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Mississippi Gun Laws

last updated: January 14, 2017

Gun laws are posted here as a courtesy only and are updated as often as possible. Please check with the actual state website for any additions / revisions to law that may have been made. Up to date information can be found at http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mscode/.

Mississippi Constitution Article III, Section 12

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.

TITLE 25 - PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; PUBLIC RECORDS

CHAPTER 61 - Public Access To Public Records

§25-61-11.1 - (2013) Exemption for private information of persons possessing a weapon permit

The name, home address, any telephone number or other private information of any person who possesses a weapon permit issued under Section 45-9-101 or Section 97-37-7 shall be exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2013, ch. 307, §1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 4, 2013.)

TITLE 33 - MILITARY AFFAIRS

CHAPTER 7 - National Guard

Article 7 - Active State Duty

§33-7-303 - (2014) Power of Governor to declare martial law
  1. The Governor, if he deems it necessary to preserve law and order, may by proclamation declare martial law to be in effect in any county or area in the state. Such proclamation shall be in writing, shall define the limits of such martial law, and specify the forces to be used, and the extent and degree to which martial law may be employed.
    1. Nothing in this section or in any other statute shall be construed to confer upon the Governor or any official or employee of any department, agency or political subdivision of the state the power to:
      1. Confiscate or seize a firearm, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition from a person who is in lawful possession of such firearm, ammunition, or components of ammunition; or
      2. Impose additional restrictions as to the lawful possession, transfer, sale, carrying, storage, display or use of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition.
    2. For the purposes of this subsection:
      1. "Ammunition" means a cartridge, shell or other device containing explosive or incendiary material designed and intended for use in a firearm.
      2. "Firearm" means any weapon which will or is designed to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1942, §8519-82; Laws, 1966, ch. 539, §53, eff from and after June 1, 1966; Laws, 2014, ch. 443, §1, eff. July 1, 2014.

CHAPTER 15 - Emergency Management And Civil Defense

Article 1 - Emergency Management Law

§33-15-11 - (2014) Emergency management powers of Governor
  1. The Governor shall have general direction and control of the activities of the Emergency Management Agency and Council and shall be responsible for the carrying out of the provisions of this article, and in the event of a man-made, technological or natural disaster or emergency beyond local control, may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the emergency management functions within this state.
  2. In performing his duties under this article, the Governor is further authorized and empowered:
    1. To make, amend and rescind the necessary orders, rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this article with due consideration of the plans of the federal government, and to enter into disaster assistance grants and agreements with the federal government under the terms as may be required by federal law.
    2. To work with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in preparing a comprehensive plan and program for the emergency management of this state, such plan and program to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans of the federal government and of other states to the fullest possible extent, and to coordinate the preparation of plans and programs for emergency management by the political subdivisions of this state, such local plans to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plan and program of this state to the fullest possible extent.
    3. In accordance with such plan and program for emergency management of this state, to ascertain the requirements of the state or the political subdivisions thereof for food or clothing or other necessities of life in the event of attack or natural or man-made or technological disasters and to plan for and procure supplies, medicines, materials and equipment, and to use and employ from time to time any of the property, services and resources within the state, for the purposes set forth in this article; to make surveys of the industries, resources and facilities within the state as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this article; to institute training programs and public information programs, and to take all other preparatory steps, including the partial or full mobilization of emergency management organizations in advance of actual disaster, to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and equipped forces of emergency management personnel in time of need.
    4. To cooperate with the President and the heads of the Armed Forces, and the Emergency Management Agency of the United States, and with the officers and agencies of other states in matters pertaining to the emergency management of the state and nation and the incidents thereof; and in connection therewith, to take any measures which he may deem proper to carry into effect any request of the President and the appropriate federal officers and agencies, for any action looking to emergency management, including the direction or control of (a) blackouts and practice blackouts, air raid drills, mobilization of emergency management forces, and other tests and exercises, (b) warnings and signals for drills or attacks and the mechanical devices to be used in connection therewith, (c) the effective screening or extinguishing of all lights and lighting devices and appliances, (d) shutting off water mains, gas mains, electric power connections and the suspension of all other utility services, (e) the conduct of civilians and the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians and vehicular traffic during, prior and subsequent to drills or attack, (f) public meetings or gatherings under emergency conditions, and (g) the evacuation and reception of the civilian population.
    5. To take such action and give such directions to state and local law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this article and with the orders, rules and regulations made pursuant thereto.
    6. To employ such measures and give such directions to the state or local boards of health as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this article or with the findings or recommendations of such boards of health by reason of conditions arising from enemy attack or the threat of enemy attack or natural, man-made or technological disaster.
    7. To utilize the services and facilities of existing officers and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof; and all such officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend their services and facilities to the Governor as he may request.
    8. To establish agencies and offices and to appoint executive, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article including, with due consideration to the recommendation of the local authorities, part-time or full-time state and regional area directors.
    9. To delegate any authority vested in him under this article, and to provide for the subdelegation of any such authority.
    10. On behalf of this state to enter into reciprocal aid agreements or compacts with other states and the federal government, either on a statewide basis or local political subdivision basis or with a neighboring state or province of a foreign country. Such mutual aid arrangements shall be limited to the furnishings or exchange of food, clothing, medicine and other supplies; engineering services; emergency housing; police services; national or state guards while under the control of the state; health, medical and related services; firefighting, rescue, transportation and construction services and equipment; personnel necessary to provide or conduct these services; and such other supplies, equipment, facilities, personnel and services as may be needed; the reimbursement of costs and expenses for equipment, supplies, personnel and similar items for mobile support units, firefighting and police units and health units; and on such terms and conditions as are deemed necessary.
    11. To sponsor and develop mutual aid plans and agreements between the political subdivisions of the state, similar to the mutual aid arrangements with other states referred to above.
    12. To collect information and data for assessment of vulnerabilities and capabilities within the borders of Mississippi as it pertains to the nation and state's security and homeland defense. This information shall be exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act, Section 25-61-1 et seq.
    13. Authorize any agency or arm of the state to create a special emergency management revolving fund, accept donations, contributions, fees, grants, including federal funds, as may be necessary for such agency or arm of the state to administer its functions of this article as set forth in the Executive Order of the Governor.
    14. To authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety to select, train, organize and equip a ready reserve of auxiliary highway patrolmen.
    15. To suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles.
    16. To control, restrict and regulate by rationing, freezing, use of quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price-fixing, allocation or other means, the use, sale or distribution of food, feed, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services.
    17. To proclaim a state of emergency in an area affected or likely to be affected thereby when he finds that the conditions described in Section 33-15-5(g) exist, or when he is requested to do so by the mayor of a municipality or by the president of the board of supervisors of a county, or when he finds that a local authority is unable to cope with the emergency. Such proclamation shall be in writing and shall take effect immediately upon its execution by the Governor. As soon thereafter as possible, such proclamation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and be given widespread notice and publicity. The Governor, upon advice of the director, shall review the need for continuing the state of emergency at least every thirty (30) days until the emergency is terminated and shall proclaim a reduction of area or the termination of the state of emergency at the earliest possible date that conditions warrant.
    18. To declare an emergency impact area when he finds that the conditions described in Section 33-15-5(o) exist. The proclamation shall be in writing and shall take effect immediately upon its execution by the Governor. As soon as possible, the proclamation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and be given widespread notice and publicity. The Governor shall review the need for continuing the declaration of emergency impact area at least every thirty (30) days until the emergency is terminated, and shall proclaim the reduction of the emergency impact area or termination of the declaration of emergency impact area at the earliest date or dates possible.
  3. In addition to the powers conferred upon the Governor in this section, the Legislature hereby expressly delegates to the Governor the following powers and duties in the event of an impending enemy attack, an enemy attack, or a man-made, technological or natural disaster where such disaster is beyond local control:
    1. To suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster or emergency.
    2. To transfer the direction, personnel or functions of state agencies, boards, commissions or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating disaster or emergency services.
    3. To commandeer or utilize any private property if necessary to cope with a disaster or emergency, provided that such private property so commandeered or utilized shall be paid for under terms and conditions agreed upon by the participating parties. The owner of said property shall immediately be given a receipt for the said private property and said receipt shall serve as a valid claim against the Treasury of the State of Mississippi for the agreed upon market value of said property.
    4. To perform and exercise such other functions, powers and duties as may be necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population in coping with a disaster or emergency.
  4. This section does not authorize the Governor or a designee of the Governor to act in contravention of Section 33-7-303.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1942, § 8610-06; Laws, 1952, ch. 312, § 6; Laws, 1962, ch. 482, § 2; Laws, 1980, ch. 491, § 6; Laws, 1983, ch. 420, § 2; Laws, 1995, ch. 333, § 5; Laws, 2000, ch. 413, § 2; Laws, 2003, ch. 473, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 433, § 3; Laws, 2014, ch. 443, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

