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South Dakota Concealed Carry Laws

Last Updated: May 9, 2021

Disclaimer:  While the information provided here is legal in nature, it is not to be construed as legal advice, and is for educational and entertainment purposes only.  

With gun laws varying from state to state, it makes sense the rules on concealed carry for each state would also be a little different everywhere.

Even though it’s a bit of a hassle to buy a handgun in South Dakota, the state doesn’t have too many hurdles in the way for anyone wanting to get a CCW permit, though there are a couple laws you’ll need to pay attention to.

Our quick reference guide has everything you need to know to carry your handgun responsibly!

South Dakota State Flag
South Dakota State Flag

First Things First

Before we get any further, it is important to point out that as of 2019, South Dakota no longer requires a permit for anyone looking to carry their firearm — openly or concealed.

If that’s all you’re interested in finding out, then head over to our Concealed Carry section to research what your next carry gun should be!

Of course, there are still reasons for South Dakotans to apply for a CCW permit, so you might as well keep reading.

Why Get a Permit?

A permit, while no longer necessary in order to carry concealed in South Dakota, can still offer benefits when buying firearms, and also when traveling out of state.

As long as you have any of the three types of permits issued by the state, you can present your permit to skip the normally required background check when making a firearms purchase.

It’s not a big deal, but it saves you a small bit of time (and money).

When traveling out of state, many other states have reciprocity agreements with South Dakota and will recognize certain types of CCW permits issued by the state.

When it comes to the specific types of permits issued, South Dakota does not issue permits to non-residents.

For residents interested in the additional benefits a permit comes with, the good news is that the state is a shall-issue state. As long as you fill out the application correctly, you will be issued a permit!

Getting a Permit 

Here comes the hard part: which permit do you apply for?  South Dakota actually issues three types of permits.  There is a regular permit, gold card permit, and an enhanced permit.

No matter which type you choose to apply for, you will need to apply with the sheriff of the county where you live.

Which Permit to Choose?

Each of the permits have slightly different benefits to them.  Ultimately though, if you can, applying for the enhanced permit will get you the most bang for your buck.

The regular permit will allow you to carry concealed, and also is recognized in a number of other states in the US, just like how you’d expect a normal CCW permit to work.  

The gold card permit, in addition to having the benefits of a regular permit, will also allow you to skip the background check, if you present it to your local gun store when purchasing your firearm.  This can add up, in both time and money, so it’s a pretty big deal.

The enhanced permit has the most benefits.  Beyond the benefits of both the regular and gold card permit, the enhanced permit is recognized by 6 more states than the other two permits.  The downside of the enhanced permit is that you have to carry a government issued photo-ID with you at all times for it to be valid.  But then, you should kind of be doing that anyway.

Types of South Dakota CCW Permits
Types of South Dakota CCW Permits

Permit Requirements 

Of course, the different permits have different requirements.  All of them have some basic requirements in common though.

For all types of permits, you must:

  • Be 18 or older;
  • Be a citizen or a legal resident of the US;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice;
  • Never have pled guilty to, or been convicted of, a felony or a crime of violence;
  • Not be habitually intoxicated or on drugs;
  • Not have a history of violence;
  • Not have been found to be a danger to others or yourself in the last 10 years;
  • Not be adjudicated to be mentally incompetent;
  • Have physically resided in and are a resident of the county where the application is made for at least 30 days before the application; and
  • Have no violations of firearms control, unlawful use of weapons or controlled substances in the 5 years before the application or be currently under a felony or misdemeanor charge for these violations.

For the gold card, you will have an additional requirement of an FBI fingerprint background check.

The enhanced permit also has the additional background check like the gold card, but also has a further requirement of completion of a handgun training course.  

The training course itself can be any handgun course taught by an NRA-certified instructor that also has a certificate of completion from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation on the use of force.  

Typically, any South Dakota-specific CCW permit course should meet this requirement, but you will want to double-check just to be sure.  Any recognized CCW permit course will need to at least teach:

  • South Dakota law relating to firearms and the use of force;
  • Basic concepts of safe and responsible use of handguns;
  • Self-defense principles; and
  • Live fire training, including having the student fire at least 98 rounds of ammunition.

Can’t Wait? 

