Gun Hero of the Day: South Dakota


Dan and I recently returned from South Dakota, as part of our journey to check out Capital Armament, TTAG’s new official ammo supplier (based in nearby Iowa). As reports, “South Dakota is a ‘shall issue’ state for concealed carry. Open carry is generally permitted.” While The Mount Rushmore State isn’t Arizona (i.e. it’s not a Constitutional Carry state), we were delighted to learn that SD recognizes every other state’s concealed carry permit.

Equally heartening, the State must issue a temporary carry permit within five days of the submission of an application. Imagine if the following chart applied to, say, New Jersey.


As our host said, welcome to America like it used to be.


  1. avatar st1100boy says:

    I’ve got family in SD, and it’s just a matter of time before I move back. Decent gun laws, 80 mph speed limits, and no state income tax. That’ll work.

  2. avatar Matt says:

    It is actually a pretty nice place to live. Been here 6 years. Definitely enjoy the no state income tax.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      If they charged you income tax, you couldn’t afford your winter heating bill.

    2. avatar Truth says:

      Where’s the mildest summers at in SD?

      1. avatar st1100boy says:

        Mildest summers? Probably the northeast corner: Sisseton, Britton, Milbank.

        Much of the state SD can be pretty hot in the summer, but fairly low humidity overall. I grew up around Minot, ND and we always felt the higher humidity around Sioux Falls, but anything above 30% humidity in Minot was semi-rare.

      2. avatar Don Nelson says:

        The mildest summers and winters are in the Black Hills. We had temps in the 70s a few days last February. There are occasional blizzards, though none last winter, and so far this summer the hottest days have been a couple where the temp almost hit 100.

        Of course, there are no guarantees on weather.

  3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    so what happened with the last (two?) ammo supplier(s)?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Not much.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Ha! Pretty damned funny. (to me – I guess not you).

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        Did you figure out why Iowa is a blue state while you were up there?

        1. avatar Jomo says:

          Same reason Minnesota is blue. Farmers tend to be Dems, even though, like blacks, the Dems don’t share their values. It’s a head-scratcher, but a lot of it is the perception that the Dems will give you shit, and farmers were traditionally poor.

        2. avatar ThisOldWestern says:

          At least they are apparent. Here in my home state, everyone is a republican but they vote for the same RINOs over and over again.

  4. avatar SteveInCO says:

    “Carry Permits Issued?” would be better phrased something like “Permit required for concealed carry?” because some states (like AZ) *issue* concealed carry permits (for use in other states via reciprocity) without *requiring* them.

    Thus, ironically, telling me SD issues permits doesn’t tell me when and where they’re required.

    That quibble aside, it sounds like a pretty gun friendly place, a bit more so than CO (since we can’t seem to figure out our state constitution preempts Denver on open carry).

    1. avatar Don Nelson says:

      SD concealed pistol permits are required to carry concealed in SD. (All other states’ permits are honored.) Federal buildings, courthouses, schoolgrounds and places that make over 50% from on premises alcohol sales are off limits for concealed (or open) carry. Three types of permits are issued. The basic, with little reciprocity recognition, costs $15 with a simple application and NICS check done by the sheriff. The enhanced permit requires a class, a 98-round range demonstration of safe handling, the NICS check and an FBI fingerprint check. That all costs about $240 total, but has already gotten a lot of reciprocity from other states. The third type, the gold permit, is similar to the basic but can be used in lieu of individual NICS checks for firearms purchases. Permits are good for five years.

      In addition to that SD has no knife laws at all.

      I like it here. Next time, come visit the Black Hills – not nearly as crowded as that eastern side.

      1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

        The wife and I drove Denver to Omaha, then Omaha to DeSmet (for the Ingalls homestead.) Stayed in Sioux Falls, and drove I-90 to the Black Hills, stopping at every roadside attraction we could find.
        She’s from Jersey. The vast empty kind of turned her off at first, but we found a spot where the noise from 90 was blocked and she looked out over miles of prairie and listened to the insects and frogs, watched the hawks soar…and cried.
        Colorado’s turning pretty damn blue. If I can find work in the Western part of the state, we may be joining you. Damn, I don’t want to have to move to Texas!