TITLE 45 - PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER

CHAPTER 9 - Weapons

Restrictions Upon Local Regulation Of Firearms Or Ammunition

§45-9-51 - (2014) Prohibition against adoption of certain ordinances
  1. Subject to the provisions of Section 45-9-53, no county or municipality may adopt any ordinance that restricts or requires the possession, carrying, transportation, sale, transfer or ownership of firearms or ammunition or their components.
  2. No public housing authority operating in this state may adopt any rule or regulation restricting a lessee or tenant of a dwelling owned and operated by such public housing authority from lawfully possessing firearms or ammunition or their components within individual dwelling units or the transportation of such firearms or ammunition or their components to and from such dwelling.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1986, ch. 471, §1, eff from and after passage (approved April 14, 1986); Laws, 2014, ch. 443, §3, eff. July 1, 2014.

§45-9-53 - (2015) Exceptions
  1. This section and Section 45-9-51 do not affect the authority that a county or municipality may have under another law:
    1. To require citizens or public employees to be armed for personal or national defense, law enforcement, or another lawful purpose;
    2. To regulate the discharge of firearms within the limits of the county or municipality. A county or municipality may not apply a regulation relating to the discharge of firearms or other weapons in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the county or municipality or in an area annexed by the county or municipality after September 1, 1981, if the firearm or other weapon is:
      1. A shotgun, air rifle or air pistol, BB gun or bow and arrow discharged:
        1. On a tract of land of ten (10) acres or more and more than one hundred fifty (150) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and
        2. In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract; or
      2. A center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol or a muzzle-loading rifle or pistol of any caliber discharged:
        1. On a tract of land of fifty (50) acres or more and more than three hundred (300) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and
        2. In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract;
    3. To regulate the use of property or location of businesses for uses therein pursuant to fire code, zoning ordinances, or land-use regulations, so long as such codes, ordinances and regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of Section 45-9-51 or paragraph (e) of this subsection;
    4. To regulate the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots and natural disasters in which the city finds such regulation necessary to protect the health and safety of the public. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to the lawful possession of firearms in the home, place of business or in transit to and from the home or place of business, ammunition or components of firearms or ammunition;
    5. To regulate the storage or transportation of explosives in order to protect the health and safety of the public, with the exception of black powder which is exempt up to twenty-five (25) pounds per private residence and fifty (50) pounds per retail dealer;
    6. To regulate the carrying of a firearm at: (i) a public park or at a public meeting of a county, municipality or other governmental body; (ii) a political rally, parade or official political meeting; or (iii) a nonfirearm-related school, college or professional athletic event; or
    7. To regulate the receipt of firearms by pawnshops.
  2. The exception provided by subsection (1)(f) of this section does not apply if the firearm was in or carried to and from an area designated for use in a lawful hunting, fishing or other sporting event and the firearm is of the type commonly used in the activity.
  3. This section and Section 45-9-51 do not authorize a county or municipality or their officers or employees to act in contravention of Section 33-7-303.
  4. No county or a municipality may use the written notice provisions of Section 45-9-101(13) to prohibit concealed firearms on property under their control except:
    1. At a location listed in Section 45-9-101(13) indicating that a license issued under Section 45-9-101 does not authorize the holder to carry a firearm into that location, as long as the sign also indicates that carrying a firearm is unauthorized only for license holders without a training endorsement or that it is a location included in Section 97-37-7(2) where carrying a firearm is unauthorized for all license holders; and
    2. At any location under the control of the county or municipality aside from a location listed in subsection (1)(f) of this section or Section 45-9-101(13) indicating that the possession of a firearm is prohibited on the premises, as long as the sign also indicates that it does not apply to a person properly licensed under Section 45-9-101 or Section 97-37-7(2) to carry a concealed firearm or to a person lawfully carrying a firearm that is not concealed.
    1. A citizen of this state, or a person licensed to carry a concealed pistol or revolver under Section 45-9-101, or a person licensed to carry a concealed pistol or revolver with the endorsement under Section 97-37-7, who is adversely affected by an ordinance or posted written notice adopted by a county or municipality in violation of this section may file suit for declarative and injunctive relief against a county or municipality in the circuit court which shall have jurisdiction over the county or municipality where the violation of this section occurs.
    2. Before instituting suit under this subsection, the party adversely impacted by the ordinance or posted written notice shall notify the Attorney General in writing of the violation and include evidence of the violation. The Attorney General shall, within thirty (30) days, investigate whether the county or municipality adopted an ordinance or posted written notice in violation of this section and provide the chief administrative officer of the county or municipality notice of his findings, including, if applicable, a description of the violation and specific language of the ordinance or posted written notice found to be in violation. The county or municipality shall have thirty (30) days from receipt of that notice to cure the violation. If the county or municipality fails to cure the violation within that thirty-day time period, a suit under paragraph (a) of this subsection may proceed. The findings of the Attorney General shall constitute a "Public Record" as defined by the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Section 25-61-1 et seq.
    3. If the circuit court finds that a county or municipality adopted an ordinance or posted written notice in violation of this section and failed to cure that violation in accordance with paragraph (b) of this subsection, the circuit court shall issue a permanent injunction against a county or municipality prohibiting it from enforcing the ordinance or posted written notice. Any elected county or municipal official under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred may be civilly liable in a sum not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), plus all reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred by the party bringing the suit. Public funds may not be used to defend or reimburse officials who are found by the court to have violated this section.
    4. It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim brought against an elected county or municipal official under this subsection (5) that the elected official:
      1. Did not vote in the affirmative for the adopted ordinance or posted written notice deemed by the court to be in violation of this section;
      2. Did attempt to take recorded action to cure the violation as noticed by the Attorney General in paragraph (b) of this subsection; or
      3. Did attempt to take recorded action to rescind the ordinance or remove the posted written notice deemed by the court to be in violation of this section.
  5. No county or municipality or their officers or employees may participate in any program in which individuals are given a thing of value provided by another individual or other entity in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the county, municipality or other governmental body unless:
    1. The county or municipality has adopted an ordinance authorizing the participation of the county or municipality, or participation by an officer or employee of the county or municipality in such a program; and
    2. Any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section must require that any firearm received shall be offered for sale at auction as provided by Sections 19-3-85 and 21-39-21 to federally licensed firearms dealers, with the proceeds from such sale at auction reverting to the general operating fund of the county, municipality or other governmental body. Any firearm remaining in possession of the county, municipality or other governmental body after attempts to sell at auction may be disposed of in a manner that the body deems appropriate.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1986, ch. 471, §2; Laws, 2006, ch. 450, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2006; Laws, 2014, ch. 443, §4, eff. July 1, 2014; Laws 2015, SB2619, §4.

§45-9-55 - Employer not permitted to prohibit transportation or storage of firearms on employer property; exceptions; certain immunity for employer
  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, a public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting a person from transporting or storing a firearm in a locked vehicle in any parking lot, parking garage, or other designated parking area.
  2. A private employer may prohibit an employee from transporting or storing a firearm in a vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees to which access is restricted or limited through the use of a gate, security station or other means of restricting or limiting general public access onto the property.
  3. This section shall not apply to vehicles owned or leased by an employer and used by the employee in the course of his business.
  4. This section does not authorize a person to transport or store a firearm on any premises where the possession of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.
  5. A public or private employer shall not be liable in a civil action for damages resulting from or arising out of an occurrence involving the transportation, storage, possession or use of a firearm covered by this section.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2006, ch. 450, §2, eff from and after July 1, 2006.

§45-9-57 - Regulation by county of discharge of any firearm within platted subdivision

A county may regulate the discharge of any firearm or weapon, other than a BB gun, within any platted subdivision. However, no county may prohibit the discharge of any firearm or weapon on land, if such firearm or weapon is discharged in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile from such firearm or weapon to travel across any property line without permission of the property owner.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2010, ch. 523, §3, eff from and after July 1, 2010.

