Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. South Dakota ranked 47th out of 50 – having some of the weakest gun laws in the country.
In 2013, the South Dakota legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.
Laws that Weaken Gun Regulation
|SD H 1087||Provides that any school board may allow the arming of school employees, hired security personnel, or volunteers, after obtaining the consent of the law enforcement officer who has jurisdiction over the school.|
|SD S 166||Provides that a concealed carry permit is valid for 5 years, instead of four years as under current law.|
|SD S 227||Allows firearms to be carried on a snowmobile by any concealed weapon permit holder on his or her own land.|
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In addition, in 2009, South Dakota repealed the state’s 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.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 2010, South Dakota had the 16th lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. In addition, based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, South Dakota plays a significant role in gun trafficking. In 2009, South Dakota exported 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.