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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In 2019, the state repealed its requirement that individuals obtain a license and background check to carry loaded, concealed firearms in public.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 2021, South Dakota had the 18th lowest gun death rate among the states. South Dakota also exports more crime guns to other states than it imports.

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



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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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.