License To Carry Concealed Pistol Or Revolver

§45-9-101 - (2016) License to carry stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver
    1. Except as otherwise provided, the Department of Public Safety is authorized to issue licenses to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers to persons qualified as provided in this section. Such licenses shall be valid throughout the state for a period of five (5) years from the date of issuance. Any person possessing a valid license issued pursuant to this section may carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or concealed revolver.
    2. The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification, at all times in which the licensee is carrying a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer. A violation of the provisions of this paragraph (b) shall constitute a noncriminal violation with a penalty of Twenty-five Dollars ($ 25.00) and shall be enforceable by summons.
  1. The Department of Public Safety shall issue a license if the applicant:
    1. Is a resident of the state. However, this residency requirement may be waived if the applicant possesses a valid permit from another state, is active military personnel stationed in Mississippi, or is a retired law enforcement officer establishing residency in the state;
      1. Is twenty-one (21) years of age or older; or
      2. Is at least eighteen (18) years of age but not yet twenty-one (21) years of age and the applicant:
        1. Is a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, including National Guard or Reserve; and
        2. Holds a valid Mississippi driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety.
    2. Does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a stun gun, pistol or revolver;
    3. Is not ineligible to possess a firearm by virtue of having been convicted of a felony in a court of this state, of any other state, or of the United States without having been pardoned for same;
    4. Does not chronically or habitually abuse controlled substances to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired. It shall be presumed that an applicant chronically and habitually uses controlled substances to the extent that his faculties are impaired if the applicant has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a treatment facility for the abuse of a controlled substance or been found guilty of a crime under the provisions of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law or similar laws of any other state or the United States relating to controlled substances within a three-year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted;
    5. Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired. It shall be presumed that an applicant chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired if the applicant has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed as an alcoholic to a treatment facility or has been convicted of two (2) or more offenses related to the use of alcohol under the laws of this state or similar laws of any other state or the United States within the three-year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted;
    6. Desires a legal means to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver to defend himself;
    7. Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent, or has waited five (5) years from the date of his restoration to capacity by court order;
    8. Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility unless he possesses a certificate from a psychiatrist licensed in this state that he has not suffered from disability for a period of five (5) years;
    9. Has not had adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any felony unless three (3) years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled;
    10. Is not a fugitive from justice; and
    11. Is not disqualified to possess a weapon based on federal law.
  2. The Department of Public Safety may deny a license if the applicant has been found guilty of one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor unless three (3) years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or expunction has occurred prior to the date on which the application is submitted, or may revoke a license if the licensee has been found guilty of one or more crimes of violence within the preceding three (3) years. The department shall, upon notification by a law enforcement agency or a court and subsequent written verification, suspend a license or the processing of an application for a license if the licensee or applicant is arrested or formally charged with a crime which would disqualify such person from having a license under this section, until final disposition of the case. The provisions of subsection (7) of this section shall apply to any suspension or revocation of a license pursuant to the provisions of this section.
  3. The application shall be completed, under oath, on a form promulgated by the Department of Public Safety and shall include only:
    1. The name, address, place and date of birth, race, sex and occupation of the applicant;
    2. The driver's license number or social security number of applicant;
    3. Any previous address of the applicant for the two (2) years preceding the date of the application;
    4. A statement that the applicant is in compliance with criteria contained within subsections (2) and (3) of this section;
    5. A statement that the applicant has been furnished a copy of this section and is knowledgeable of its provisions;
    6. A conspicuous warning that the application is executed under oath and that a knowingly false answer to any question, or the knowing submission of any false document by the applicant, subjects the applicant to criminal prosecution; and
    7. A statement that the applicant desires a legal means to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver to defend himself.
  4. The applicant shall submit only the following to the Department of Public Safety:
    1. A completed application as described in subsection (4) of this section;
    2. A full-face photograph of the applicant taken within the preceding thirty (30) days in which the head, including hair, in a size as determined by the Department of Public Safety, except that an applicant who is younger than twenty-one (21) years of age must submit a photograph in profile of the applicant;
    3. A nonrefundable license fee of Eighty Dollars ($80.00). Costs for processing the set of fingerprints as required in paragraph (d) of this subsection shall be borne by the applicant. Honorably retired law enforcement officers, disabled veterans and active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be exempt from the payment of the license fee;
    4. A full set of fingerprints of the applicant administered by the Department of Public Safety; and
    5. A waiver authorizing the Department of Public Safety access to any records concerning commitments of the applicant to any of the treatment facilities or institutions referred to in subsection (2) and permitting access to all the applicant's criminal records.
    1. The Department of Public Safety, upon receipt of the items listed in subsection (5) of this section, shall forward the full set of fingerprints of the applicant to the appropriate agencies for state and federal processing.
    2. The Department of Public Safety shall forward a copy of the applicant's application to the sheriff of the applicant's county of residence and, if applicable, the police chief of the applicant's municipality of residence. The sheriff of the applicant's county of residence and, if applicable, the police chief of the applicant's municipality of residence may, at his discretion, participate in the process by submitting a voluntary report to the Department of Public Safety containing any readily discoverable prior information that he feels may be pertinent to the licensing of any applicant. The reporting shall be made within thirty (30) days after the date he receives the copy of the application. Upon receipt of a response from a sheriff or police chief, such sheriff or police chief shall be reimbursed at a rate set by the department.
    3. The Department of Public Safety shall, within forty-five (45) days after the date of receipt of the items listed in subsection (5) of this section:
      1. Issue the license;
      2. Deny the application based solely on the ground that the applicant fails to qualify under the criteria listed in subsections (2) and (3) of this section. If the Department of Public Safety denies the application, it shall notify the applicant in writing, stating the ground for denial, and the denial shall be subject to the appeal process set forth in subsection (7); or
      3. Notify the applicant that the department is unable to make a determination regarding the issuance or denial of a license within the forty-five-day period prescribed by this subsection, and provide an estimate of the amount of time the department will need to make the determination.
    4. In the event a legible set of fingerprints, as determined by the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cannot be obtained after a minimum of two (2) attempts, the Department of Public Safety shall determine eligibility based upon a name check by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and a Federal Bureau of Investigation name check conducted by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol at the request of the Department of Public Safety.
    1. If the Department of Public Safety denies the issuance of a license, or suspends or revokes a license, the party aggrieved may appeal such denial, suspension or revocation to the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his authorized agent, within thirty (30) days after the aggrieved party receives written notice of such denial, suspension or revocation. The Commissioner of Public Safety, or his duly authorized agent, shall rule upon such appeal within thirty (30) days after the appeal is filed and failure to rule within this thirty-day period shall constitute sustaining such denial, suspension or revocation. Such review shall be conducted pursuant to such reasonable rules and regulations as the Commissioner of Public Safety may adopt.
    2. If the revocation, suspension or denial of issuance is sustained by the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his duly authorized agent pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection, the aggrieved party may file within ten (10) days after the rendition of such decision a petition in the circuit or county court of his residence for review of such decision. A hearing for review shall be held and shall proceed before the court without a jury upon the record made at the hearing before the Commissioner of Public Safety or his duly authorized agent. No such party shall be allowed to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver pursuant to the provisions of this section while any such appeal is pending.
  5. The Department of Public Safety shall maintain an automated listing of license holders and such information shall be available online, upon request, at all times, to all law enforcement agencies through the Mississippi Crime Information Center. However, the records of the department relating to applications for licenses to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers and records relating to license holders shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, and shall be released only upon order of a court having proper jurisdiction over a petition for release of the record or records.
  6. Within thirty (30) days after the changing of a permanent address, or within thirty (30) days after having a license lost or destroyed, the licensee shall notify the Department of Public Safety in writing of such change or loss. Failure to notify the Department of Public Safety pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall constitute a noncriminal violation with a penalty of Twenty-five Dollars ($ 25.00) and shall be enforceable by a summons.
  7. In the event that a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver license is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the license was issued shall comply with the provisions of subsection (9) of this section and may obtain a duplicate, or substitute thereof, upon payment of Fifteen Dollars ($ 15.00) to the Department of Public Safety, and furnishing a notarized statement to the department that such license has been lost or destroyed.
  8. A license issued under this section shall be revoked if the licensee becomes ineligible under the criteria set forth in subsection (2) of this section.
    1. No less than ninety (90) days prior to the expiration date of the license, the Department of Public Safety shall mail to each licensee a written notice of the expiration and a renewal form prescribed by the department. The licensee must renew his license on or before the expiration date by filing with the department the renewal form, a notarized affidavit stating that the licensee remains qualified pursuant to the criteria specified in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, and a full set of fingerprints administered by the Department of Public Safety or the sheriff of the county of residence of the licensee. The first renewal may be processed by mail and the subsequent renewal must be made in person. Thereafter every other renewal may be processed by mail to assure that the applicant must appear in person every ten (10) years for the purpose of obtaining a new photograph.
      1. Except as provided in this subsection, a renewal fee of Forty Dollars ($40.00) shall also be submitted along with costs for processing the fingerprints;
      2. Honorably retired law enforcement officers, disabled veterans and active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be exempt from the renewal fee; and
      3. The renewal fee for a Mississippi resident aged sixty-five (65) years of age or older shall be Twenty Dollars ($20.00).
    2. The Department of Public Safety shall forward the full set of fingerprints of the applicant to the appropriate agencies for state and federal processing. The license shall be renewed upon receipt of the completed renewal application and appropriate payment of fees.
    3. A licensee who fails to file a renewal application on or before its expiration date must renew his license by paying a late fee of Fifteen Dollars ($ 15.00). No license shall be renewed six (6) months or more after its expiration date, and such license shall be deemed to be permanently expired. A person whose license has been permanently expired may reapply for licensure; however, an application for licensure and fees pursuant to subsection (5) of this section must be submitted, and a background investigation shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of this section.
  9. No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver into any place of nuisance as defined in Section 95-3-1, Mississippi Code of 1972; any police, sheriff or highway patrol station; any detention facility, prison or jail; any courthouse; any courtroom, except that nothing in this section shall preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his courtroom; any polling place; any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity; any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof; any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms; any portion of an establishment, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, that is primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages; any portion of an establishment in which beer or light wine is consumed on the premises, that is primarily devoted to such purpose; any elementary or secondary school facility; any junior college, community college, college or university facility unless for the purpose of participating in any authorized firearms-related activity; inside the passenger terminal of any airport, except that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal if the firearm is encased for shipment, for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; any church or other place of worship except as provided in Section 1 of this act; or any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. In addition to the places enumerated in this subsection, the carrying of a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver may be disallowed in any place in the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical location of such place by the placing of a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less than ten (10) feet that the "carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited." No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize the participants in a parade or demonstration for which a permit is required to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver.
  10. A law enforcement officer as defined in Section 45-6-3, chiefs of police, sheriffs and persons licensed as professional bondsmen pursuant to Chapter 39, Title 83, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be exempt from the licensing requirements of this section. The licensing requirements of this section do not apply to the carrying by any person of a stun gun, pistol or revolver, knife, or other deadly weapon that is not concealed as defined in Section 97-37-1.
  11. Any person who knowingly submits a false answer to any question on an application for a license issued pursuant to this section, or who knowingly submits a false document when applying for a license issued pursuant to this section, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in Section 99-19-31, Mississippi Code of 1972.
  12. All fees collected by the Department of Public Safety pursuant to this section shall be deposited into a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury and shall be used for implementation and administration of this section. After the close of each fiscal year, the balance in this fund shall be certified to the Legislature and then may be used by the Department of Public Safety as directed by the Legislature.
  13. All funds received by a sheriff or police chief pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be deposited into the general fund of the county or municipality, as appropriate, and shall be budgeted to the sheriff's office or police department as appropriate.
  14. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require or allow the registration, documentation or providing of serial numbers with regard to any stun gun or firearm.
  15. Any person holding a valid unrevoked and unexpired license to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers issued in another state shall have such license recognized by this state to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers. The Department of Public Safety is authorized to enter into a reciprocal agreement with another state if that state requires a written agreement in order to recognize licenses to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers issued by this state.
  16. The provisions of this section shall be under the supervision of the Commissioner of Public Safety. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.
  17. For the purposes of this section, the term "stun gun" means a portable device or weapon from which an electric current, impulse, wave or beam may be directed, which current, impulse, wave or beam is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure, momentarily stun, knock out, cause mental disorientation or paralyze.
    1. From and after January 1, 2016, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall promulgate rules and regulations which provide that licenses authorized by this section for honorably retired law enforcement officers and honorably retired correctional officers from the Mississippi Department of Corrections shall (i) include the words "retired law enforcement officer" on the front of the license, and (ii) that the license itself have a red background to distinguish it from other licenses issued under this section.
    2. An honorably retired law enforcement officer and honorably retired correctional officer shall provide the following information to receive the license described in this section: (i) a letter, with the official letterhead of the agency or department from which such officer is retiring, which explains that such officer is honorably retired, and (ii) a letter with the official letterhead of the agency or department, which explains that such officer has completed a certified law enforcement training academy.
  18. A disabled veteran who seeks to qualify for an exemption under this section shall be required to provide, as proof of service-connected disability, verification from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
  19. A license under this section is not required for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver to be carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster or in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case if the person is not engaged in criminal activity other than a misdemeanor traffic offense, is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a pistol or revolver under state or federal law, and is not in a location prohibited under subsection (13) of this section.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1991, ch. 609, §1; Laws, 1997, ch. 470, §1; Laws, 2004, ch. 430, §1; Laws, 2007, ch. 507, §1; Laws, 2008, ch. 459, §1; Laws, 2009, ch. 518, §1; Laws, 2010, ch. 480, §2; Laws, 2012, ch. 372, §1; Laws, 2013, ch. 307, §2; Laws, 2013, ch. 308, §4, eff from and after July 1, 2013; Laws, 2014, ch. 307, §1, eff July 1, 2014; Laws, 2015, ch. 433, § 2; Laws, 2015, ch. 445, § 1; Laws, 2016, ch. 421, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 15, 2016.)

