law enforcement may issue a warning ticket in such situations to provide notification to the permit holder of the expired status. This grace period does not apply to any permit holder who commits a crime that would make it unlawful for the permit holder to possess a gun, or a permit holder who attempted to renew the holder's permit, but was denied.
Additional firearm training is required if a permit has expired for more than 30 days.
A renewed Permit to Carry a Concealed Pistol may be obtained from the sheriff of the county which the applicant is a resident.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
Per South Dakota Admin Rule § 2:01:06:17.01, RLEOs must qualify with the officer’s duty handgun every calendar year by completing a certified shooting course that is administered by a firearms instructor who has been approved by the Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission or the executive secretary. A law enforcement officer may not qualify or requalify on a noncertified course. Applicants must obtain a passing score of at least 75 percent.
Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in South Dakota?
Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? You can concealed carry in the restaurant area of an eatery that serves alcohol, unless posted. However, concealed carry is not allowed in bars or the bar areas of restaurants.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes.
Carry in my place of business? Yes. A permit is not required to carry a handgun, whether concealed or openly, in a person's home, land they own or rent, or place of business.
Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Carry in the State Capitol building? As of July 1, 2019 enhanced CPP holders will be able to, following 24-hour prior notification to the superintendent of the Highway Patrol.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in South Dakota?
A county courthouse, state capitol [S.D. Codified Laws §§ 22-14-22, 22-14-23 and 22-14-24], although enhanced permit holders can carry in these locations following 24-hour prior notification to the superintendent of the Highway Patrol;
An establishment licensed to serve alcoholic beverages on the premises if the establishment derives more than 50% of its sales from alcoholic beverages [S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-8.1];
All types of knives are legal in South Dakota and they may be carried openly or concealed, except that they may not be carried concealed by someone with intent to commit a felony. The possession of a "dangerous weapon," which can include a knife, on school grounds, county courthouses and the state capitol is prohibited. Municipalities may have additional restrictions.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.
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