How to Sell a Gun in South Dakota

Map of South Dakota

Private firearm sales in South Dakota require knowledge of state laws and regulations. Though the state's gun laws are relatively permissive, illegal firearm trade and misuse still carry penalties. If you're considering selling a firearm, it's vital to understand the following guidelines.

Map of South Dakota
Published On:
June 14, 2023
Updated On:
March 10, 2024
minutes read

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State Laws for Private Sales

In South Dakota, any firearm transaction involving a licensed dealer mandates the completion of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473. The dealer is responsible for maintaining this form. South Dakota defaults to federal law regarding firearm sale and purchase. This means the state doesn't impose extra laws on top of those set at the federal level.

ATF's website form 4473 - Firearms Transaction Record Revisions

Legal Private Party Sales

Private firearm sales in South Dakota aren't governed by specific laws. Instead, guidance for these transactions is provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In other words, private parties can conduct sales without additional state-level requirements.

Penalties for Illegal Sales

Despite the relative flexibility, penalties exist for specific infractions. These include selling a firearm to an ineligible person, selling a defaced firearm, or selling a restricted firearm. Violations can result in criminal charges, potentially even a felony.


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Federal Laws for Firearm Sales

Under the Federal Brady Law, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check is mandatory and is performed by the firearms dealer. This check informs the dealer whether the purchaser can legally complete the firearm purchase. If a sale is disallowed without a warranted reason, the purchaser has the right to appeal for necessary clearance.

FBI's website National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

South Dakota State Firearm Ownership Restrictions

There are specific age thresholds for firearm purchases in South Dakota. Buyers must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, and 21 years old to purchase handguns.

Municipal, Township, or County Government Restrictions

In South Dakota, no municipal, township, or county government can pass an ordinance restricting the possession, transportation, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture, or repair of firearms or ammunition, or their components (SDCL § 9-19-20, § 8-5-13, and § 7-18A-36).

Federal Disqualification Categories

Certain individuals are disqualified from purchasing a firearm in South Dakota. These categories include individuals with certain criminal convictions, those with an active warrant, individuals on pre-trial release for a felony, persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, individuals with a restraining/stalking/protection order, those with mental health adjudication or commitment, individuals unlawfully using or addicted to a controlled substance, individuals with a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, persons who have renounced U.S. citizenship, and illegal aliens.

Specifics on Types of Firearms

To buy a handgun in South Dakota, one must:

  • Be 21 or older
  • Provide a state ID
  • Have a background check performed by a licensed firearms dealer
  • Note that those with a South Dakota concealed carry permit can skip the background check
  • Fill out an additional application when buying a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL), unless they have a carry permit

Remember that handgun can be bought through a private gun sale, which does not require an application or background check

Buying Long Guns

Picture of a rifle in a case, with ammo

To buy a long gun, one must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Provide ID
  • Have a background check performed by a licensed firearms dealer
  • Understand that no additional applications are needed to buy a long gun

Realize that they can avoid the background check with a CCW permit or through a private sale

Antique Firearms

Antique firearms are exempt from the laws that apply to conventional guns. To be considered an antique, a firearm must have been manufactured before 1899 or be a replica of such a gun. Importantly, it cannot be designed or redesigned to use conventional ammunition or ammunition not available through normal markets.


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Gun Laws for Minors in South Dakota

While individuals under 21 can't buy a handgun, those 18 or older can own one through private sales. Persons under 18 can use a pistol, with parental or guardian consent, under specific conditions.

Long Gun Ownership for Minors

Regulations for long gun ownership for minors align with the general regulations for buying long guns.

Carrying and Transporting Firearms in South Dakota

In South Dakota, open and concealed carry of firearms is permitted without a need for special permits. However, a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit offers benefits such as bypassing background checks when buying firearms and ensuring reciprocity when traveling.