§45-9-103 - (2013) Federal firearm reporting.
  1. In this section, "federal prohibited-person information" means information that identifies an individual as:
    1. A person who has been judicially determined by a court as a mentally ill or mentally retarded person under Title 41, Chapter 21, Mississippi Code of 1972, whether ordered for inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, day treatment, night treatment or home health services treatment;
    2. A person acquitted in a criminal case by reason of insanity or on a ground of intellectual disability, without regard to whether the person is ordered by a court to receive inpatient treatment or residential care under Section 99-13-7;
    3. An adult individual for whom a court has appointed a guardian or conservator under Title 93, Chapter 13, based on the determination that the person is incapable of managing his own estate due to mental weakness; or
    4. A person determined to be incompetent to stand trial by a court pursuant to Rule 9.06 of the Mississippi Rules of Circuit and County Court Practice.
  2. The Department of Public Safety by rule shall establish a procedure to provide federal prohibited-person information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for use with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Except as otherwise provided by state law, the department may disseminate federal prohibited-person information under this subsection only to the extent necessary to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation tocollect and maintain a list of persons who are prohibited under federal law from engaging in certain activities with respect to a firearm.
  3. The department shall grant access to a person's own federal prohibited-person information to the person who is the subject of the information.
  4. Federal prohibited-person information maintained by the department is confidential information for the use of the department and, except as otherwise provided by this section and other state law, is not a public record and may not be disseminated by the department.
  5. The department by rule shall establish a procedure to correct department records and transmit those corrected records to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when a person provides:
    1. A copy of a judicial order or finding under Section 93-13-151 that a person has been restored to reason;
    2. Proof that the person has obtained notice of relief from disabilities under 18 USC, Section 925; or
    3. A copy of a judicial order of relief from a firearms disability under Section 97-37-5(4).

