Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated April 12, 2012
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearms-related policy areas. South Dakota ranked 50th out of 50 – having the worst gun violence prevention laws of any state nationwide. Among other things, South Dakota law does not:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Require the reporting of mentally ill individuals to the federal database used for firearm purchaser background checks;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms; or
- Give local law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In addition, in 2009, South Dakota repealed the state’s 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.
In 2009, South Dakota had the 19th lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. However, even this relatively low ranking means that, 75 people died from firearm-related injuries in South Dakota in that year. In addition, based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, South Dakota plays a significant role in gun trafficking. In 2009, South Dakota had the 7th highest ratio of crime gun exports to imports, and supplied crime guns to other states at three times the rate at which it imported crime guns from other states.
South Dakota Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in South Dakota, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.