South Dakota Self Defense Laws
South Dakota is a stand your ground and castle doctrine state.
This means that are you allowed to use up to deadly force to defend yourself, someone else, on your property and there is no duty to retreat on your property. It’s important to note that you absolutely could not have started the altercation to be covered under this protection. In other words, you couldn’t have intentionally shoved someone and then shoot him when he shoves you back.
Some situations where deadly force is allowed:
- If you believe someone is about to use unlawful deadly force;
- If you believe that a burglar is about to use physical force;
- If someone is about to rape, kidnap, assault, or rob you.
- When a person attempts to unlawfully enter a home or vehicle
- To protect others
22-18-4. Justifiable use of force to protect property–Use of deadly force–Duty to retreat. Any person is justified in the use of force or violence against another person when the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other criminal interference with real property or personal property lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal right to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only as provided in §§ 22-16-34 and 22-16-35. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
Source: SDC 1939, § 13.2402 (3); SL 2005, ch 120, § 8; SL 2006, ch 116, § 2.
South Dakota Gun Laws
The Mount Rushmore store respects the second amendment and therefore has very few restrictions on firearms. There is no waiting period to purchase a pistol and you don’t need to register your firearm with the state.
Concealed Carry Gun Laws in South Dakota
As of 2019 you no longer need a permit to carry a concealed firearm in the state of South Dakota. There are some notable restrictions:
- While on a motorcycle
- While on a off-road vehicle that is not on your property
South Dakota recognizes valid permits from any other state.
Can You Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in South Dakota?
Yes, you may transport a firearm in your vehicle so long as it is clearly visible.
Can Minors Carry a Pistol in South Dakota?
Yes, a person under the age of 18 may carry a pistol while under the supervision of a parent of guardian. See the section below for legal citation.
Can You Carry a Gun on you on a Motorcycle?
You may only have a loaded gun with you if it is completely enclosed in a case while on a motorcycle or off-road vehicles. This does not apply if you’re on your own land. It also doesn’t apply if you have a permit while hunting. It also doesn’t apply if you have a concealed carry weapons (CCW) license.
32-20-6.6. Restrictions on possession of firearms on motorcycles and off-road vehicles–Violation as misdemeanor. No person, other than a law enforcement officer or conservation officer, or any person on the person’s own land or land leased by the person, may operate or ride on any motorcycle or off-road vehicle with any firearm in the person’s possession unless the firearm is completely unloaded and within a carrying case which encloses the entire firearm. However, this section does not apply to any person who is carrying a pistol and possesses a permit to carry a concealed pistol issued pursuant to chapter 23-7. This section does not apply to any person who holds a permit issued pursuant to § 41-8-37 while engaged in hunting from an off-road vehicle in accordance with the provisions of the permit. This section shall be enforced by all law enforcement officers including conservation officers. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The restrictions in this section do not apply to a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) or any vehicle that is designed for four or more low-pressure tires or rubberized tracks, and has a seat a person sits upon, and has a steering wheel.
Source: SL 1972, ch 178; SL 1989, ch 255, § 99; SL 1996, ch 203; SL 1999, ch 160, § 1; SL 2003, ch 224, § 2; SL 2019, ch 134, § 2.
South Dakota Gun Laws for Felons
Felons are banned from possessing firearms in South Dakota but not just felons those convicted of a crime of violence or a drug crime within the past 15 years, been convicted of domestic violence within the past year.
22-14-15. Possession of firearm by one with prior violent crime conviction or certain drug-related conviction–Felony–Fifteen-year period. No person who has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of a crime of violence or a felony pursuant to § 22-42-2, 22-42-3, 22-42-4, 22-42-7, 22-42-8, 22-42-9, 22-42-10 or 22-42-19, may possess or have control of a firearm. A violation of this section is a Class 6 felony. The provisions of this section do not apply to any person who was last discharged from prison, jail, probation, or parole more than fifteen years prior to the commission of the principal offense.
Is Pepper Spray Legal in South Dakota?
Pepper spray (also known as capsaicin spray) is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause a burning sensation, pain, and temporary blindness) used in policing, riot control, crowd control, and self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears. Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision.
This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits people in danger to use pepper spray in self-defense for an opportunity to escape. It also causes temporary discomfort and burning of the lungs which causes shortness of breath.
You may use or carry pepper spray anywhere in South Dakota except in ‘sensitive’ areas such as a courthouse or airport. It is a crime to use pepper spray offensively.
Are Tasers Legal in South Dakota?
Residents in South Dakota are allowed to carry stun guns so long as they don’t have a prior conviction for improper use of a stun gun. You also can’t be under 16 or have a felony conviction.
Stun guns are good self-defense weapons to have. I bought my mother one for Christmas last year and she takes it on her walks in the morning. The most important thing is to make sure you have a stun gun that is on your person and ready to go in a split second. There are pink keychains and pepper spray combos you can take a look at to see if they would be a good fit for you.
Check out my article on Best Tasers for Self Defense
Personal Sirens are Legal in South Dakota
When you think of a self-defense weapon an alarm may not be the first thing that comes to mind but believe me a personal alarm is one of the best self-defense weapons that you can have! This isn’t an ordinary alarm.
A personal alarm is more produces a sound of more than 100 decibels. That’s louder than a jackhammer! Trust me when I say it’s shrill and loud. You wouldn’t want this alarm sounding in your ear. Also, causing a scene by making a lot of noise is a great tool to defend yourself against any surprise attack whether it be a mugger or purse snatcher. You can get a good personal alarm here.
Tactical Pens are Legal in South Dakota
A tactical pen is essentially a hidden self-defense tool. What better way to hide a defense weapon other than in plain sight. It can be used for writing, stopping someone by causing a minor wound, breaking things and even breaking glass if you use it well.
The tactical pens were created for people who don’t want to use a gun for self-defense and wish to have some useful things that can potentially become a weapon. You can get the Ape Survival Multi-Use Tactical pen for free here. It’s a screw diver, hexa-wrench, flashlight, and glass breaker, and yes it actually writes. And of course, it’s legal in the Mount Rushmore State