SOURCE: Laws, 2013, ch. 384, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

Purchase Of Sidearms By Retiring Law Enforcement Personnel

§45-9-131 - Purchase of sidearm by retiring member of municipal or county law enforcement agency

Upon approval of the governing authorities of the municipality or county, a member of any municipal or county law enforcement agency who retires under any state retirement system or any state-approved retirement system may be allowed to purchase as his personal property one (1) sidearm which was issued to him by the law enforcement agency from which he retired. The governing authorities of the municipality or county shall determine the amount to be paid for the firearm by the retiring member of the law enforcement agency.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1995, ch. 462, §1, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

§45-9-133 - Retention of sidearm by retiring law enforcement officer of Mississippi Department of Transportation

Each person employed as a law enforcement officer by the Mississippi Department of Transportation who retires for superannuation or for reason of disability under the Public Employees' Retirement System shall be allowed to retain as his personal property, one (1) sidearm which was issued to such law enforcement officer.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2010, ch. 550, §2, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 28, 2010.)

Docket Of Deadly Weapons Seized

§45-9-151 - Docket of deadly weapons seized
  1. Every law enforcement agency of the state or of any political subdivision thereof shall maintain a docket which shall contain a record of all deadly weapons that are seized by employees of such law enforcement agency. Such docket shall include the name of the arresting officer, the date of the arrest, the charge upon which the seizure was based, the name of the person from whom such deadly weapon was seized, the physical description of the deadly weapon, the serial number, if any, of the deadly weapon, and the chain of custody of the deadly weapon.
  2. Every deadly weapon seized by any law enforcement officer shall be entered into the docket required to be maintained pursuant to subsection (1) of this section within ten (10) days after the occurrence of such seizure.
  3. If the court orders any seized deadly weapon to be forfeited and disposed of by sale, the proceeds of such sale shall be deposited into the general fund of the governmental entity of which such law enforcement agency is a part and shall be budgeted to such law enforcement agency. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to deadly weapons that are subject to forfeiture pursuant to Section 41-29-153, Mississippi Code of 1972.
  4. Any law enforcement officer who knowingly fails to cause a seized deadly weapon to be entered into the docket within the time limit specified in subsection (2) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, may be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00). A conviction under the provisions of this section shall not be used as the basis for removal of a person from elective office.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1991, ch. 609, §2, eff from and after July 1, 1991.

Mississippi Church Protection Act

§45-9-171 - (2016) Mississippi Church Protection Act; security program requirements
  1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Church Protection Act."
    1. The governing body of any church or place of worship may establish a security program by which designated members are authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation of the church or place of worship, including resisting any unlawful attempt to commit a violent felony listed in Section 97-3-2(1) upon a member or other attendee in the church or place of worship or on the immediate premises thereof. A church or place of worship may establish a security program that meets the requirements of subsection (2)(b) of this section, and a member of the security program shall be immune from civil liability for any action taken by a member of the security program if the action in question occurs during the reasonable exercise of and within the course and scope of the member's official duties as a member of the security program for the church or place of worship. For purposes of this section, "church" or "place of worship" means only a bona fide duly constituted religious society, ecclesiastical body, or any congregation thereof.
    2. In order to be eligible for the immunity provided in this section:
      1. The program at a minimum must require that each participant of the program possesses a firearms permit issued under Section 45-9-101 and has completed an instructional course in the safe handling and use of firearms as described in Section 97-37-7. The program may also include one or more persons with law enforcement or military background who may assist the church or place of worship in training of the members of the program;
      2. The names of the members designated by the church or place of worship to serve in the security program must be spread upon the minutes of the body or otherwise noted in writing at the time of the member's designation if the body does not maintain minutes, and this written record must be made available to law enforcement upon request during the course of investigation after an incident in which the member used a firearm while acting as a member of the security program; and
      3. The member of the program who is claiming immunity under the provisions of this section must have met the requirements of this paragraph (b).
  2. A person who is indicted or charged with a violation of criminal law while acting as a member of a security program of a church or place of worship may assert as a defense, in addition to any other defense available, that at the time of the action in question, the person was a member of a church body or place of worship security program, was then actually engaged in the performance of the person's duties as a member of the program, and had met the requirements of this section at the time of the action in question.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2016, ch. 421, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 15, 2016.)

TITLE 97 - CRIMES

CHAPTER 3 - Crimes Against The Person

§97-3-15 - (2016) Homicide; justifiable homicide; use of defensive force; duty to retreat
  1. The killing of a human being by the act, procurement or omission of another shall be justifiable in the following cases:
    1. When committed by public officers, or those acting by their aid and assistance, in obedience to any judgment of a competent court;
    2. When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of some legal process, or to the discharge of any other legal duty;
    3. When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in retaking any felon who has been rescued or has escaped;
    4. When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in arresting any felon fleeing from justice;
    5. When committed by any person in resisting any attempt unlawfully to kill such person or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling, in any occupied vehicle, in any place of business, in any place of employment or in the immediate premises thereof in which such person shall be;
    6. When committed in the lawful defense of one's own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished;
    7. When necessarily committed in attempting by lawful ways and means to apprehend any person for any felony committed;
    8. When necessarily committed in lawfully suppressing any riot or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace; and
    9. When necessarily committed in the performance of duty as a member of a church or place of worship security program as described in Section 45-9-171.
    1. As used in subsection (1)(c) and (d) of this section, the term "when necessarily committed" means that a public officer or a person acting by or at the officer's command, aid or assistance is authorized to use such force as necessary in securing and detaining the felon offender, overcoming the offender's resistance, preventing the offender's escape, recapturing the offender if the offender escapes or in protecting himself or others from bodily harm; but such officer or person shall not be authorized to resort to deadly or dangerous means when to do so would be unreasonable under the circumstances. The public officer or person acting by or at the officer's command may act upon a reasonable apprehension of the surrounding circumstances; however, such officer or person shall not use excessive force or force that is greater than reasonably necessary in securing and detaining the offender, overcoming the offender's resistance, preventing the offender's escape, recapturing the offender if the offender escapes or in protecting himself or others from bodily harm.
    2. As used in subsection (1)(c) and (d) of this section the term "felon" shall include an offender who has been convicted of a felony and shall also include an offender who is in custody, or whose custody is being sought, on a charge or for an offense which is punishable, upon conviction, by death or confinement in the Penitentiary.
    3. As used in subsections (1)(e) and (3) of this section, "dwelling" means a building or conveyance of any kind that has a roof over it, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, including a tent, that is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, including any attached porch.
  2. A person who uses defensive force shall be presumed to have reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily harm, or the commission of a felony upon him or another or upon his dwelling, or against a vehicle which he was occupying, or against his business or place of employment or the immediate premises of such business or place of employment, if the person against whom the defensive force was used, was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if that person had unlawfully removed or was attempting to unlawfully remove another against the other person's will from that dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof and the person who used defensive force knew or had reason to believe that the forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred. This presumption shall not apply if the person against whom defensive force was used has a right to be in or is a lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or is the lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if the person who uses defensive force is engaged in unlawful activity or if the person is a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his official duties.
  3. A person who is not the initial aggressor and is not engaged in unlawful activity shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force under subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section if the person is in a place where the person has a right to be, and no finder of fact shall be permitted to consider the person's failure to retreat as evidence that the person's use of force was unnecessary, excessive or unreasonable.
    1. The presumptions contained in subsection (3) of this section shall apply in civil cases in which self-defense or defense of another is claimed as a defense.
    2. The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant acted in accordance with subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section. A defendant who has previously been adjudicated "not guilty" of any crime by reason of subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section shall be immune from any civil action for damages arising from the same conduct.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 64, art. 12, Title 3 (2); 1857, ch. 64, art. 168; 1871, §2631; 1880, §2878; 1892, §1152; 1906, §1230; Hemingway's 1917, §960; 1930, §988; 1942, §2218; Laws, 1983, ch. 382; Laws, 2006, ch. 492, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2006; Laws, 2016, ch. 421, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 15, 2016.)

