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 See our Preemption of Local Laws policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

Preemption Statutes

South Dakota has enacted three preemption statutes. One is applicable to counties (S.D. Codified Laws § 7-18A-36), one to municipalities (section 9-19-20), and one to townships (section 8-5-13). These statutes are otherwise identical, prohibiting all such local governments from passing “an ordinance that restricts or prohibits, or imposes any tax, licensure requirement, or licensure fee on the possession, storage, transportation, purchase, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture, or repair of firearms or ammunition or their components.” Each statute also declares that any ordinance prohibited by the statute is null and void. Further, South Dakota requires the attorney general to bring a cease and desist order against any locality in violation of the law, and if the locality fails to comply, “bring an action in the name of the state for injunctive relief against any municipality that has passed an ordinance in violation of this section. A court shall grant any person charged with a violation of an ordinance prohibited under this section reasonable costs, expenses, and attorney’s fees.”

Each preemption statute specifies that the law “does not apply to any generally applicable zoning ordinance, building regulation, or fire code so long as the ordinance, regulation, or code is not used to circumvent the prohibition under this section.”

In 2020, South Dakota enacted a law, effective between March 3, 2020 and July 1, 2021 that prohibits a state agency, political subdivision, or any elected or appointed official or employee from prohibiting, regulating, or curtailing the otherwise lawful possession, carrying, sale, transportation, transfer, defensive use, or other lawful use of firearms, ammunition, components and accessories, and ammunition reloading supplies in response to disaster, war, acts of terrorism, or emergencies of whatever kind or nature.

Under the temporary law, among other things, state and local officials are prohibited from suspending or revoking a permit to carry a concealed handgun, refusing to accept an application for a permit to carry, closing or limiting the operating hours of a gun dealer or shooting range.1

Interpretation

As of the date this page was last updated, Giffords Law center is not aware of any cases interpreting these statutes.

Immunity

For state laws prohibiting local units of government (i.e., cities and counties) from filing certain types of lawsuits against the gun industry, see our page on Immunity Statutes in South Dakota.

  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 34-48A-5.1.[]