Pepper Spray Laws – South Dakota

I am happy to report that South Dakota is yet another exemplary state in our tour of pepper spray laws. South Dakota institutes no law restricting what formula of spray a citizen may carry or what quantity.

Flag of South Dakota

Furthermore, there is no law explicitly on the books that bars people under the age of 18 from possessing spray or even people who have been convicted of a felony.

This makes South Dakota among the very friendliest States for pepper spray ownership.

There’s always a little more to learn however, so keep reading to get the rest of the details, and be sure to check out the most pertinent State statutes that we have included at the end for your convenience.

Fast Facts

  • South Dakota does not restrict any specific formula of defensive spray from civilian ownership. OC pepper sprays, as well as CN or CS tear gas formulations, are both permitted. Blends of any common ingredient are also allowed.
  • Citizens are allowed to carry any quantity of pepper spray that they choose in South Dakota. There is no restriction on total capacity or quantity in possession.
  • South Dakota does not have any statute on the books that restricts those less than 18 years old from possessing defensive spray.


It is always a good day when a state is unapologetically on the side of citizens’ rights, and it certainly appears that South Dakota is one such state, at least as it pertains to civilian possession and use of defensive sprays.

South Dakota institutes no restrictions on what formula of spray that a citizen may carry. Citizens are allowed to carry traditional pepper sprays in the form of OC or tear gas, either CN or CS.

If it pleases you, you may even carry a product that blends two or more of these typical formulations and even combines them with other additions like visible or invisible marking dies for identifying an assailant.

But the good news doesn’t stop there. Unlike some other states that are otherwise spray-friendly, South Dakota does not restrict how much solution you are allowed to have in your possession, either in total or in the capacity of any given dispenser.

You may carry the smallest personal protection sprayer or the largest anti-riot canister with absolutely no problems in the state.

Of interest to some, it would appear based on strict interpretations of the law that even convicted felons may be in possession of defensive spray, whereas they may not otherwise possess any genuine weapon.

This is certainly a good thing for people who are reformed from their life of crime and may still have need of an option to protect themselves.

Lastly, based on the total omission of any such language in the statutes, it does appear that South Dakota even allows people under the age of 18 years old to possess pepper spray or other defensive sprays.

This is definitely great news for parents and students because defensive sprays are one of the very best personal protection options available, as they may go virtually anywhere, are easy to procure, and affordable along with being highly effective in many situations.


South Dakota gets extremely high marks from us regarding their position on defensive sprays in the hands of civilians.

South Dakota places no restrictions on formulation, so long as it does not cause any lasting harm, and also places no restrictions on the amount or capacity of solution that a citizen may carry.

People under the age of 18 may legally possess defensive sprays, and so may felons, a somewhat surprising revelation. You can hardly do better than South Dakota when it comes to civilian defensive spray laws.

Relevant State Statutes

22-1-2 Definition of terms.

Terms used in this title mean:

(1) If applied to the intent with which an act is done or omitted:

(a) The words, “malice, maliciously,” and all derivatives thereof import a wish to intentionally vex, annoy, or injure another person, established either by proof or presumption of law;

(b) The words, “intent, intentionally,” and all derivatives thereof, import a specific design to cause a certain result or, if the material part of a charge is the violation of a prohibition against conduct of a certain nature, regardless of what the offender intends to accomplish thereby, a specific design to engage in conduct of that nature;

(c) The words, “knowledge, knowingly,” and all derivatives thereof, import only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of any statute. A person has knowledge if that person is aware that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of any statute. Knowledge of the unlawfulness of such act or omission is not required;

(d) The words, “reckless, recklessly,” and all derivatives thereof, import a conscious and unjustifiable disregard of a substantial risk that the offender’s conduct may cause a certain result or may be of a certain nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances if that person consciously and unjustifiably disregards a substantial risk that such circumstances may exist;

(e) The words, “neglect, negligently,” and all words derived thereof, import a want of attention to the nature or probable consequences of an act or omission which a prudent person ordinarily bestows in acting in his or her own concerns;

