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South Dakota lacks many fundamental gun safety protections and in fact has weakened its gun laws in recent years, putting its residents at grave risk.

In 2019, the state repealed its requirement that individuals obtain a license and background check to carry loaded, concealed firearms in public. In 2020, South Dakota had the 19th-lowest gun death rate among the states and the 27th-highest gun export rate. Basic steps South Dakota could take to save lives from gun violence include requiring a background check and waiting period before all firearm sales, enacting an extreme risk protection law, and strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence.

What South Dakota Does Well

  • Mental health record reporting

What South Dakota Is Missing

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Most domestic violence gun laws
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Waiting periods
  • Concealed carry permit
  • Open carry regulations
  • Child access prevention laws
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SPOTLIGHT

GUN LAW SCORECARD

The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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