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Legal Information: South Dakota

State Gun Laws

October 1, 2020

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Under South Dakota state law, it is illegal for someone to have/buy a gun if s/he:

  1. was convicted in South Dakota or another state of a crime of violence; (Note: It is only illegal for 15 years after the person was last discharged from prison, jail, probation, or parole for the crime);1
  2. was convicted of a felony drug crime under the section of the law called “Chapter 22-42. Controlled Substances and Marijuana,”1 which are all listed on the South Dakota Legislature website. (Note: If s/he was convicted of certain felony crimes in Chapter 22-42 that are listed on our website here, then it is illegal to have/buy a gun for 15 years after the person was last discharged from prison, jail, probation, or parole for the crime.1 However, if the conviction was for one of the felony crimes that is listed on the South Dakota Legislature website but not listed on our website here, then it is only illegal to have/buy a gun for 5 years after the person was last discharged from prison, jail, probation, or parole for the crime);2 or
  3. was convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving an act of domestic violence; (Note: It is only illegal to have/buy a gun for the first year after the date of the conviction.)3

In addition, a person cannot get a permit to carry a concealed weapon if s/he:

  • is under age eighteen;
  • pled guilty to, pled no contest (nolo contendere) to, or was convicted of:
    • a felony;
    • a crime of violence;
    • a misdemeanor crime of violence, as defined by federal law; or
    • any crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
  • is habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition;
  • is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
  • has a history of violence;
    1. was determined to be a “danger to others” or a “danger to self” at some point during the past 10 years;
    2. is currently deemed mentally incompetent by a judge;
    3. has been declared in court (adjudicated) to be a “mental defective;”
    4. has been committed to a mental institution;
    5. has not physically resided the county where the application is being made for at least the past thirty days;4 (although there is an exception to this for members of the military and their spouses);5
    6. has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime under Chapter 23-7, 22-14, or 22-42 within the past five years (or is currently under indictment for one of those crimes);
    7. is not a citizen or legal resident of the United States;
    8. was a citizen but has renounced his/her U.S. citizenship;
    9. is a fugitive from justice;
    10. has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
    11. is prohibited under state law from from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm; or
    12. iis the respondent on a protection order that was issued after notice and a hearing that:
      1. restrains him/her from:
        • harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner; or
        • engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
      2. includes a finding that s/he represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner or child or specifically prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.4

    If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun in certain situations. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

    1 SDCL § 22-14-15
    2 SDCL § 22-14-15.1
    3 SDCL § 22-14-15.2
    4 SDCL §§ 23-7-7; 23-7-7.1; 18 USC § 922​(g), (n)
    5 SDCL § 23-7-7.5