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South Dakota knife laws

South Dakota knife laws
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In South Dakota, the knife laws are relatively permissive, allowing residents and visitors to own and carry most types of knives. However, despite its lenient stance, there are still certain restrictions and provisions that govern the possession, carrying, and use of knives in the state. This guide will provide an in-depth look at the various aspects of knife laws in South Dakota, including information on legal and illegal knives, carrying laws, restricted locations, exceptions for law enforcement or military personnel, and the potential consequences of law violations.

Types of Knives

Legal Knives

In South Dakota, most types of knives are legal to own and possess. This includes but is not limited to:

Illegal Knives

There are no specific types of knives that are outright banned or considered illegal to own in South Dakota.

Carrying Laws

Open Carry

Open carry of knives is generally permitted in South Dakota. Individuals are allowed to openly carry most types of knives, irrespective of the blade length or type, without any specific prohibitions.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry laws are similarly permissive in South Dakota. There are no explicit statutes that prohibit the concealed carry of any specific type of knife. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and common sense when carrying a knife concealed, to avoid any potential legal complications.

Restricted Locations

While South Dakota has permissive laws regarding knife ownership and carrying, there are restricted locations where carrying knives are prohibited. These places generally include:

  1. Schools and school premises
  2. Government buildings
  3. Courthouses
  4. Airports (past the security checkpoints)
  5. Any private property where weapons are explicitly prohibited

Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions

Law enforcement officers and active-duty military personnel may be granted exceptions to certain restrictions regarding knife possession and carry. These individuals are often permitted to carry weapons, including knives, in places where civilians might be restricted, and may also be allowed to carry types or lengths of knives that are restricted to the general populace, provided they are carrying them in line with their official duties.

Consequences of Law Violation

Violation of knife laws in South Dakota, such as carrying a knife in a restricted location, can result in a range of consequences. Depending upon the severity of the violation, individuals might face fines, misdemeanor or felony charges, and potential incarceration. It’s important to note that local ordinances might impose additional restrictions and penalties.


In summary, South Dakota has relatively lenient knife laws, with no specific restrictions on the types of knives that can be owned or carried, either openly or concealed. However, there are still certain locations where carrying knives are prohibited. Additionally, law enforcement and military personnel may be subject to different rules and exceptions. Individuals should always exercise caution and be aware of the potential legal ramifications of carrying a knife in certain settings or manners.


South Dakota Codified Laws

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