South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit And Gun Laws

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
April 23, 2022
Table of Contents

South Dakota's Gun Laws Explained

You probably want to acquire a gun but are confused about carry permits and what they entail. Do you have many questions roaming around your head about South Dakota’s gun laws? If your answer is yes, then this informative article will guide you in the right direction. It will focus on the carry permits, the types, requirements, application procedure, duration, cost, and where to and where not to carry a gun in South Dakota.

What is a Carry Permit?

A carry permit refers to the license issued that legally allows you to carry a gun or pistol on your person or near you. If you are a citizen of South Dakota, you have to apply for a carry permit and get one to carry a concealed pistol or handgun.

However, that does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to carry all types of firearms inside South Dakota. Therefore, before applying for a carry permit, you have to research and equip yourself with knowledge on South Dakota’s gun laws.

Types of Carry Permits

Carrying a pistol or handgun needs a legal carry permit. Carry permits can be of two types. They are as follows:

● Open carry

● Concealed carry

Open Carry

Open carry means carrying a pistol or handgun openly in a public place. It indicates that the weapon is visible to all the people in the holder’s surroundings. Open Carry is just the opposite of concealed carry.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry is the practice of having a gun, pistol, or any other weapon on you or near you in a public space in a concealed manner. Since the weapon needs to be hidden, you cannot have a showdown with your weapon. As of July 1st, 2019, South Dakota became a shall-issue state for concealed weapons, meaning as long as you are aged 18 and above with no prohibition to possess a firearm, then your local law enforcement must issue you with a concealed carry permit if you apply. This allows you to carry your gun in other states.

Types of Concealed Carry Permits in South Dakota

In South Dakota, three types of concealed permits are popular. They are:

● Regular permit

● Gold card permit

● Enhanced permit

Regular Permit

The regular permit holders shall have the ability to possess and carry firearms with licenses in some states. Most of the permit holders in South Dakota have standard permits as you do not need any criminal background check or firearm training to get a regular license. It is the initial type of permit and is more accessible to hold than the other two.

Gold Card Permit

The gold permit holders have a little more benefit than the regular ones. The gold cardholders can also possess and carry firearms with licenses as standard permit holders. Their permit has an evidentiary value. It proves that you have gone through a criminal record background check as you would have to submit your fingerprints before you can be issued a gold card permit.

Your fingerprints are then compared with the criminal details of the FBI. Therefore, your gold card permit declares that you have never been involved with any criminal offense.

Enhanced Permit

Enhanced permit holders get the same advantages as regular and gold card permit holders. The enhanced permit holders also go through a criminal background checking process, and they have to obtain firearm training from a State certified instructor.

They also get the benefit of possessing firearms in at least more than six states. The other two types of license holders do not enjoy this provision. It is the most facilitated and costly carry permit in South Dakota.

The main differences between concealed and enhanced permits are:

● Holders of an enhanced permit may carry openly or covertly; concealed permit holders must permanently hide the gun.

● Between these two, the concealed permit is less challenging to get.

● There are lifetime permits for enhanced only but not for concealed carry.

What is the Law on Concealed Carry?

Permit-less carry is authorized in South Dakota; a "shall issue" state for concealed carry. The local county sheriff will grant a concealed weapon permit for qualifying applicants. The sheriff will provide temporary permission after five days of application.

Concealed carry is prohibited in:

● Any public or secondary school, or in any school vehicle

● Any courtroom

● Any facility that makes more than half of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic drinks consumed on the premises

South Dakota accepts valid concealed carry licenses from any other state for non-residents.

Requirements for Gun Permits in South Dakota

To successfully apply for a gun license in South Dakota, you will first need to fulfill the requirements provided by the state gun laws. They are as follows:

Age Requirement

You have to meet the age requirement of 18 years to apply for a regular gun permit. Age limit is necessary as permitting a child or teenager to carry a gun is not wise. If you want to successfully apply for a gold card or enhanced permit, you must be 21 years or older.

Territorial Requirement

You have to be a resident of the place where you apply for your carry permit for at least 30 days. However, the exemption to this rule only applies to the military and their spouses posted to that state. They do not need to wait 30 days to make such an application. They can apply whenever they want.


You have to be a US citizen and reside legally in the country to apply for a gun permit. Any tourist or outsider cannot apply for this carry permit. It will be considered illegal if they carry any concealed weapon inside South Dakota.

Criminal Background

If you are guilty or convicted of any felony or violent crime, you cannot apply for a permit to carry a gun as you are considered unfit to do so. Therefore, to qualify for a license, it would help if you were not previously convicted or involved in any violent case.

Character Requirements

You have to be mentally stable for ten years and have not been found to be a danger to yourself or others before the South Dakota carry permit application. Therefore, you do not qualify for a permit if you are adjudged as a lunatic or mentally unstable person. Moreover, you cannot apply for a carry permit if you are a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.

In addition, it would be best if you are not a drug addict or live a life of habitual intoxication.

Other State Laws

According to the other state laws, you have to be competent for the carry permit. If the other state laws declare you unfit or incapable of this application, you will not be able to apply for a carry permit.

Not Transferable

The permit you are issued with is not transferable from one person to another. Therefore, you can keep it and use it only for yourself.

False Information

If you try to apply for a permit using any false name, address, age, or other information to conceal your real identity, this type of activity will be considered a criminal offense. As a result, you will be punished for two years and can be fined around $2000.

