Registration of Firearms in South Dakota

Posted on January 1, 2012

See our Registration of Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

South Dakota law prohibits any state agency, political subdivision, official, agent or employee of any state agency or political subdivision from knowingly keeping any list, record, or registry of privately owned firearms, owners of firearms, or holders of permits to carry a concealed handgun.1

This prohibition does not apply to:

  • Records of firearms that have been used in committing any crime;
  • Permits to carry a concealed handgun records relating to any person who has been convicted of a felony;
  • Records of the serial numbers of firearms that have been reported stolen that are retained for a period not in excess of ten days after such firearms are recovered and returned to the lawful owner. However, official documentation recording the theft of a recovered weapon may be maintained no longer than the balance of the year entered and two additional years;
  • Firearm records that must be retained by firearm dealers under federal law, including copies of such records transmitted to law enforcement agencies;
  • Any on-duty law enforcement officer while conducting routine verification of the validity of a permit to carry a concealed handgun;
  • The secretary of state for the issuance of concealed handgun permits and any access reasonably necessary to verify information with regard to specific permits individually; and
  • The preservation of the triplicate copy of the application for a permit to carry a concealed pistol by the authority issuing the permit.2

South Dakota law also specifically prohibits any law enforcement officer from retaining any notes, data, or pieces of information, either collectively or individually, regarding privately-owned firearms, owners of privately-owned firearms, or concealed handgun permit holders unless the retention of such information is pertinent to a specific ongoing investigation or prosecution.3

  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-8.6. []
  2. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-8.7. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-8.8 provides that the prohibitions under S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-8.6 do not restrict any law enforcement officer in the performance of any official duty if the officer is in the immediate physical presence of a concealed handgun permit holder who has either presented a permit to the officer or declared to the officer that he or she is a permit holder. []
  3. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-8.9. []