If you need to have a CCW permit immediately, there is also the option of a temporary permit.  The temporary permit can be for either a regular permit or an enhanced permit.  You will need to fill out an Application for a Temporary Permit to Carry a Concealed Pistol to start the process.

Once you fill out the application, you will get a permit usually within 5 days, if you’re applying for a regular permit.  An enhanced permit will take more time since it also has a background check associated with it.

After about a month from when you get your temporary permit, you should get your official permit.  

Keep in mind, the temporary permit is only for people who have an absolute need for it, i.e. if you have a restraining order against someone.  If you just can’t wait to get a permit, then that is another issue, and you should stick to the regular application process.

Concealed carry diagram2
Concealed Carry Everywhere

The Waiting Game

No matter what type of permit you applied for, you will get a response in about a month, hopefully in the form of a shiny new permit.  

If you are denied a permit, you will instead receive a letter stating the reasons for your denial.  Just check the letter and make sure you provide whatever information was missing and send it back to them.

Once everything is fixed, or if you didn’t have any issues in the first place, you should finally have your new Permit to Carry a Concealed Pistol in hand, and all you’ll need to do is remember to keep it on you at all times, and to renew it every 5 years!

Where’re You Going?

Even with a CCW permit, there are still some places where you cannot carry concealed.  A good indicator is usually any place with metal detectors and lots of law enforcement.  

Specifically though, you cannot carry concealed, even with a permit:

  • In an establishment licensed to serve alcohol, if the establishment makes more than 50% of its sales from alcoholic beverages;
  • In any courthouse;
  • On elementary or secondary school property, including school vehicles or buildings; or
  • On a game preserve or refuge, unless you are a resident within the preserve or refuge, and are carrying to use against non-game and predatory animals or birds on your own land.

If you’re going to any of these places where concealed carry is not allowed, then you might be better off leaving your gun in the safe in your car.  You do have a car safe, right?  

Car handgun safe
Car Handgun Safe

Like all good laws, however, there are exceptions.

Firearms are permitted on the premises of any nonpublic school, church or house of worship, or a nonpublic school that is located on the premises of a church or other house of worship.

With an enhanced permit, you can even carry in the state capitol, as long as you inform the Highway Patrol at least 24 hours beforehand that you plan to do so, and let them know the dates that you plan on carrying into the capitol.

If you need to for whatever reason, the length of time can last up to a year before you need to inform Highway Patrol again of your intent to carry concealed. Whatever floats your boat!


One of the best things about a CCW permit is that it is also recognized in a lot of other states in the US too!  South Dakota CCW permits, depending on the type, are recognized in at least 31 other states across the country.  

Since there are so many more states that do recognize the permit than do not, it’s easier to list out the ones that don’t.

A South Dakota Permit to Carry a Concealed Pistol is not recognized in:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington D.C. (not a state but still hates your gun rights)

If you don’t see a state on that list then you’re good to go!  Mostly.  If you decided to apply for a regular permit or a gold card, then your permit is no good in the following states:

  • Delaware
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Wisconsin

If you have an enhanced permit, then the list above is actually a list of bonus states that you will also be able to carry concealed, while your friends with regular permits and gold cards will have to leave their guns at home.

Actually, gold card permit holders can carry in Wisconsin along with Enhanced permit holders. Only regular permits aren’t recognized in Wisconsin. Sorry.

One More Thing

To make things a little more complicated, a South Dakota permit, regardless of the type, may not guarantee concealed carry, but just allows for open carry.

Concealed carry is not allowed in certain states, even with your South Dakota permit:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Since the only difference between enhanced permit is really just the training course and background check, it makes more sense to apply for the enhanced permit to get the additional reciprocity from these six states.

We should all be taking handgun and CCW courses regularly anyway!

Just Stopping By 

If you are just stopping by South Dakota for a visit (I hear they have a mountain with presidents’ faces on it), there’s some good news!  

As long as you are not a resident of South Dakota, any valid CCW permit from another state will be honored in Mount Rushmore State!  

If you are a South Dakota resident, then get your butt in gear and apply for that enhanced permit, you bum!

Carry On!

That’s it!  All you need to know about getting a carry permit from South Dakota  Take a look at our recommendations for concealed holsters.

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our South Dakota gun laws section and brush up on your knowledge of general gun laws in the state!

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