FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Mississippi Gun Laws

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Introduction

Mississippi is located in the Southern United States. Alabama borders Mississippi to the east, with Tennessee bordering on the north. Louisiana borders to the south, and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Mississippi is made up heavily of trees and forests.  Open carry is legal in Mississippi even without a valid license to carry.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Mississippi Constitution states:

“The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.”

[http://gunla.ws/ms1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Mississippi preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“[s]ubject to the provisions of Section 45-9-53, no county or municipality may adopt any ordinance that restricts the possession, carrying, transportation, sale, transfer or ownership of firearms or ammunition or their components.”

Counties and Municipalities may adopt some regulations governing the discharge of firearms, or the carrying of firearms in local parks and government buildings. [http://gunla.ws/ms2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Mississippi will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Mississippi’s license:

“Mississippi recognizes valid, unrevoked and unexpired license to carry stun guns, concealed pistols, or revolvers issued in other states. Also, the Department of Public Safety is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states if those states require a written agreement for reciprocity. Mississippi has written reciprocity agreements with the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.”

Mississippi Law § 97-37-1 (2) states:

“It shall not be a violation of this section for any person over the age of eighteen (18) to carry a firearm or deadly weapon concealed in whole or in part within the confines of his own home or his place of business, or any real property associated with his home or business or within any motor vehicle.

If You will be traveling on the Natchez Trace Federal Parkway, please contact them directly at (662)842-1572 for their rules & regulation on transporting Your firearm.”

Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the current official list maintained by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur.

[http://gunla.ws/ms3]

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D. NFA Items

Mississippi permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal.

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E. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Mississippi permits anyone who may legally possess a firearm to carry it in a motor vehicle without a permit, openly or concealed. [http://gunla.ws/ms4]

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F. Self-defense Laws

Mississippi has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat from any place You have a legal right to be.  You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the commission of any felony against You, upon or in any dwelling, in any occupied vehicle, in any place of business.

[http://gunla.ws/ms5]

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G. Constitutional Carry

As of 4/15/16, Mississippi permits anyone who is at least 21 years old and not prohibited from owning firearms to carry a handgun without a permit, openly or concealed.

[http://gunla.ws/ms6]

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H. Criminal Provisions

Mississippi citizens are eligible for an enhanced permit, which requires different criteria to be met to obtain the license.  These permit holders can carry firearms in specialized locations.  [http://gunla.ws/qs3v] Under Mississippi law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances, whether it is issued by Mississippi, or a person is carrying pursuant to a reciprocity agreement between his or her state of license and Mississippi:

  • Possessing or carrying a firearm of any kind on educational property
  • Exhibiting a firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner in the presence of three or more persons, which is not in necessary self-defense
  • A police, sheriff or highway patrol station
  • A detention facility, prison or jail
  • A courthouse or courtroom
  • A polling place
  • Any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity
  • A school, including:
    • Elementary or secondary school facilities
    • A junior college, community college, college or university facility
    • A school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms
  • An establishment dispensing alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • Inside the passenger terminal of any airport (unless it is encased for shipment, and checking as baggage)
  • A church or other place of worship
  • Where carrying is prohibited by federal law
  • Any place where notice is posted prohibiting firearms

[http://gunla.ws/msfp]

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/ms7]

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I. Duty to Inform Officer

No. The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification, at all times in which the licensee is carrying a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a LEO. [http://gunla.ws/1rw8]

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J. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

Yes, for both non-enhanced permit holders and enhanced permit holders. If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass. [http://gunla.ws/vvcf]

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K. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. Mississippi has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then You are prohibited from carrying a firearm into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

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L. Open Carry

You can open carry in Mississippi without any type of permit/license. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above would apply to those who open carry. Remember that if You enter any property and the owner/responsible person asks You to leave, You must leave. Failure to leave can result in trespass charges. The minimum age for open carry is 18. [http://gunla.ws/mtfz]

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More