Concealed Carry Permits In Mississippi Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are just a few states – like Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska – which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in Mississippi.
Do you know the laws where you live in Mississippi, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in Mississippi you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm. Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are three types of Concealed Carry in States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in Mississippi may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
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The State Constitutional Provision of Mississippi 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.”
On July 1, a new law giving Mississippi residents the right to openly carry firearms without the need of a gun permit went into effect. During a two-hour block of instruction and education on the Open Carry Law, area law enforcement officers were given guidance on how the new law will impact their jobs and how to deal with citizens walking around with firearms at their side. "This new law will result in quite a few calls from the general public as they notice more guns being carried out in the open," said Ward Calhoun, chief deputy of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department. "But for the purpose of this session, it is all about the effect the law will have on us as law enforcement personnel."
The State of Mississippi currently has two types of Concealed Carry Permits (CCP). The first concealed carry permit is actually called a Firearms Permit. A Mississippi Firearms Permit is relatively easy to obtain and requires no formal firearms training. However, there are some limitations on where you can and cannot carry your firearm with this permit. The second permit type is called an Enhanced Carry Permit. To get the Enhanced Carry Permit a resident must attend a formal firearms training course from an instructor certified by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The Enhanced Carry Permit greatly reduces the limitations on where you are legally able to carry your firearm.
The new Mississippi law that went into effect in June, 2013 has sparked controversy between gun rights and gun control groups. The new law clarifies the state’s current gun laws to define concealed carry as a weapon being carried in a sheath that is not fully or partially visible.
Mississippi is historically a pro-gun state. Gun rights are even written into the state’s constitution, but the wording also specifies that the state can place restrictions on concealed and open carry.
As with most conservative states there is an upwelling of resentment against the federal government for trying to force their anti-gun agendas upon the states and their citizens, and Mississippi’s recent new pro-gun legislations is an overt statement in support of the second amendment.
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The Mississippi Department of Public Safety shall issue a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver to a qualified applicant within 45 days. The license is valid for five years. Concealed carry is not allowed in a school, courthouse, police station, detention facility, government meeting place, polling place, establishment primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages, athletic event, parade or demonstration for which a permit is required, passenger terminal of an airport, "place of nuisance" as defined in Mississippi Code section 95–3–1, or a location where a sign is posted and clearly visible from at least ten feet away saying that the "carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited"
Mississippi state law now allows firearms to be openly carried without a permit. House Bill 2, passed in 2013, was celebrated by supporters as an important step to protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. It essentially permits those who are not convicted felons to have on their person firearms that are visible.
In an opinion issued June 13, 2013; Attorney General Jim Hood clarified some of the law’s details, in response to concerns from law enforcement about open carry being allowed in jails and courthouses. Hood said in his opinion that would be left up to individual county sheriffs, most of whom have already said they will not allow firearms unless they’re carried by law enforcement.
As many American began to feel the heat of President Obama's gun control legislation, the Mississippi legislature took steps to further expand gun rights in Mississippi. House Bill 2, which went into effect on July 1, 2013, expanded the current weapons statute, Mississippi Code Ann. 97-37-1, to allow citizens to openly carry firearms in public without requiring a concealed carry permit. In light of Mississippi's existing "Guns in Trunks" law and the recent expansion of state issued concealed carry permits, House Bill 2 is yet another pro-gun rights victory for all Mississippi residents.
Mississippi is one of many states that are taking a stand for second amendment rights in direct response to the Obama administrations attempts to strip our rights away and in trying to force their liberal agenda upon the states.
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