The signing of a permitless concealed carry law, on Jan. 31, has some citizens questioning where guns will be allowed and where they won’t on July, 1 when the law goes into effect.
As it turns out, there aren’t too many places where guns are legally banned. Basically, firearms - whether carried openly or concealed - are not allowed in public schools, bars or restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages and courthouses.
Even then, there are exceptions. For example, on-duty law enforcement officers are exempted from the restrictions. The owner of the bar or restaurant also is allowed to carry firearm in their establishment.
Codified Law 23-7-8.1 says that the holder of a permit (permits no longer required after July 1, 2019) may carry a concealed pistol anywhere in South Dakota. This law’s exception is liquor stores. More specifically to “any licensed on-sale malt beverage or alcoholic beverage establishment that derives over one-half of its total income from the sale of malt or alcoholic beverages.”
Tim Bormann, chief of staff for South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg said, though someone can not be armed while in a liquor store, the law does not stop an armed customer from being in a grocery store to purchase a six-pack of beer.
Codified Law 13-32-7 says that it is a misdemeanor to have a firearm on public elementary or secondary school premises. Exceptions apply to school guards. This law does not include athletic event starting guns, supervised firearm training, or unloaded weapons at color guard ceremonies. The law applies only to public schools, not private schools.
Codified Law 22-14-22 says a courthouse includes the state capitol or any building occupied for the public sessions of a circuit court.
A ‘No guns allowed’ sign doesn’t actually mean guns are legally banned from a business either.
“A No Guns sign really doesn’t have any force of law,” Bormann said. “As a property owner, you can ask anyone carrying a firearm to leave. After that, it can become a civil issue of trespassing. South Dakota does not have laws designating private property as gun free zones. If the owner of private property wishes a person carrying a firearm to leave, they must specifically tell that person to leave their property. Carrying a gun is only the impetus; it then turns into an individual-to-individual case of trespass.”
Still, Borman said, it’s a good idea to from someone who wishes to carry a gun, whether it’s concealed or not, to have some common courtesy.