(f) If the section defining an offense provides that negligence suffices to establish an element thereof, then recklessness, knowledge, intent, or malice also constitutes sufficient culpability for such element. If recklessness suffices to establish an element of the offense, then knowledge, intent or malice also constitutes sufficient culpability for such element. If knowledge suffices to establish an element of an offense, then intent or malice also constitutes sufficient culpability for such element. If intent suffices to establish an element of an offense, then malice also constitutes sufficient culpability for such element;


(6) “Concealed,” any firearm that is totally hidden from view. If any part of the firearm is capable of being seen, it is not concealed;


(8) “Controlled weapon” includes any firearm silencer, machine gun, or short shotgun, as those terms are defined in subdivisions (17), (23), and (46) of this section;

(9) “Crime of violence,” any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit, or a conspiracy to commit, or a solicitation to commit any of the following crimes: murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, riot, robbery, burglary in the first degree, arson, kidnapping, felony sexual contact as defined in § 22-22-7, felony child abuse as defined in § 26-10-1, or any other felony in the commission of which the perpetrator used force, or was armed with a dangerous weapon, or used any explosive or destructive device;

(10) “Dangerous weapon” or “deadly weapon,” any firearm, stun gun, knife, or device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which is calculated or designed to inflict death or serious bodily harm, or by the manner in which it is used is likely to inflict death or serious bodily harm;


(44A) “Serious bodily injury,” such injury as is grave and not trivial, and gives rise to apprehension of danger to life, health, or limb;

(45) “Short rifle,” any rifle having a barrel less than sixteen inches long, or an overall length of less than twenty-six inches;

(46) “Short shotgun,” any shotgun having a barrel less than eighteen inches long or an overall length of less than twenty-six inches;


22-14-8 Concealment of weapon with intent to commit felony–Felony.

Any person who conceals on or about his or her person a controlled or dangerous weapon with intent to commit a felony is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

22-5-9. Resistance to public offenses permitted.

Any person may lawfully resist, by force or violence, the commission of any public offense as follows:

(1) Any person, upon reasonable apprehension of threat of bodily injury, may make sufficient resistance to prevent an offense against his or her person or the person of any family or household member, or to prevent an illegal attempt by force to take or injure property in his or her lawful possession; and

(2) Any person may make sufficient resistance in aid or defense of any other person, threatened with bodily injury, to prevent such offense.

22-5-1. Conduct forced or under threat of force.

No person may be convicted of a crime based upon conduct in which that person engaged because of the use or threatened use of unlawful force upon himself, herself, or another person, which force or threatened use of force a reasonable person in that situation would have been lawfully unable to resist.

22-18-4. Justifiable use of force to protect property–Use of deadly force–Duty to retreat.

Any person is justified in the use of force or violence against another person when the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other criminal interference with real property or personal property lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal right to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only as provided in §§ 22-16-34 and 22-16-35. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

22-18-1. Simple assault–Misdemeanor–Felony for multiple convictions.

A person is guilty of simple assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor, if the person:

(1) Attempts to cause bodily injury to another and has the actual ability to cause the injury;

(2) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another;

(3) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a dangerous weapon;

(4) Attempts by physical menace or credible threat to put another in fear of imminent bodily harm, with or without the actual ability to harm the other person; or

(5) Intentionally causes bodily injury to another which does not result in serious bodily injury.

If the defendant has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty to, two or more violations of simple assault under this section, simple assault or aggravated assault under § 22-18-1.05, aggravated assault under § 22-18-1.1, assault under § 22-18-26, intentional contact with bodily fluids under § 22-18-26.1, or assault under § 22-18-29 within ten years of committing the current offense, the defendant is guilty of a Class 6 felony for any third or subsequent offense.

22-18-1.1. Aggravated assault–Felony.

Any person who:

(1) Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;

(2) Attempts to cause, or knowingly causes, bodily injury to another with a dangerous weapon;

(3) Deleted by SL 2005, ch 120, § 2;

(4) Assaults another with intent to commit bodily injury which results in serious bodily injury;

(5) Attempts by physical menace with a deadly weapon to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; or

(6) Deleted by SL 2005, ch 120, § 2;

(7) Deleted by SL 2012, ch 123, § 4;

(8) Attempts to induce a fear of death or imminent serious bodily harm by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck, or by blocking the nose and mouth;

is guilty of aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is a Class 3 felony.

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