Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Concealed Carry in Mississippi.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 26 October
Concealed Weapons Permitting in Mississippi
Mississippi is a "shall issue" state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. A license to carry concealed handguns must be issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), if the applicant:
- Has been a resident of the state for at least 12 months (this requirement may be waived if the applicant possesses a valid permit from another state, is on active military duty and stationed in the state, or is a retired law enforcement officer residing in the state);
- Is 21 years of age or older;
- Does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a pistol or revolver;
- Has not been convicted of a felony in a court of any state or of the United States without having been pardoned;
- Does not chronically or habitually use alcoholic beverages or abuse controlled substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired;
- Desires a legal means to carry a concealed handgun to defend himself or herself;
- Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent, or has waited five years from the date of his or her restoration of mental capacity by court order;
- Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility, unless he or she possesses a certificate from a psychiatrist licensed in Mississippi stating that he or she has not suffered from disability for a period of five years;
- Has not had adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any felony unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled;
- Is not a fugitive from justice; and
- Is not disqualified from possessing or owning a weapon under federal law.
However, DPS may deny a license if the applicant has been found guilty of one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor unless three years have elapsed since any conditions set by the court have been fulfilled.
The fee for processing the background check is $100. Costs of processing the fingerprints must also be borne by the applicant.
Except as permitted under state law, Mississippi penalizes the concealed carrying of any "pistol, revolver, or any rifle with a barrel of less than sixteen (16) inches in length, or any shotgun with a barrel of less than eighteen (18) inches in length, machine gun or any fully automatic firearm or deadly weapon, or any muffler or silencer for any firearm, whether or not it is accompanied by a firearm… ." Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is not a violation of state law for any person over the age of 18 to carry a concealed firearm:
- Within the confines of his or her own home, place of business, on real property associated with the home or business or within any motor vehicle; or
- If the possessor of the weapon is then engaged in a legitimate weapon-related sports activity or is going to or returning from such activity. For purposes of this subsection, "legitimate weapon-related sports activity" means hunting, fishing, target shooting or any other legal sports activity which normally involves the use of a firearm or other weapon.
Firearm Safety Training
Mississippi does not require firearm safety training as a prerequisite to possessing, purchasing or carrying a firearm.
However, in Mississippi a concealed weapons licensee may carry his or her concealed weapon in locations in which concealed weapons are generally prohibited if he or she completes a firearms safety training course taught by a certified, nationally-recognized organization that normally offers such courses, or by any other organization approved by the DPS.
Duration & Renewal
Mississippi licenses to carry concealed handguns are valid for five years.
Ninety days prior to the expiration date of a license, DPS shall mail to a licensee a written notice of the upcoming expiration and a renewal form. The licensee must renew his or her license on or before the expiration date by filing a renewal form, a notarized affidavit stating that the licensee remains qualified to carry a concealed weapon under state law, a full set of fingerprints, a $50 renewal fee, plus costs of processing the fingerprints. If a licensee fails to file a renewal application on or before the license's expiration date, he or she must renew the license by paying an additional $15 late fee.
A license will be deemed "permanently expired" if it is not renewed six months after its expiration date.14 A person whose license has permanently expired may reapply for licensure, but is required by state law to complete a new application and submit to a new background investigation.
Disclosure or Use of Information
DPS maintains an automated listing of license holders that is available on-line, upon request, at all times, to all law enforcement agencies through the Mississippi Crime Information Center. Records relating to applications for licenses or license holders, however, are exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 for a period of 45 days from the date of the issuance of the license or the final denial of an application.
If a person holds a valid license to carry a concealed handgun issued in another state, that license will be recognized as valid in Mississippi, provided the issuing state authorizes Mississippi license holders to carry concealed handguns in that state and has communicated that fact to DPS.
Under federal law, persons who have been issued state permits to purchase or possess firearms are exempt from background checks if those permits were issued:
1) within the previous five years in the state in which the transfer is to take place; and
2) after an authorized government official has conducted a background investigation, including a search of the NICS database, to verify that possession of a firearm would not be unlawful.
Holders of concealed handgun licenses in Mississippi are exempt from background checks when purchasing a firearm according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) chart that outlines those permits that qualify as alternatives to the federal Brady Act. Please note that ATF's exempt status determination is subject to change without notice…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]