Applying for a Concealed Carry Permit in SD

The first step of getting a carry permit is to file an application to the proper authority. In this case, the proper authority is your county sheriff. There is a particular procedure for applying for several permits. Therefore, you have to determine which permit you want to have.

Below is the complete application procedure for all three types of permits.

How to Apply for a Regular Permit

The application for a regular permit is the most straightforward process. You only have to submit the application to your county sheriff. If your permit application is approved, you will then have to pay $10 for it.

How to Apply for a Gold Card Permit

Step One: Contact your county sheriff

First of all, you have to establish contact with your county sheriff to have your fingerprints taken for a criminal background check undertaken by the FBI. This will include a $43.25 fee, which you have to pay to the DCI.

Step Two: Wait for your background check approval

Once your background check comes clean and you are approved, proceed to complete the application for the permit. This will cost you $70.

As mentioned before, this type of permit has no training requirements. Moreover, it is recognized in thirty-two other states for concealed carry.

How to Apply for an Enhanced Permit

Step One: Complete a qualifying handgun course

First, you must complete a qualifying handgun course taught by a South Dakota certified instructor. This training should be completed at least 12 months before you can apply for an enhanced carry permit.  

Step Two: Have your fingerprints taken

Then, you must have your fingerprints taken by your county sheriff for a background check by the FBI. You need to pay $43.25 for a background check. The sheriff will give this fee to DCI.

Step Three: Wait for your background check approval

Once your background check is approved, you need to complete the application. You need to pay $100 for this enhanced permit, which is slightly higher than the other permits but well worth it. This permit is recognized in 37 different states, including Nebraska and Minnesota.

How to Get the Carry Permit Card

After the application, the county sheriff will issue you a permit card within five days of the application. However, this card is not permanent, which is why it is referred to as a temporary card. The local sheriff will send a copy of your form to the state secretary, who will be in charge of issuing you the permanent permit. Then, the state secretary will give you the permanent permit card. A permanent card is more valuable than a temporary card.

Changing a Name or Address on Your Gun Permit

If you need to change your address, name, or other relevant details on your gun license in South Dakota, you have to send a necessary letter to the state. The letter should contain your details, such as your date of birth, the new name and old name, your new address and old address, or any other necessary information. This process will cost you around $2 only.

How Long Will Your Carry Permit Serve You?

Your carry permit card will not serve you for a lifetime. The duration for all three types of permits mentioned above is five years from the date of issuing the permit. Therefore, you cannot carry a concealed weapon once this time lapses. If you want to carry your weapon for a further period, you have to apply for your permit renewal for more than five years. Only after the pistol permit renewal can you carry your pistol again.

How to Renew Your Carry Permit

To renew your carry permit, you have to apply to the sheriff's office of your local county at least ninety days prior to your permit's date of expiration and up to thirty days after the expiry date. You will be charged around $10-50 for this. Moreover, you have to complete a criminal record background check if you want to renew a gold card or enhanced permit. The renewal card will serve you for more than five years.

Where Can You Carry Permitted Guns?

● You can carry your permitted arms to state parks.

● State and national forests are safe places for carrying a gun. If you find the forest unsafe, you can carry your weapons to these places.

● You can also carry your permitted guns in your vehicle(s). You can keep your handgun or pistol in your car for safety. You can also carry a long gun in your car openly, but it needs to be unloaded.

Where Can't You Carry Permitted Guns?

You have to observe the federal laws, which indicate some prohibited places where you cannot carry weapons on or near you.

● You cannot carry your permitted gun in an establishment licensed to serve alcoholic drinks on the premises if the establishment garners more than 50% of its total sales from alcoholic beverages.

● You can't carry a gun in a county courthouse. The state finds it unnecessary and unreasonable to carry a firearm in a courthouse.

● It’s forbidden to carry a gun on elementary or secondary school premises, including school vehicles or buildings. A secondary school is an educational place where teenagers and young students study. So, it is dangerous and sensitive to carry weapons there. It is valid to prohibit weapons there.

● You can’t carry a firearm in a snowmobile. But if it is unloaded and entirely covered in a carrying case, you are permitted to carry it.

● You cannot carry your gun in a game preserve or refuge.

● Some restaurants serve alcohol. Some of them clarify the term ‘No Weapon.’ If these types of signs are not available there, you can carry your permitted arms.

What are the Red Flag Laws?

Red flag laws are probably one of the most talked-about issues in the USA. The red flag law indicates that the police can seize a weapon from any person. However, there needs to be a proper reason for such a seizure. If the police of South Dakota think that you are dangerous or suspicious to the public, they can seize your licensed weapon. That means if you violate any of South Dakota’s gun laws, you can lose your valuable weapon, including your carry permit.

You Can Apply for a Carry Permit if You Qualify

This article has gone over and beyond to provide information on South Dakota’s concealed carry permit and gun laws. If you are about to apply for a gun license or permit, it is necessary for you to know and abide by all the rules and regulations mentioned above.

This includes confirmation as to whether you qualify to carry a gun on your person or near you. You also need to be thorough with the application process and the carrying system of the weapon. Once you are confident that you have finally understood all that is required for you to be issued with a carry permit, you can now apply for a permit, and that's about it.

It's really that simple. However should you have some difficulties regarding documents and getting them where they need to go, you can contact a mail forwarding service. These professionals are equipped to safeguard your documentation and ensure it gets to its destination on time without hassle.

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