Transporting Firearms

Without a permit, unloaded handguns must be kept in the trunk or a closed compartment of the vehicle, or in a closed container that can't be concealed on the person or in clothing. Long guns don't need to be kept in a closed compartment, but securing them is advisable for safety and compliance with laws.

South Dakota Concealed Carry (CCW) Information

A CCW permit in South Dakota offers significant benefits. Chief among these is the ability to skip background checks when purchasing firearms.

South Dakota Secretary of State website, Concealed Carry Pistol Permits

CCW Application Process

South Dakota has specific laws and application processes for obtaining a CCW permit. It's important to familiarize yourself with these before applying.

Gun Storage Recommendations in South Dakota

Ensuring the safe storage of firearms is crucial, both for safety and compliance with the law. Consider investing in a sturdy safe or gun cabinet. Smaller safes may be a good investment for handgun owners, ensuring accessibility while maintaining security.

Tips for a Successful and Legal Sale

The following are practical tips to consider for a successful and legal sale:

Cleaning and Maintenance

Before putting your firearm on the market, ensure it is in good working condition and properly cleaned. This not only enhances the appeal of your firearm but also reflects respect for the potential buyer.

Gun cleaning.

Accurate Description

When advertising your firearm for sale, provide an accurate and detailed description. This includes information about the make, model, caliber, and any accessories. Clear and honest communication can save both parties a lot of time and trouble.


Prepare a complete bill of sale. This document should detail the terms of the sale and protects both parties in case of disputes. It's advisable to include the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm, as well as the buyer's and seller's personal information.

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Completing the Sale

Ensure you follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. This includes verifying the buyer's eligibility, conducting background checks, and properly documenting the sale.


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Choosing Cash for Arms to Sell Your Firearms

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Opting for Cash for Arms is a secure and reliable method for selling your firearm. By selecting a reputable buyer, you can guarantee a smooth and legal transaction while obtaining the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Can I sell my gun in South Dakota?

Yes, you can sell a gun in South Dakota. Any person who can legally own a weapon in South Dakota may also sell the firearm. 

What are the rules to buy a gun in South Dakota?

To buy a handgun, you must be 21 or older, and for long guns, you need to be 18 or older. You must also provide a state ID and have a background check performed by a licensed firearms dealer.

What are the gun laws by state in South Dakota?

South Dakota is a permitless carry state. Anyone 18 or older who can legally possess a firearm can carry openly or concealed in South Dakota without a permit/license. Places, as listed in the “Places Off Limits” above, apply to those who open carry.

Does South Dakota require background checks for guns?

South Dakota has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer.

What is a gun tax in South Dakota?

Efforts of the exact opposite are happening across the country. Cook County, Illinois, has created a $25 tax on each firearm purchased. Seattle has a $25 tax plus a 2 or 5-cent charge on ammunition rounds. South Dakota sales tax, including local taxes, averages around 6.40%.

Can you buy a gun in South Dakota as a non-resident?

In South Dakota, non-residents are generally allowed to purchase and possess firearms, including handguns and long guns, as long as they comply with federal and state laws.



Cash for Arms adheres to all necessary protocols to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, preventing the sale of firearms to prohibited individuals.



As experienced and knowledgeable gun buyers, Cash for Arms provides the best market value for your firearm, ensuring you get the best possible price.



Cash for Arms pays all costs involved in the transaction, making it a hassle-free and cost-effective option for selling your gun.



We pay within 24 hours of receiving your firearms.



Safe and Secure Transaction: Multiple Selling Options: Cash for Arms offers multiple selling options to suit your needs, including selling outright or cash consignment.



By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.


Selling a firearm in South Dakota involves understanding and complying with various state and federal laws. By adhering to these guidelines, sellers can ensure a legal and safe transaction.


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We value your interest in our services. Due to regulatory requirements, we can only accept contact information from individuals 21 years of age or older. However, individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to sell firearms through our platform. If you are between 18 to 21 years old, please exit this pop-up and refrain from providing your phone number. Those under 18 should leave the website. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to these guidelines.

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