Gun laws in Mississippi

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Location of Mississippi in the United States

Gun laws in Mississippi regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Mississippi in the United States.

Summary table[edit]

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes, if carried on your person. Code Sections 95-3-1, 45-9-101, 97-37-7, House Bill 506 of the 2011 Mississippi Legislature As of July 1, 2015 the concealed carry law was amended to say "no license shall be required under this section for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case."[1] aka "off-body carry".


On April 15, 2016, Mississippi passed HB 786[2]. Some initially said this was Mississippi's adoption of constitutional carry. HB 786 section 3 subsection 24 says "No license shall be required under this section for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster or carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.". This is the subsection commonly cited as allowing constitutional or "permitless carry", that is, allowing the concealed carry of a firearm on one's person without a permit or license. In fact, HB 786 section 3 subsection 24 does not include the word "concealed". While some argue that "sheath" implies the concealing of the firearm without a permit, it is not recommended to due so without a permit as the law does not explicitly state that it is legal to do so.


Licenses are available on a shall-issue basis, issued within 60 days. The license is valid for five years. An enhanced firearms permit removes several restrictions from a standard firearms permit: It removes all location restrictions except police / sheriff stations, jails / detention centers, and places of nuisance as defined in Mississippi Code section 95–3–1. An enhanced permit also allows permit holders to concealed carry in a location where a sign is posted and clearly visible from at least ten feet away saying that the "carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited". (If the firearm is visible, you can still face trespassing charges should you refuse to leave when asked to do so by the property owner / manager.) Enhanced carry requires the completion of a state recognized firearms course, lasting at least eight hours and consisting of a written test, shooting qualification, and a minimum 1 hour discussion of Mississippi firearms law as it pertains to concealed carry and self defense.Those who complete the course will receive a certificate, which they can give to their local Department of Public Safety office that issues firearms permits. Those who do so will have "Instructor Certified" printed on their firearms permit, indicating that they have been certified by a state recognized firearms instructor. See a list of current Mississippi Enhanced Carry instructors [2]


Under a non-enhanced permit, concealed carry is not allowed in a regular public 1–12 school, courthouse, police station, detention facility, government meeting place, polling place, establishment primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages, athletic event, parade or demonstration for which a permit is required, passenger terminal of an airport, "place of nuisance" as defined in Mississippi Code section 95–3–1, or a location where a sign is posted and clearly visible from at least ten feet away saying that the "carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited". With an enhanced carry permit per Mississippi Code section 97-37-7(2) as amended by House Bill 506 of the 2011 Regular Session,[3] the prohibited locations to carry concealed are as follows: any police, sheriff or state highway patrol station; any detention facility, prison or jail; courtrooms during a judicial proceeding; any "place of nuisance"; and (not listed in the Mississippi statutes, but still relevant) any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. A license to carry a pistol or revolver is not required for open carry. A license is not required for transporting a concealed or visible firearm in a vehicle.

In June 2018, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that judges may not prohibit enhanced concealed carry license holders from carrying in and around courthouses as long as they do not enter a courtroom.[4][5][6] On March 14, 2019, a new law was passed to clarify the issue by defining "courthouse" and "courtroom".[7]

Permit required for open carry? No No House Bill 2 of the 2013 Mississippi Legislature The "HB2" Unlicensed Open Carry Law went into effect July 1, 2013. An injunction, declaring the definition of "concealed handgun" unconstitutionally vague, was initially put in place by a Circuit Court Judge in Jackson, MS. The injunction was vacated August 29th, 2013 by the Mississippi Supreme Court.[8].


Open carry is subject to the same restrictions as concealed carry in terms of where one may legally carry a firearm. Additionally, HB 784 Section 3, subsection 24 also states that those open carrying must have the firearm secured in "a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster". This means that carrying a firearm unsecured in ones pocket, waistband, etc. is not legal.

State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes No county or municipality may adopt any ordinance that restricts or requires the possession, transportation, sale, transfer or ownership of firearms or ammunition or their components. However, local governments may regulate the discharge of firearms, the carrying of firearms at a public park or public meeting, or the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots and natural disasters.
NFA weapons restricted? No No Permitted as long such possession is in compliance with all federal regulations
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Concealed and open carry[edit]

Mississippi[9][10] is a "shall issue" state for concealed carry. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety shall issue a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver to a qualified applicant within 45 days. The license is valid for five years. Mississippi also recognizes all out-of-state carry permits as well. Concealed carry is not allowed in a school, courthouse, police station, detention facility, government meeting place, polling place, establishment primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages, athletic event, parade or demonstration for which a permit is required, passenger terminal of an airport, "place of nuisance" as defined in Mississippi Code section 95–3–1,[11] or a location where a sign is posted and clearly visible from at least ten feet away saying that the "carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited". A license to carry a pistol or revolver is not required for open carry beginning July 1, 2013 (see above). A license is not required for transporting a concealed or visible firearm in a vehicle.[12][13][14][15] As of April 15, 2016, a license is not required to carry concealed in certain manners (see above), effectively legalizing constitutional carry. Additionally, churches are now covered under the Castle Doctrine and state/local law enforcement are barred from enforcing federal regulations/executive orders not approved by Congress that violate the U.S. Constitution or Mississippi Constitution.[2]

State preemption[edit]

Mississippi has state preemption of many but not all firearm laws. No county or municipality may adopt any ordinance that restricts or requires the possession, transportation, sale, transfer or ownership of firearms or ammunition or their components. However, local governments may regulate the discharge of firearms, the carrying of firearms at a public park or public meeting, or the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots and natural disasters.[16] Some counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.[17]

Lawsuits[edit]

Lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, or dealers for damages resulting from the lawful design, manufacture, distribution or sale of firearms are reserved to the state. However, local governments may bring suit for breach of contract or warranty or for defects in materials or workmanship.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Senate Bill 2394 (As Sent to Governor)", Mississippi Legislature, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Mississippi HB 786".
  3. ^ "House Bill 506" (PDF). Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  4. ^ NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | Mississippi Supreme Court Rules That Enhanced Carry Permit Holders Can Carry in Courthouses". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  5. ^ "Ward v. Colom" (PDF).
  6. ^ "State of Mississippi Judiciary". courts.ms.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  7. ^ NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | Mississippi: Pro-Gun Bill Signed by Governor". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  8. ^ Mississippi Supreme Court decision: Mississippi v. Smith Archived 2013-09-03 at the Wayback Machine, State of Mississippi Judiciary. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "Firearms Laws for Mississippi on nraila.org" (PDF). Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Mississippi State Law Summary on". Lcav.org. October 24, 2011. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Mississippi Code section 95–3–1: Definitions of terms "person," "place" and "nuisance"". Mscode.com. March 14, 1973. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "Mississippi Department of Public Safety – Highway Patrol – Firearm Permits FAQ". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "Mississippi Concealed Carry CCW Laws and Information on handgunlaw.us" (PDF). May 31, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "Mississippi Concealed Carry Permit Information on". Usacarry.com. March 9, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "Mississippi Department of Public Safety - Firearms Permit Unit". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms – Mississippi" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-12-16. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  17. ^ Editor, BOB BAKKEN Managing. "DeSoto County declares a Second Amendment 'Safe Haven'". DeSoto Times-Tribune. Retrieved 2020-01-28.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Mississippi Code section 11–1–67: Authority to sue traders in firearms reserved to state". Mscode.com. January 1, 2003. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2011.