CHAPTER 37 - Weapons And Explosives

General Provisions

§97-37-1 - (2013) Deadly weapons; carrying while concealed; use or attempt to use; penalties
  1. Except as otherwise provided in Section 45-9-101, any person who carries, concealed on or about one's person, any bowie knife, dirk knife, butcher knife, switchblade knife, metallic knuckles, blackjack, slingshot, 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, or uses or attempts to use against another person any imitation firearm, shall upon conviction be punished as follows:
    1. By a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both, in the discretion of the court, for the first conviction under this section.
    2. By a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), and imprisonment in the county jail for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months, for the second conviction under this section.
    3. By confinement in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, for the third or subsequent conviction under this section.
    4. By confinement in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years for any person previously convicted of any felony who is convicted under this section.
  2. It shall not be a violation of this section for any person over the age of eighteen (18) years to carry a firearm or deadly weapon concealed within the confines of his own home or his place of business, or any real property associated with his home or business or within any motor vehicle.
  3. It shall not be a violation of this section for any person to carry a firearm or deadly weapon concealed 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 activity which normally involves the use of a firearm or other weapon.
  4. For the purposes of this section, "concealed" means hidden or obscured from common observation and shall not include any weapon listed in subsection (1) of this section, including, but not limited to, a loaded or unloaded pistol carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried upon the person in a scabbard or case for carrying the weapon that is wholly or partially visible.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2985; 1892, §1026; 1906, §1103; Hemingway's 1917, §829; 1930, §853; 1942, §2079; Laws, 1898, p. 86; Laws, 1960, ch. 242, §1; Laws, 1962, ch. 310, §1; Laws, 1991, ch. 609, §4; Laws, 2007, ch. 530, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2007; Laws, 2013, ch. 308, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

§97-37-3 - Deadly weapons; forfeiture of weapon; return upon dismissal or acquittal; confiscated firearms may be sold at auction; proceeds of sale used to purchase bulletproof vests for seizing law enforcement agency
  1. Any weapon used in violation of Section 97-37-1, or used in the commission of any other crime, shall be seized by the arresting officer, may be introduced in evidence, and in the event of a conviction, shall be ordered to be forfeited, and shall be disposed of as ordered by the court having jurisdiction of such offense. In the event of dismissal or acquittal of charges, such weapon shall be returned to the accused from whom it was seized.
    1. If the weapon to be forfeited is merchantable, the court may order the weapon forfeited to the seizing law enforcement agency.
    2. A weapon so forfeited to a law enforcement agency may be sold at auction as provided by Sections 19-3-85 and 21-39-21 to a federally-licensed firearms dealer, with the proceeds from such sale at auction to be used to buy bulletproof vests for the seizing law enforcement agency.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2985; 1892, §1026; 1906, §§1103, 1104; Hemingway's 1917, §§829, 830; 1930, §§853, 854; 1942, §2079; Laws, 1898, p. 86; Laws, 1960, ch. 242, §1; Laws, 1962, ch. 310, §1; Laws, 1979, ch. 396; Laws, 2003, ch. 349, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2003.

§97-37-5 - (2013) Unlawful for convicted felon to possess any firearms, or other weapons or devices; penalties; exceptions
  1. It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state, any other state, or of the United States to possess any firearm or any bowie knife, dirk knife, butcher knife, switchblade knife, metallic knuckles, blackjack, or any muffler or silencer for any firearm unless such person has received a pardon for such felony, has received a relief from disability pursuant to Section 925(c) of Title 18 of the United States Code, or has received a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
  2. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00), or committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years, or both.
  3. A person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state may apply to the court in which he was convicted for a certificate of rehabilitation. The court may grant such certificate in its discretion upon a showing to the satisfaction of the court that the applicant has been rehabilitated and has led a useful, productive and law-abiding life since the completion of his sentence and upon the finding of the court that he will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.
    1. A person who is discharged from court-ordered mental health treatment may petition the court which entered the commitment order for an order stating that the person qualifies for relief from a firearms disability.
    2. In determining whether to grant relief, the court must hear and consider evidence about:
      1. The circumstances that led to imposition of the firearms disability under 18 USC, Section 922(d)(4);
      2. The person's mental history;
      3. The person's criminal history; and
      4. The person's reputation.
    3. A court may not grant relief unless it makes and enters in the record the following affirmative findings:
      1. That the person is no longer likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety; and
      2. Removing the person's disability to purchase a firearm is not against the public interest.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2985; 1892, §1026; 1906, §1103; Hemingway's 1917, §829; 1930, §853; 1942, §2079; Laws, 1898, p. 86; Laws, 1960, ch. 242, §1; Laws, 1962, ch. 310, §1; Laws, 1993, ch. 482, §1; Laws, 2007, ch. 322, §1; Laws, 2007, ch. 530, §2, eff from and after July 1, 2007; Laws, 2013, ch. 384, §3, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

§97-37-7 - (2015) Deadly weapons; persons permitted to carry weapons; bond; permit to carry weapon; grounds for denying application for permit; required weapons training course; reciprocal agreements
    1. It shall not be a violation of Section 97-37-1 or any other statute for pistols, firearms or other suitable and appropriate weapons to be carried by duly constituted bank guards, company guards, watchmen, railroad special agents or duly authorized representatives who are not sworn law enforcement officers, agents or employees of a patrol service, guard service, or a company engaged in the business of transporting money, securities or other valuables, while actually engaged in the performance of their duties as such, provided that such persons have made a written application and paid a nonrefundable permit fee of One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) to the Department of Public Safety.
    2. No permit shall be issued to any person who has ever been convicted of a felony under the laws of this or any other state or of the United States. To determine an applicant's eligibility for a permit, the person shall be fingerprinted. If no disqualifying record is identified at the state level, the fingerprints shall be forwarded by the Department of Public Safety to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check. The department shall charge a fee which includes the amounts required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the department for the national and state criminal history record checks and any necessary costs incurred by the department for the handling and administration of the criminal history background checks. In the event a legible set of fingerprints, as determined by the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cannot be obtained after a minimum of three (3) attempts, the Department of Public Safety shall determine eligibility based upon a name check by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and a Federal Bureau of Investigation name check conducted by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol at the request of the Department of Public Safety.
    3. A person may obtain a duplicate of a lost or destroyed permit upon payment of a Fifteen Dollar ($ 15.00) replacement fee to the Department of Public Safety, if he furnishes a notarized statement to the department that the permit has been lost or destroyed.
      1. No less than ninety (90) days prior to the expiration date of a permit, the Department of Public Safety shall mail to the permit holder written notice of expiration together with the renewal form prescribed by the department. The permit holder shall renew the permit on or before the expiration date by filing with the department the renewal form, a notarized affidavit stating that the permit holder remains qualified, and the renewal fee of Fifty Dollars ($ 50.00); honorably retired law enforcement officers shall be exempt from payment of the renewal fee. A permit holder who fails to file a renewal application on or before its expiration date shall pay a late fee of Fifteen Dollars ($ 15.00).
      2. Renewal of the permit shall be required every four (4) years. The permit of a qualified renewal applicant shall be renewed upon receipt of the completed renewal application and appropriate payment of fees.
      3. A permit cannot be renewed six (6) months or more after its expiration date, and such permit shall be deemed to be permanently expired; the holder may reapply for an original permit as provided in this section.
  1. It shall not be a violation of this or any other statute for pistols, firearms or other suitable and appropriate weapons to be carried by Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks law enforcement officers, railroad special agents who are sworn law enforcement officers, investigators employed by the Attorney General, criminal investigators employed by the district attorneys, all prosecutors, public defenders, investigators or probation officers employed by the Department of Corrections, employees of the State Auditor who are authorized by the State Auditor to perform investigative functions, or any deputy fire marshal or investigator employed by the State Fire Marshal, while engaged in the performance of their duties as such, or by fraud investigators with the Department of Human Services, or by judges of the Mississippi Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit, chancery, county, justice and municipal courts, or by coroners. Before any person shall be authorized under this subsection to carry a weapon, he shall complete a weapons training course approved by the Board of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training. Before any criminal investigator employed by a district attorney shall be authorized under this section to carry a pistol, firearm or other weapon, he shall have complied with Section 45-6-11 or any training program required for employment as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A law enforcement officer, as defined in Section 45-6-3, shall be authorized to carry weapons in courthouses in performance of his official duties. A person licensed under Section 45-9-101 to carry a concealed pistol, who
    1. has voluntarily completed an instructional course in the safe handling and use of firearms offered by an instructor certified by a nationally recognized organization that customarily offers firearms training, or by any other organization approved by the Department of Public Safety,
    2. is a member or veteran of any active or reserve component branch of the United States of America Armed Forces having completed law enforcement or combat training with pistols or other handguns as recognized by such branch after submitting an affidavit attesting to have read, understand and agree to comply with all provisions of the enhanced carry law, or (c) is an honorably retired law enforcement officer or honorably retired member or veteran of any active or reserve component branch of the United States of America Armed Forces having completed law enforcement or combat training with pistols or other handguns, after submitting affidavit attesting to have read, understand and agree to comply with all provisions of Mississippi enhanced carry law shall also be authorized to carry weapons in courthouses except in courtrooms during a judicial proceeding, and any location listed in subsection (13) of Section 45-9-101, except any place of nuisance as defined in Section 95-3-1, any police, sheriff or highway patrol station or any detention facility, prison or jail. For the purposes of this subsection (2), component branch of the United States Armed Forces includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps, or the Army National Guard, the Army National Guard of the United States, the Air National Guard or the Air National Guard of the United States, as those terms are defined in Section 101, Title 10, United States Code, and any other reserve component of the United States Armed Forces enumerated in Section 10101, Title 10, United States Code. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations allowing concealed pistol permit holders to obtain an endorsement on their permit indicating that they have completed the aforementioned course and have the authority to carry in these locations. This section shall in no way interfere with the right of a trial judge to restrict the carrying of firearms in the courtroom.
  2. It shall not be a violation of this or any other statute for pistols, firearms or other suitable and appropriate weapons, to be carried by any out-of-state, full-time commissioned law enforcement officer who holds a valid commission card from the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency and a photo identification. The provisions of this subsection shall only apply if the state where the out-of-state officer is employed has entered into a reciprocity agreement with the state that allows full-time commissioned law enforcement officers in Mississippi to lawfully carry or possess a weapon in such other states. The Commissioner of Public Safety is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to carry out the provisions of this subsection.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2985; 1892, §1026; 1906, §1103; Hemingway's 1917, §829; 1930, §853; 1942, §2079; Laws, 1898, p. 86; Laws, 1960, ch. 242, §1; Laws, 1962, ch. 310, §1; Laws, 1973, ch. 437, §1; Laws, 1974, ch. 323 §1; Laws, 1981, ch. 415, §1; Laws, 1986, ch. 372; Laws, 1990, ch. 483, §1; Laws, 1991, ch. 609, §5; Laws, 1995, ch. 534, §1; Laws, 1998, ch. 472, §1; Laws, 2000, ch. 439, §1; Laws, 2001, ch. 566, §2; Laws, 2002, ch. 577, §1; Laws, 2008, ch. 319, §6; Laws, 2011, ch. 338, §1; Laws, 2011, ch. 535, §1; Laws 2015, .SB2619, §1, eff. from passage

