South Dakota protects the right to bear arms under Article VI, Section 24 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. South Dakota requires a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon concealed on (or near) your body or vehicle unless you are in your house, place of business, or on your own property (including property that you rent). (S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-14-11.) For more information on permitting laws, see Gun Permit Laws in South Dakota.
The following sections explain who may not have a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.
People Who May Not Carry a Gun in South Dakota
The following individuals are prohibited from carrying a weapon (open or concealed) in South Dakota.
- Those younger than 18 years old
- non-United States citizen
- those convicted of any felony
- those that have violated specified firearms and drug laws within the five years preceding the date of application
- fugitives from justice
- those with a history of violence
- those adjudicated as mentally incompetent or a danger to themselves or others within the last ten years
- those who are in a habitually drunk or drugged state
(S.D. Cod. Laws § 23-7-7.)
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun is Illegal
The following rules govern when you may not carry a gun in South Dakota.
- Unless you are in your house, place of business, or on your own property, you may not carry a concealed firearm without a concealed carry permit. (S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-14-11.)
- You may not carry a firearm on school premises or on a school bus. (S.D. Cod. Laws § 13-32-7.)
- You may not carry a firearm in a courthouse. (S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-14-23.)
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
It is a class 1 misdemeanor to carry a weapon in South Dakota without a concealed carry license (unless you are in your own home, place of business, or on your own property). It is also a class 1 misdemeanor to carry a firearm on school premises or in a courthouse. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Getting Legal Help
The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious, and often include harsh fines and long prison sentences. If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in South Dakota, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.