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Step Up Self-Defense With a South Dakota Concealed Carry Permit

It is the private citizen’s job to protect their life and loved ones from harm, and a South Dakota concealed carry permit is the physical manifestation of that.

South Dakota understands the value in letting its citizens work for both safety and prosperity, whether that’s reflected through its unemployment rate — recorded as the lowest in the U.S. in 2016 according to an economic report from the South Dakota Secretary of State — or through the rising number of concealed carry permits.

There are a total 94,356 active permits as of September 2016, which is an increase in about 6,700 since the beginning of the year. For reference, that means just shy of 12 percent of 814,180 South Dakotans guarantee their safety and the wellbeing of those around them.

Looking for a line of self-defense in South Dakota?

How the Three Types South Dakota Concealed Carry Permits Work

north dakota ccw permit

The South Dakota concealed carry permit is like a membership program with three different tiers of rewards. There’s a regular permit, gold card permit (available January 1, 2017) and enhanced permit.

Yes, there’s a difference, but the increased options for each permit vary and come with a tradeoff of higher fees, more requirements, increased background checks and more handgun training.

Concealed carry in South Dakota is illegal without a “Permit to Carry a Concealed Pistol” and doing so without that permit is a class one misdemeanor with up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both, according to SDCL 22-14-9.

However, according to SDCL 22-14-11, a permit is not required for the gun owner to possess a pistol or revolver in their home, place of business or property. A brochure distributed by the South Dakota Secretary of State elaborates on this and notes that open carry is allowed without a permit.

The regular permit allows concealed carry within South Dakota and reciprocity with 30 other states. It is renewed every five years. The initial application fee as well as the renewal fee are each $10.

    The regular permit applicant is required:
  • To be 18 years old
  • To have never pled guilty to or convicted of a felonious violent crime
  • To not be “habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition”
  • To not have a history of violence
  • To not be found a danger to others or themselves within the last 10 years
  • To not be currently judged mentally incompetent
  • To be a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident and establish residency in South Dakota (non-resident permits are not issued) by residing in the state for at least 30 days
  • To not have any violations of SDCL 23-7, SDCL 22-14 or SDCL 22-42
  • To not be a fugitive from justice
  • To complete a background investigation

That list may seem a little too Shakespearian for some, with concealed carry requirements relying on different interpretations of the question “to be or not to be.” However, those requirements are South Dakota’s attempts to make sure guns don’t end up in the wrong hands.

Laws are laws and until they change we all must abide. I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that.

The gold card permit, which also allows concealed carry in South Dakota, offers “probable recognition for concealed carry within 30 other states” and “recognition within 1 other states, with potential for more” and a purchase exemption upon approval from ATF.

The gold card permit requirements are the same as the regular permit, with a few additional caveats. The applicant must complete a FBI fingerprint background check with a $43.25 processing fee. The applicant must also authorize a fingerprint background check, pay a higher application fee ($70) and be subjected to periodic NICS background checks.

The renewal period is similar, five years, but the renewal fee is higher ($70). Additionally, a gold card renewal requires another FBI fingerprint background check, which is the same price as before.

The enhanced permit allows the same concealed carry benefits as the regular permit -- within South Dakota and 30 other states. It also offers concealed carry recognition in six more states and the same purchase exemption as the gold card upon approval from the ATF.

    The enhanced permit requirements, however, are a bit more stringent. All the criteria for the regular permit must be met. Additionally, there are requirements for:
  • A qualifying handgun course certification, which has a fee of up to $150 and includes “use of force training, basic concepts, self-defense principles and live fire training of at least 98 rounds”
  • Authorization for a FBI fingerprint background check (with the same $43.25 processing fee once it’s done)
  • A $100 application fee
  • Periodic NICS background checks, starting after January 1, 2017

There are more renewal options for the enhanced permit: it’s $50 if renewed 90 days before and up to 30 days after expiration and if renewed 30 days after the expiration the fee is $100 and the handgun course must be completed again. There’s another FBI fingerprint background check ($43.25) with renewal.

Apply for any of those permits through a local South Dakota sheriff, according to SDCL 23-7-7. Once the application and its various fees and requirements are submitted, the sheriff will conduct a background investigation and issue the permit based on the results.

South Dakota Concealed Carry Reciprocity

reciprocity south dakota

As previously mentioned, South Dakota concealed carry reciprocity varies on the type of permit and is subject to change based on reciprocity agreements and changes within state laws.

That being said, this guide is not meant to be formal legal advice. It’s an educational stepping stone to provide some information about concealed carry in the state. More information can be requested through the South Dakota Attorney General’s office at (605) 773-3215.

The regular permit has current reciprocity with 30 states, the gold card permit 31 and the enhanced permit 36. Stay up to date on these numbers with the Alien Gear CCW reciprocity map.

Although nonresidents may not apply for a South Dakota concealed carry permit, SDCL 23-7-7.4 states that any valid out-of-state CCW permit is recognized in South Dakota.

On a related topic, South Dakota recognizes the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act and its subsequent 2010 and 2013 amendments.

That being said, although a number of permits grant concealed carry rights in South Dakota, there are a few locations where concealed carry is not allowed.

Places Not To Concealed Carry in South Dakota

ccw permit south dakota

Believe it or not, the multiple types of permits do not afford universal access to concealed carry in South Dakota.

Do not bring a CCW into any building that is licensed to sell malt or alcoholic beverages and makes over half of its income from selling those types of drinks, according to SDCL 23-7-8.1.

It just makes sense not to drink and carry. Have the designated driver also be the (appropriately licensed) designated concealed carrier.

Problem solved.

In addition to locations that serve alcohol, do not concealed carry in county courthouses or at elementary and secondary schools.

Although the Credit Card Act of 2009 has an amendment that restricts the Secretary of Interior from regulating firearms in the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System, individuals still must follow state laws within the national park.

There also historically has been some dispute over whether or not a handgun is immediately deemed as “concealed” when carried in a motor vehicle. In 2004, the South Dakota Attorney General, Larry Long, wrote about this issue.

His opinion, based on lengthy interpretation of concealed weapon statutes, held that the carried weapon should not immediately be considered concealed when in a motor vehicle.

Those carrying a firearm on a motorcycle or off-road vehicle should adhere to SDCL 32-20-6.6. Basically, it’s illegal to have a weapon while on these types of vehicles unless the carrier has a handgun permit or hunting permit, owns the property or is a law enforcement or conservation officer.

Violating that section is a class 2 misdemeanor.

No matter where a weapon is carried in South Dakota, make sure to do so legally and with the appropriate training. Concealed carry is more than a way to store a weapon.

For many it’s a lifestyle and daily requirement. Those seeking to join those ranks should do so responsibly and with the appropriate forethought.

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gun blog writer jake smith

About The Author

Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.