§97-37-9 - (2016) Deadly weapons; defenses against indictment for carrying deadly weapon

Any person indicted or charged for a violation of Section 97-37-1 may show as a defense:

  1. That he was threatened, and had good and sufficient reason to apprehend a serious attack from any enemy, and that he did so apprehend; or
  2. That he was traveling and was not a tramp, or was setting out on a journey and was not a tramp; or
  3. That he was a law enforcement or peace officer in the discharge of his duties; or
  4. That he was at the time in the discharge of his duties as a mail carrier; or
  5. That he was at the time engaged in transporting valuables for an express company or bank; or
  6. That he was a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, National Guard, State Militia, Emergency Management Corps, guard or patrolman in a state or municipal institution while in the performance of his official duties; or
  7. That he was in lawful pursuit of a felon; or
  8. That he was lawfully engaged in legitimate sports;
  9. That at the time he was a company guard, bank guard, watchman, or other person enumerated in Section 97-37-7, and was then actually engaged in the performance of his duties as such, and then held a valid permit from the sheriff, the commissioner of public safety, or a valid permit issued by the secretary of state prior to May 1, 1974, to carry the weapon; and the burden of proving either of said defenses shall be on the accused; or
  10. That at the time he or she was a member of a church or place of worship security program, and was then actually engaged in the performance of his or her duties as such and met the requirements of Section 45-9-171.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1892, §1027; 1906, §1105; Hemingway's 1917, §831; 1930, §855; 1942, §2081; Laws, 1912, ch. 210; Laws, 1960, ch. 242, §2; Laws, 1962, ch. 310, §2; Laws, 1974, ch. 323, §2; Laws, 1980, ch. 491, §26, eff from and after passage (approved May 9, 1980); Laws, 2016, ch. 421, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 15, 2016.)

§97-37-13 - Deadly weapons; weapons and cartridges not to be given to minor or intoxicated person

It shall not be lawful for any person to sell, give or lend to any minor under eighteen (18) years of age or person intoxicated, knowing him to be a minor under eighteen (18) years of age or in a state of intoxication, any deadly weapon, or other weapon the carrying of which concealed is prohibited, or pistol cartridge; and, on conviction thereof, he shall be punished by a fine not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00), or imprisoned in the county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or both.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2986; 1892, §1028; 1906, §1107; Hemingway's 1917, §833; 1930, §857; 1942, §2083; Laws, 1994, ch. 607, §8, eff from and after July 2, 1994.

§97-37-14 - Possession of handgun by minor; act of delinquency; exceptions
  1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is an act of delinquency for any person who has not attained the age of eighteen (18) years knowingly to have any handgun in such person's possession.
  2. This section shall not apply to:
    1. Any person who is:
      1. In attendance at a hunter's safety course or a firearms safety course; or
      2. Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited; or
      3. Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 501(c)(3) as determined by the federal internal revenue service which uses firearms as a part of such performance; or
      4. Hunting or trapping pursuant to a valid license issued to such person by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or as otherwise allowed by law; or
      5. Traveling with any handgun in such person's possession being unloaded to or from any activity described in subparagraph (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of this paragraph (a) and paragraph (b).
    2. Any person under the age of eighteen (18) years who is on real property under the control of an adult and who has the permission of such adult to possess a handgun.
  3. This section shall not apply to any person who uses a handgun or other firearm to lawfully defend himself from imminent danger at his home or place of domicile and any such person shall not be held criminally liable for such use of a handgun or other firearm.
  4. For the purposes of this section, "handgun" means a pistol, revolver or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable or magazine breech, is less than sixteen (16) inches.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1994, ch. 595, §12, eff from and after July 1, 1994.

§97-37-15 - (2013) Parent or guardian not to permit minor son to have or carry weapon; penalty

Any parent, guardian or custodian who shall knowingly suffer or permit any child under the age of eighteen (18) years to have or to own, or to carry, any weapon the carrying of which concealed is prohibited by Section 97-37-1, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00), and shall be imprisoned not more than six (6) months in the county jail. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a minor who is exempt from the provisions of Section 97-37-14.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2987; 1892, §1029; 1906, §1108; Hemingway's 1917, §834; 1930, §858; 1942, §2084; Laws, 1994, ch. 607, §9, eff from and after July 2, 1994; Laws, 2013, ch. 308, §2, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

