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South Dakota Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply on Native American Reservations?

By Chris Schumerth   |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that each Native American tribe in South Dakota — like other parts of the United States as a whole — approaches gun control and laws about guns somewhat uniquely.

Native American reservations make up a significant part, although not a majority, of South Dakota’s 77,000-plus square miles.

According to the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations, there are nine tribes within the state.

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Pine Ridge Reservation, by far the largest of the reservations, is governed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Its land area consists of almost 3,500 square miles, or 2.24 million acres, in the south central part of the state. About 38,000 people live there, according to a 2010 report.

So in a state that is known for lax gun laws, how do the various tribes that possess land reservations in South Dakota approach guns and gun control?

According to Handgunlaw.us, these laws exist within the following reservations:
  • For the Oglala Sioux Tribe, gun control laws on their land tend to be comparable to the rest of the state: one can seek a permit for carrying a concealed weapon, but doing it without that permit is punishable by service or fine. More extreme kinds of firearms are not legal at all, though the tribe explicitly makes exceptions for antique and collector guns,
  • The Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe hardly addresses guns at all in their policies other than to say that carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit is a crime.
  • The Yankton Sioux Tribe is similar, except it states clearly that if one is intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or other kinds of medicine while concealing a firearm without a permit, the offense gets upgraded from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.
  • The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, however, seems stricter. This tribe not only outlaws concealed firearms, but also bludgeons, blackjacks, metal knuckles, or any knife with a blade over six inches long. Carrying a loaded gun in one’s car is also illegal.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Native American reservations make up a significant part, although not a majority, of South Dakota’s 77,000-plus square miles. So in a state that is known for less restrictive gun laws, how do the various tribes that possess land reservations in South Dakota approach guns and gun control?
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2015-31-23
 

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