Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Background Check Procedures in South Dakota.’ Background Checks. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 8 March
Background Checks in South Dakota
Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state "point of contact" and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System ("NICS") database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)
South Dakota is not a point of contact state for the NICS. South Dakota has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background checks prior to transferring a firearm (although South Dakota does prohibit a dealer from selling a handgun unless the purchaser is personally known to the dealer or presents clear evidence of his or her identity). As a result, in South Dakota, firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.
South Dakota does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]