Citation(s) from the literature library

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2023 ‘Concealed Carry in South Dakota.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 8 December

Relevant contents

Concealed Weapons Permitting in South Dakota

South Dakota does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed handgun on his or her person, loaded or unloaded, if the person has a permit.

On March 19, 2012, the Governor of South Dakota vetoed a bill that would have allowed the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.

South Dakota is a "shall issue" state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a concealed weapons permit if the applicant meets certain qualifications. The sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides must issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon if the applicant:

- Is 18 years of age or older;
- Has never pled guilty to, no contest to, or been convicted of a felony or crime of violence;
- Is not habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition;
- Has no history of violence;
- Has not been found in the previous ten years to be a "danger to others" or a "danger to self," or is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent;
- Has resided for the past 30 days in the county or municipality where applying for a permit;
- Has not violated any of South Dakota's laws regarding firearms, other weapons, controlled substances or marijuana in the five years preceding the date of application, or is not currently charged with a felony or misdemeanor under those laws;
- Is a United States citizen; and
- Is not a fugitive from justice.

Firearm Safety Training

South Dakota does not require applicants for a concealed weapons permit to undergo firearms safety training or demonstrate competence with a firearm.

Duration & Renewal

A permit to carry a concealed weapon is valid for four years. No provisions of South Dakota law specifically address the renewal of a permit.

Disclosure or Use of Information

South Dakota law prohibits any state agency, political subdivision, official, agent, or employee of any state agency or political subdivision, from knowingly keeping or causing to be kept any list, record, or registry of holders of permits to carry a concealed handgun. These entities also may not release or permit access to any application, list, record or registry of applicants or holders of concealed weapon permits except to law enforcement or the secretary of state.

The prohibition against lists, records, and registries of permit holders does not apply to, inter alia:

1) permits to carry concealed handguns relating to any person who has been convicted of a felony;
2) any on-duty law enforcement officer while conducting routine verification of the validity of a permit to carry a concealed handgun;
3) 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; or
4) the preservation of the triplicate copy of the application for a permit by the authority issuing the permit.

The prohibition also does not restrict any law enforcement officer in the performance of any official duty if the officer is in the immediate physical presence of a permit holder who has either presented a permit to the officer or declared to the officer that he or she is a permit holder.

South Dakota law also prohibits any law enforcement officer from retaining any notes, data, or pieces of information related to the holders of permits to carry concealed handguns, unless that information is pertinent to a specific ongoing investigation or prosecution.


The South Dakota Attorney General is authorized to compare South Dakota laws governing concealed weapons permits with the permit issuance statutes in states with which reciprocity is sought or requested in order to determine whether the laws of the other state meet or exceed the requirements of South Dakota law for the issuance of a permit. The South Dakota Secretary of State may enter into reciprocity agreements with other states after the Attorney General has notified the Secretary of State that the other states' laws meet or exceed the provisions of South Dakota law. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun in a state with which the South Dakota Secretary of State has entered into a reciprocity agreement may carry a concealed handgun in South Dakota if the permit holder does so in compliance with state law…

[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]

ID: Q7635

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