Gun Laws You Need to Know in Mississippi

Jun 28th 2024

Gun Laws You Need to Know in Mississippi

Gun Laws You Need to Know in Mississippi

Mississippi, with its deep-rooted history of gun culture and strong advocacy for the Second Amendment, is known for having some of the most permissive gun laws in the United States. Understanding these laws is crucial for residents and visitors to comply with state regulations. This comprehensive guide will cover the essential gun laws and regulations that every gun owner should know in Mississippi, including the legal requirements for purchasing, owning, and carrying firearms.

Overview of Mississippi Gun Laws

Mississippi operates under a "shall issue" framework for concealed carry permits, meaning the state must license any applicant meeting the necessary legal criteria. The state also supports open carry, allowing individuals to carry firearms openly without a permit. However, there are specific regulations and restrictions that gun owners must follow to stay within the law.

Mississippi Gun Laws for Purchasing Firearms

Due to Mississippi's permissive gun laws, purchasing firearms is straightforward. Buyers must meet age requirements and undergo background checks when buying from licensed dealers. There are no additional state-imposed waiting periods or registration requirements, simplifying the process for residents.

Requirements for Purchasing Firearms

To purchase a firearm in Mississippi, individuals must meet specific age requirements. To buy a long gun, such as rifles and shotguns, a person must be at least 18 years old. However, to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer, the minimum age is 21.

Background Checks

Mississippi does not require background checks for private firearm sales. However, all purchases made through licensed firearms dealers are subject to a federal background check under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Waiting Period

There is no waiting period for purchasing firearms in Mississippi. Once you pass the background check, you can immediately take possession of your gun.

Firearm Registration and Licensing

Mississippi does not require the registration of firearms. Firearm owners are also not required to obtain a gun license.

Concealed Carry Gun Laws in Mississippi

Concealed carry in Mississippi is regulated, with options available for residents to carry concealed firearms legally. The state offers both standard and enhanced permits, each with specific requirements. It's important to understand the eligibility criteria and any training that may be required. Additionally, there are guidelines for where concealed firearms can and cannot be carried.

Permitless Carry

As of 2016, Mississippi allows permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry. Permitless carry means anyone legally allowed to possess a firearm may carry it concealed without a permit. However, there are some restrictions and locations where carrying a concealed firearm is prohibited.

Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit

Mississippi offers an Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit (ECP), which allows holders to carry in more locations than the standard permit. To obtain an ECP, applicants must complete a state-approved firearms training course. The ECP permits carrying in places generally off-limits to firearms, such as courthouses, schools, and polling places, although there are still some exceptions.

Requirements for Obtaining a Concealed Carry Permit

To obtain a standard concealed carry permit in Mississippi, applicants must meet several criteria. They must be at least 21 years old, although this age requirement drops to 18 for military members. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or legal residents and have resided in Mississippi for at least 12 months, although this residency requirement is waived for military members. Additionally, applicants must complete a background check and must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a completed application to the Department of Public Safety, fingerprints, and the required fee. The Department will conduct a background check and issue the permit if the applicant meets all the criteria.

Open Carry Gun Laws in Mississippi

Mississippi is an open-carry state, meaning individuals can openly carry firearms without a permit. Open-carry includes handguns and long guns. However, specific locations remain off-limits for open carry, such as schools, courthouses, and private properties where the owner prohibits firearms.

An older gentleman with a green jacket and black hat holding an automatic rifle inside of a gun store.

Mississippi’s Gun Laws for Prohibited Locations

Even with Mississippi's permissive carry laws, there are several places where carrying a firearm is prohibited. These include police, sheriff, or highway patrol stations, detention facilities, prisons, or jails, and courthouses and courtrooms. Firearms are also banned at polling places during elections, schools and school grounds (with some exceptions for authorized personnel), and premises of any establishment licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. Additionally, carrying a firearm is prohibited in places of nuisance as defined by law and on private properties where the owner has posted a sign prohibiting firearms.

Gun Laws for Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine

Mississippi upholds both the Stand Your Ground law and the Castle Doctrine. These laws provide legal protection for individuals who use force in self-defense under certain conditions.

