Mississippi Concealed Carry Is Part Permitless, Part Not
At present, Mississippi concealed carry is something of a hybrid, involving a certain amount of permitless carry with restrictions. Residents can conceal without a license, but may be better off doing so as the permit allows one to carry in more locations.
The Magnolia State could be marching toward constitutional carry, but isn't quite there yet.
Mississippi Constitutional Carry - No Permit Needed Except...
As of April 2016, there is a limited Mississippi constitutional carry law in effect, as all but a few restrictions have been lifted regarding carrying without a permit. However, the restrictions are such that a resident may want to consider the permit in any case.
No permit is required to carry a loaded firearm concealed in a purse, satchel, briefcase or other similar type of container, nor is it required to do so in a concealed carry holster on the waistband, ankle or in a shoulder holster.
The same exemption from needing a permit is extended to those who wish to open carry, so no permit needed if one wishes to carry in plain sight.
Mississippi law prevents carrying in some locations without a permit, and at that, an enhanced permit. Some are not really an inconvenience to most people, so it's not like there's any loss...but some are.
Such locations include:
- Jails, prisons or other state detention facilities
- State courthouses (unless you're a judge)
- Courtrooms (unless you're a judge)
- State police stations
- Polling places
- Establishments that serve alcoholic beverages including bars, taverns or restaurants with liquor licenses
- Colleges and universities
- Passenger terminals of airports - before the security checkpoint
- Places of government meetings
- Primary or secondary schools
- Athletic events
Naturally, any locations where concealed carry is prohibited by federal law are still off-limits. Also, any private homes or establishments that posts a sign saying guns aren't allowed are off-limits to permitless carriers.
Concealed Carry Mississippi Permits - Regular and Enhanced Option
If one wants to concealed carry, Mississippi does issue permits and both regular and enhanced permits are available should one desire an enhanced permit. However, the enhanced license - unlike in other states such as the enhanced Idaho concealed carry license - isn't a separate license, but rather an add-on endorsement.
As a result, a Mississippi enhanced license endorsement is actually permanent, though the Mississippi permit has to be renewed every five years.
Having the enhanced license nets one access while armed to the above named locations, as well as allows for legal pocket carry, if one absolutely had to pocket carry.
Mississippi doesn't offer non-resident permits, except to active-duty military personnel stationed in Mississippi, but does recognize any valid permit issued by any other state, whether a reciprocity agreement exists by law or not.
To Get The Mississippi Concealed Carry Permit Or Not?
Generally, it's worth it for residents of the state to get the Mississippi concealed carry permit. Fees are very reasonable - $112 all-in, including the permit fee, background check and fingerprinting fees - and the standard permit only requires a background check and fingerprinting. However, a standard permit does not grant one access to places forbidden to carry in by state law; the enhanced license endorsement, however, does. Renewal fees are very reasonable as well; costing only $82 all told, which includes the renewal fee and fees for new fingerprints and the background check.
The standard license doesn't confer many benefits beyond what the constitutional carry states do, except for garnering reciprocity. Mississippi does maintain CCW reciprocity agreements with a number of states, though the state recognizes any and all valid permits issued by other U.S. states. All told, 33 states recognize Mississippi concealed carry permits.
The enhanced endorsement requires an 8-hour training course from an approved instructor or proof of completion of comparable training as a member of law enforcement or the armed forces. While this is an inconvenience to be sure, the Mississippi enhanced ccw license endorsement is valid for life, though the base license has to be renewed every five years.
Requirements for the base license are fairly standard. An applicant must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of both the United States and Mississippi, can't have been convicted of a felony or certain other violent misdemeanors, a fugitive, can't have been committed to a mental health facility, can't be a habitual user of controlled substances or have been in rehab in the past three years.
Transport of a loaded firearm, concealed or otherwise, doesn't require a license of any kind, so one can carry in their vehicle as they see fit so long as they aren't prohibited from possessing a firearm.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..