South Dakota prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a machine gun, except any person who:

  • Is a law enforcement officer or member of the armed forces of the U.S. or South Dakota National Guard acting in the lawful discharge of duties;
  • Possesses the gun briefly after having found it or taken it from an offender; or
  • Has a valid state or federal license issued pursuant to law for the machine gun or has registered the gun with the proper state or federal authority pursuant to law.1

Note, however, that federal law generally allows private citizens to register machine guns so long as the machine guns were manufactured prior to May 19, 1986.

See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 22-14-6. “Controlled weapon” includes any machine gun. S.D. Codified Laws § 22-1-2(8). “Machine gun” means “any firearm, whatever its size and usual designation, that automatically discharges two or more cartridges by a single function of the firing device.” S.D. Codified Laws § 22-1-2(23). ⤴︎