        1. avatar Don Nelson says:

          We have a very low unemployment rate here in the Black Hills, so getting work is easy in general. The downside is that wages aren’t up to SoCal (or maybe Denver) standards, but that’s partly offset by having no state income tax. Weather-wise we get what Denver gets, but usually milder. For me, the biggest upside is easy unlimited access to national forests, national grasslands, mountains, trails, lakes, creeks, and state and national parks.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    Sounds like a great state. I assume not ruled by dumbocrat azzwholes…

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Ironically, George McGovern (an uber-liberal, for folks reading this who aren’t our age, he ran against Nixon in 72) was from there.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        Ironically I voted for WWII war hero McGovern in 1972-something to do with Vietnam. The only Dem I ever voted for…I even made nasty Nixon vampire posters(I’m a lazy artist too). And funny you should mention this but George was the final Jeopardy question(answer) on the Teachers Tourney today. All 3 missed it and I got it(didn’t make any $ lol).

  6. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    That entire chart applies to Texas, too. When it’s South Dakota, it’s “Maybe some room for improvement, but overall a great gun friendly state.”

    When it’s Texas, it’s “What an overrated, back of the pack, firearms freedom infringer!”

    1. avatar Don Nelson says:

      The difference is that in SD there have never been laws about gun ownership or carrying of firearms (though the whole license to conceal thing is relatively recent at 40 or 50 years), TX is new at this stuff, so there’s stumbles and freakouts and demonstrations. In SD it’s just the way it’s always been.

  7. avatar gs650g says:

    If the winters were not so harsh liberals from the west coast would move in and ruin the state. The vermin find better places to live and shit where they stand.

    1. avatar What The Heck Is That says:

      Give them time. They’re coming.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    So quickly forgotten — Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed constitutional carry back in 2012.

    Way to go, South Dakota.

  9. avatar Geoff PR says:

    The Denizens of South Dakota are going to be really pissed off when their state starts to get flooded with folks escaping places like California…

    1. avatar surlycmd says:

      Yep. I drive around Sioux Falls and see plates from NY, CA and IL. I hreally ope they’re not moving here. I left VA for SD about 18 months back. I’m very happy I moved here.

      Robert, it seems I missed you guys at the LGS when you visited. I hope to catch you next time you pass through.

      1. avatar surlycmd says:

        Damn long day. Sigh.

  10. avatar Mikial says:

    Haven’t been to SD in a lot of years, but this makes me want to go back more than ever.

  11. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The real win about SD for guns is that they have laws limiting the liability of gun makers. If a gun made in SD is used in a crime, there’s no liability for the manufacture.

    There’s a hub of gun companies around Sturgis; a custom accuracy rifle maker, Dakota Arms (nice, high-end custom guns) with one ammo company there as well. HS Precision is in Rapid City.

  12. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    SD is on my (short) list of states I’d be willing to move to. Probably the coldest one on the list.

    IA (my state) also recognizes any permit from any other state, but here (unlike SD) you can bar carry (and drink as long as you keep it under 0.08%) so that’s a hard one to top. Taxes are definitely better in SD though.

  13. avatar Damon says:

    I’ll be heading back when I retire from the military. After some of the places I have been, SD is a paradise (at least in the Black Hills.)

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      Agree with you there completely. the Black Hills are a truly magical place.

  14. avatar Mad Max says:

    The SD regulations appear similar (not sure about NFA items) to PA.

    The big difference is the large number of anti-gun politicians in PA constantly attacking gun rights. I don’t know which part of “shall not be questioned” (from the PA Constitution) these politicians don’t understand.

    Fortunately, the legislature is controlled by pro-2A politicians and (hopefully) will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

  15. avatar Jwestham2 says:

    Actually just visited for the first time 2 weeks ago. Based in Colorado so the family and I decided to take a 4 day up there.

    Pretty state, great gun laws. Would move there in a heart beat. Only place I like more than SD is Wyoming.

  16. avatar Old Grey Guy says:

    We lived in Aberdeen 1971-73. Summers were 112 degrees that were made up for by being -30 degrees in the winter. Hunting/Fishing great. In those days CCW permit was $0.50 a year. put your quarters in a box on the counter in the S.O. while the clerk stamped your permit. Friendly people. If my children and grandchildren were not nearby would move back. No income tax but has Personal property tax back then. Lady would come to your house and tax your washing machine and living room couch.

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