Stand Your Ground

The Stand Your Ground law allows individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without the duty to retreat when they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. This law applies in any place where a person has a legal right to be.

Castle Doctrine

The Castle Doctrine applies to a person's home, vehicle, or place of business. It permits the use of deadly force against an intruder who unlawfully enters these premises if the person believes it necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.

Mississippi Gun Laws for Using Firearms When Hunting

Mississippi has specific regulations regarding the use of firearms for hunting. Hunters must adhere to the rules set by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, which include:

Hunting Licenses

Hunters must obtain the appropriate hunting licenses for the type of game they intend to hunt. There are different licenses for residents and non-residents and various kinds of games.

Legal Firearms for Hunting

The type of firearm permitted for hunting varies depending on the game. During deer hunting season, hunters may use rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders. However, there are restrictions on the caliber and type of ammunition.

Safety Requirements

Hunters are required to follow all safety guidelines, including wearing blaze orange during firearm deer seasons. These safety guidelines help ensure visibility and safety for all hunters in the area.

Mississippi’s Gun Laws for Transporting Firearms

When transporting firearms in a vehicle, it is essential to follow the legal guidelines to avoid any potential issues with law enforcement.

Unloaded and Secured

Guns should be unloaded and securely stored when transporting firearms in a vehicle, which typically means keeping the gun in a case or compartment that is not easily accessible from the driver's seat.

Concealed Carry Permit Holders

For those with a concealed carry permit, firearms may be loaded in the vehicle, provided they are either on the person or securely stored.

Gun Laws for Selling and Transferring Firearms in Mississippi

In Mississippi, state law does not regulate private sales and firearms transfers, meaning no background check or paperwork is required for private transactions. However, ensuring the buyer is legally eligible to own a gun is advisable to avoid potential legal issues.

Gun Laws for Firearm Storage and Child Access Prevention

While Mississippi does not have specific laws requiring the secure storage of firearms, it is strongly recommended to store firearms safely and out of the reach of children. Using gun safes, lock boxes, or trigger locks can help prevent unauthorized access and accidental shootings.

Penalties for Violating Gun Laws

Violations of gun laws in Mississippi can result in severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and the loss of the right to own firearms. Some common violations include carrying a gun in a prohibited location, unlawfully discharging a firearm, and possessing a firearm as a prohibited person.


Carrying a firearm in a prohibited place and other minor violations may result in misdemeanor charges. Penalties for misdemeanors can include fines and imprisonment for up to one year.


Using a firearm in the commission of a crime and other serious violations can result in felony charges. Penalties for felonies can include significant fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Federal Gun Laws

In addition to state laws, Mississippi gun owners must comply with federal gun laws. Federal regulations include prohibiting specific individuals from owning firearms, restricting the sale and transfer of weapons, and requiring background checks for purchases from licensed dealers.

A hunter wearing a jacket and a hat holding a rifle.

Prohibited Persons

Under federal law, certain individuals are prohibited from possessing firearms. This includes convicted felons, individuals with domestic violence misdemeanor convictions, and those under restraining orders for domestic abuse. Additionally, people adjudicated as mentally ill or committed to mental institutions, as well as unlawful users of controlled substances, are also barred from possessing firearms. These restrictions are aimed at enhancing public safety and preventing firearms from being in the hands of individuals considered high-risk under the law.

Understanding Mississippi's Permissive Gun Laws

Mississippi's gun laws are among the most permissive in the United States, reflecting the state's strong support for the Second Amendment. While the state offers considerable freedom for gun owners, it is essential to understand and comply with both state and federal regulations to ensure responsible and legal firearm ownership and use. By staying informed about Mississippi's gun laws, residents and visitors can exercise their rights safely and responsibly. Whether you are purchasing a firearm, obtaining a concealed carry permit, or simply transporting your gun, knowing the laws will help you avoid legal issues and protect your rights as a gun owner.

For more detailed information and to stay updated on Mississippi's latest gun laws and regulations, visit our Gunline Shooting blog. Our blog offers comprehensive guides, expert advice, and the latest news to help you navigate the complexities of firearm ownership and ensure you stay compliant with all legal requirements. Explore our resources and enhance your knowledge today.