South Dakota Open Carry

South Dakota Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

South Dakota is a constitutional carry state, celebrating and promoting the rights enshrined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. While the state encourages firearm ownership, there are still regulations and restrictions in place to maintain public safety and security. In this article, we will explore the open carry laws in South Dakota, including who can open carry, where it is permitted, and the specific regulations governing the possession of firearms.

South Dakota Gun Laws Summary

Before diving into open carry laws, let’s briefly review the general gun laws in South Dakota. The state offers three types of permits for concealed carry regular, gold, and enhanced permits, each with its own advantages and specificities.

South Dakota is a shall-issue state, meaning the sheriff’s office in the local county reviews concealed carry permit applications. While the state does not require purchase permits for firearms, a criminal record background check is compulsory.

Is Open Carry Legal In South Dakota?

Yes, open carry is legal in South Dakota, but certain requirements must be met. You must be at least eighteen years old and not subject to any state or federal prohibition from using firearms. As long as you meet these criteria, you can openly carry a firearm without obtaining a separate permit.

Open Carry Laws In South Dakota

South Dakota is considered a permissive open carry state, meaning individuals can carry firearms openly without the need for a permit. However, there are some restrictions on specific types of firearms. Machine guns, semi-automatic guns, and related weapons are prohibited, along with devices like silencers. These are reserved for law enforcement officers, military members, and federally licensed individuals.

See also  South Dakota Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

South Dakota Open Gun Laws Quick View

Let’s take a quick look at some key points regarding open carry laws in South Dakota:

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carryNoNoSouth Dakota does not require a permit for open carry of firearms in the state.
Firearm registrations for open carryNoNoThere are no state statutes that require the registration of firearms for open carry.
Assault weapon for open carryNoNoSouth Dakota does not permit the use of assault weapons like machine guns or semi-automatics.
Magazine limitNoNoThe state does not have any limits on the number of rounds in a magazine for firearms.
License for the owner of a firearmNot requiredNot requiredThere are no requirements for owning a license for firearms in the state.
Red flag lawNoNoThe state gun laws do not mention red flag laws or the issuance of extreme risk protection orders.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesSouth Dakota has a castle doctrine and stand your ground policy for personal property protection.
Background check for private dealersNoNoThere are no state requirements for private dealers to complete a criminal record background check before selling guns.
PreemptionYesYesSouth Dakota has a preemption gun law, allowing the state to regulate the use of firearms within its jurisdiction.
Concealed carry permitNoYesSouth Dakota issues concealed carry permits valid for firearm possession in other states.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleNoYesYou can conceal carry firearms in your vehicle.
South Dakota has a castle doctrine and stand-your-ground policy for personal property protection.NoNoOpen carry and possession of firearms are not allowed in schools and educational institutions.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In South Dakota?

In South Dakota, you can open carry and possess firearms in several places throughout the state. Some of these include:

  1. Restaurants and Bars: Open carry is permitted in the dining areas of restaurants and bars unless there is a sign prohibiting firearms.
  2. Personal Vehicle: You can open carry in your private vehicle, provided the firearm remains in plain sight.
  3. Personal Place of Business: Open carry is allowed in your place of business, dwelling, or any property you own or lease.
  4. Roadside Areas: You can open carry and possess firearms in roadside areas across the state.
  5. State Forests and Parks: Open carry is permitted in state forests, parks, and wildlife management areas.
  6. Places of Worship: You can possess firearms in places of worship unless the governing body prohibits it.
See also  South Dakota Hunting

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In South Dakota?

South Dakota gun laws prohibit the open carry of firearms in the following places:

  1. Schools: Open carry is not allowed in primary schools, elementary schools, colleges, and universities.
  2. Courthouses: Firearms are prohibited in any state or county courthouses.
  3. Bars: Open carry is prohibited in establishments licensed for alcohol sales if more than half of their income comes from alcohol sales.
  4. Prohibited Areas: Open carry is not allowed in areas explicitly prohibited by the state’s gun laws.

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In South Dakota

To further understand open carry laws in South Dakota, it is essential to consider two specific aspects of the state’s legislation:

Preemption Law

South Dakota has strong preemption gun laws. In March 2019, the state government reinforced preemption laws, giving injunctive relief from the attorney general to any county, city, or municipality that enacts or enforces gun laws conflicting with the state’s preemption order.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Unlawful brandishing and use of firearms are prohibited in South Dakota. Intentionally threatening public safety or using a firearm against another person with the potential for violence is considered improper conduct and may lead to prosecution. Exceptions are made for the legal use of firearms and self-defense.

Open Carry While Hunting

While open carry is generally permitted in South Dakota, there are regulations specific to hunting. It is legal to open carry while hunting, including bow hunting. However, using a firearm to take animals during bow hunting is not allowed. Additionally, South Dakota has hunter harassment laws to protect lawful hunting activities and participants.

See also  South Dakota Gun Permit


South Dakota upholds the Second Amendment with its constitutional carry status and permissive open carry laws. Individuals over eighteen years old can openly carry firearms without the need for a permit, except in restricted areas. It is essential to understand the specific regulations and prohibitions to exercise this right responsibly and safely.


Q1. Can visitors open carry in South Dakota?

Yes, visitors who meet the age and eligibility criteria can open carry in South Dakota without a permit.

Q2. Are there any restrictions on carrying firearms in state parks?

No, open carry is allowed in state forests, parks, and wildlife management areas, making them accessible to law-abiding firearm owners.

Q3. What is the minimum age to obtain a concealed carry permit in South Dakota?

To apply for a concealed carry permit in South Dakota, you must be at least eighteen years old.

Q4. Does South Dakota have a red flag law?

No, South Dakota’s gun laws do not include provisions for red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders.

Q5. Can you carry a gun without a permit in South Dakota?

South Dakota allows permitless concealed and open carry of firearms for residents and non-residents without needing a permit.

Q6. Is it legal to open carry in South Dakota?

Yes, South Dakota allows the open carrying of firearms without any required permit or license.

Q7. Is South Dakota gun-friendly?

Yes, South Dakota has very permissive gun laws including no permits, background checks, or registration required for firearm sales, making it a very gun-friendly state.

Q8. Can I open carry in national parks within South Dakota?

Yes, open carry is generally permitted in national parks within South Dakota, as long as you abide by federal firearm regulations.

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