South Dakota

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


South Dakota is currently a shall-issue, constitutional carry state. No permits, registration or background checks are required to buy from a private individual. Open carry is legal without a permit at 18. Anyone at least 18 may conceal carry without a permit. SD recognizes permits issued by all States. SD is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. There is no duty to retreat.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, South Dakota will recognize another state’s license to carry.

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.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

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.

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.

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.

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.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Only 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.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

“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.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal in South Dakota. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible. The minimum age for open carry is 18.

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