In Mississippi, adults may purchase and openly carry firearms without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body, unless you are on your own property, or at your place of business. (Miss. Ann. Code § 45-9-101.)
For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Mississippi.
How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit in Mississippi
To obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must apply at the police or sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:
- be at least 21 years old
- be a Mississippi resident for at least 12 months (this requirement is waived if you have a valid permit from another state, you are an active military member stationed in Mississippi, or are a retired law enforcement officer establishing residency in Mississippi), and
- desire a legal means to defend yourself.
Additionally you must NOT:
- be a convicted felon
- be a fugitive from justice
- suffer from any physical infirmity that prevents safe handling of a firearm
- suffer from drug addiction, or have been committed for treatment of these conditions within the past three years
- chronically use alcohol to the extent that your normal facilities are impaired, have been committed to a treatment facility for alcohol abuse, or convicted of two or more offenses related to alcohol in the last three years
- have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, or restored to capacity by court order within the last five years
- have been committed to a mental health institution or treatment facility within the past five years, or
- be prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law.
(Miss. Ann. Code § 45-9-101.)
Does Mississippi Recognize Concealed Handgun Permits From Other States?
Yes. Mississippi recognizes valid concealed handgun permits from other states that recognize Mississippi permits. If you have a license from a reciprocal state, and you are not a Mississippi resident, your license is valid in Mississippi. If you are a Mississippi resident (or become one), you must apply for a Mississippi permit.
A current list of reciprocal states is available at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety’s website.
Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License
Penalties for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit in Mississippi include a fine of at least $100 (and up to $500), up to six months in jail, or both. A second conviction can incur at least 30 days (and up to six months) in jail, or both; and a third or subsequent offense incurs at least one year (and up to five years) in prison. (Miss. Ann. Code § 97-37-1.)
Getting Legal Help
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Mississippi, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.