§97-37-17 - Possession of weapons by students; aiding or encouraging
  1. The following definitions apply to this section:
    1. "Educational property" shall mean any public or private school building or bus, public or private school campus, grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or other property owned, used or operated by any local school board, school, college or university board of trustees, or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution or during a school-related activity, and shall include the facility and property of the Oakley Youth Development Center, operated by the Department of Human Services; provided, however, that the term "educational property" shall not include any sixteenth section school land or lieu land on which is not located a school building, school campus, recreational area or athletic field.
    2. "Student" shall mean a person enrolled in a public or private school, college or university, or a person who has been suspended or expelled within the last five (5) years from a public or private school, college or university, or a person in the custody of the Oakley Youth Development Center, operated by the Department of Human Services, whether the person is an adult or a minor.
    3. "Switchblade knife" shall mean a knife containing a blade or blades which open automatically by the release of a spring or a similar contrivance.
    4. "Weapon" shall mean any device enumerated in subsection (2) or (4) of this section.
  2. It shall be a felony for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm of any kind, or any dynamite cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine or powerful explosive on educational property. However, this subsection does not apply to a BB gun, air rifle or air pistol. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00), or committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for not more than three (3) years, or both.
  3. It shall be a felony for any person to cause, encourage or aid a minor who is less than eighteen (18) years old to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm of any kind, or any dynamite cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine or powerful explosive on educational property. However, this subsection does not apply to a BB gun, air rifle or air pistol. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00), or committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for not more than three (3) years, or both.
  4. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors and razor blades (except solely for personal shaving), and any sharp-pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction and maintenance on educational property. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00), or be imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months, or both.
  5. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to cause, encourage or aid a minor who is less than eighteen (18) years old to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade, knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors and razor blades (except solely for personal shaving) and any sharp-pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction and maintenance on educational property. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00), or be imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months, or both.
  6. It shall not be a violation of this section for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or other firearm of any kind on educational property if:
    1. The person is not a student attending school on any educational property;
    2. The firearm is within a motor vehicle; and
    3. The person does not brandish, exhibit or display the firearm in any careless, angry or threatening manner.
  7. This section shall not apply to:
    1. A weapon used solely for educational or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes, or used in a school-approved program conducted under the supervision of an adult whose supervision has been approved by the school authority;
    2. Armed Forces personnel of the United States, officers and soldiers of the militia and National Guard, law enforcement personnel, any private police employed by an educational institution, State Militia or Emergency Management Corps and any guard or patrolman in a state or municipal institution, and any law enforcement personnel or guard at a state juvenile training school, when acting in the discharge of their official duties;
    3. Home schools as defined in the compulsory school attendance law, Section 37-13-91;
    4. Competitors while participating in organized shooting events;
    5. Any person as authorized in Section 97-37-7 while in the performance of his official duties;
    6. Any mail carrier while in the performance of his official duties; or
    7. Any weapon not prescribed by Section 97-37-1 which is in a motor vehicle under the control of a parent, guardian or custodian, as defined in Section 43-21-105, which is used to bring or pick up a student at a school building, school property or school function.
  8. All schools shall post in public view a copy of the provisions of this section.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1880, §2988; 1892, §1030; 1906, §1109; Hemingway's 1917, §835; 1930, §859; 1942, §2085; Laws, 1994, ch. 607, §1; Laws, 1995, ch. 607, §1; Laws, 2008, ch. 459, §2; Laws, 2010, ch. 554, §12, eff from and after July 1, 2011.

§97-37-19 - (2013) Deadly weapons; exhibiting in rude, angry, or threatening manner

If any person, having or carrying any dirk, dirk-knife, sword, sword-cane, or any deadly weapon, or other weapon the carrying of which concealed is prohibited by Section 97-37-1, shall, in the presence of another person, brandish or wield the same in a threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, or shall in any manner unlawfully use the same in any fight or quarrel, the person so offending, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars or be imprisoned in the county jail not exceeding three months, or both. In prosecutions under this section it shall not be necessary for the affidavit or indictment to aver, nor for the state to prove on the trial, that any gun, pistol, or other firearm was charged, loaded, or in condition to be discharged.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 64, art. 9(9); 1857, ch. 64, art. 56; 1871, §2699; 1880, §2804; 1892, §1031; 1906, §1110; Hemingway's 1917, §836; 1930, §860; 1942, §2086; Laws, 2013, ch. 308, §3, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

§97-37-21 - Explosives and weapons of mass destruction; false report of placing

It shall be unlawful for any person to report to another by any means, including telephone, mail, e-mail, mobile phone, fax or any means of communication, that a bomb or other explosive or chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction has been, or is to be, placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that such report is false. Any person who shall be convicted of a violation of this section shall be fined not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00) or shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years, or both.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1942, §2143.3; Laws, 1971, ch. 351, §1; Laws, 1979, ch. 485; Laws, 2002, ch. 384, §1; Laws, 2003, ch. 409, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2003.

§97-37-23 - Unlawful possession of explosives; duty of officers to make search and to seize explosives; exception to prohibition
  1. Except for persons who are engaged in lawful business activities or persons who are engaged in educational activities conducted by educational institutions, it is unlawful for any person to have in his possession:
    1. Dynamite caps, nitroglycerine caps, fuses, detonators, dynamite, nitroglycerine, explosives, gas or stink bombs, or other similar explosives peculiarly possessed and adapted to aid in the commission of a crime; except such person or persons who are engaged in a lawful business which ordinarily requires the use thereof in the ordinary and usual conduct of such business, and who possess said articles for the purpose of use in said business;
    2. Any:
      1. Bomb;
      2. Grenade;
      3. Rocket having a propellant charge of more than four (4) ounces;
      4. Missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ( 1/4) ounce;
      5. Mine;
      6. Any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into one or more of the destructive devices described in this paragraph (b); or
      7. Any device which consists of or includes a breakable container including a flammable liquid or compound and a wick composed of any material which, when ignited, is capable of igniting such flammable liquid or compound and can be carried or thrown by one (1) individual acting alone; and
      8. Or other similar explosives peculiarly possessed and adapted to aid in the commission of a crime; and
    3. Upon conviction of any person thereof, he shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term not to exceed five (5) years. The possession of such explosives by one who does not customarily use same in his regular and ordinary occupational activities shall be prima facie evidence of an intention to use same for such unlawful purposes.
  2. It shall be the duty of any sheriff, constable, marshal, or policeman in a municipality, or any person vested with general police authority, who has reason to believe and does believe that the above described explosives are being transported or possessed for aid in the commission of a crime, forthwith to make a reasonable search of such person or vehicle, and to seize such explosives and to at once arrest the person or persons having possession or control thereof. Such officer or officers proceeding in good faith shall not be liable either civilly or criminally for such a search and seizure without a warrant, so long as said search and seizure is conducted in a reasonable manner, it appearing that the officer or officers had reason to believe and did believe that the law was being violated at the time such search was instituted. And the officer or officers making such search shall be competent to testify as a witness or witnesses as to all facts ascertained by means of said reasonable search or seizure, and all such explosives seized shall be admitted in evidence. But this section shall not authorize the search of a residence or home, or room, or building, or the premises belonging to or in the possession lawfully of the party suspected, without a search warrant.
  3. In order to invoke the exception provided in subsection (1) for persons who possess explosive articles for business purposes, such person must comply with the provisions of this subsection as follows:
    1. One or more individuals shall be designated by the owner of a business employing explosive articles subject to this section as the custodian for such articles; and
    2. The custodian shall notify the sheriff of any county wherein such articles are utilized or employed by registering with the sheriff in writing prior to such use and including in such registration:
      1. The business name and address of the owner of the articles;
      2. The name, address and local address of the custodian;
      3. The location of the job site where such articles shall be employed;
      4. In the event subject articles will not be in the immediate possession of the custodian, the custodian shall advise the sheriff of the specific location where such articles are left or stored;
      5. Whenever business operations subject to this section or the storage of articles subject to this section occur within an incorporated municipality, the mayor or chief of police shall also be notified as required by this subsection.
  4. Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term not to exceed one (1) year or by a fine in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00), or by both.
  5. The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section are supplemental to any other statutory provision, ordinances of local governments or liabilities or duties otherwise imposed by law.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1942, §2143.5; Laws, 1947, 2nd Ex. ch. 6, §§1, 2; Laws, 1986, ch. 385; Laws, 2000, ch. 538, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2000.

§97-37-25 - Explosives and weapons of mass destruction; unlawful use

It shall be unlawful for any person at any time to bomb, or to plant or place any bomb, or other explosive matter or chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction or thing in, upon or near any building, residence, ship, vessel, boat, railroad station, railroad car or coach, bus station, or depot, bus, truck, aircraft, or other vehicle, gas and oil stations and pipelines, radio station or radio equipment or other means of communication, warehouse or any electric plant or water plant, telephone exchange or any of the lines belonging thereto, wherein a person or persons are located or being transported, or where there is being manufactured, stored, assembled or shipped or in the preparation of shipment any goods, wares, merchandise or anything of value, with the felonious intent to hurt or harm any person or property, and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned for life in the State Penitentiary if the penalty is so fixed by the jury; and in cases where the jury fails to fix the penalty at imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary the court shall fix the penalty at imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for any term as the court, in its discretion, may determine, but not to be less than five (5) years.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1942, §2143; Laws, 1942, ch. 204; Laws, 1947, 2nd Ex. ch. 7; Laws, 1974, ch. 576, §5; Laws, 2000, ch. 538, §2; Laws, 2003, ch. 409, §2, eff from and after July 1, 2003.

§97-37-29 - Shooting into dwelling house

If any person shall willfully and unlawfully shoot or discharge any pistol, shotgun, rifle or firearm of any nature or description into any dwelling house or any other building usually occupied by persons, whether actually occupied or not, he shall be guilty of a felony whether or not anybody be injured thereby and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term not to exceed ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or by fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($ 5,000.00), or by both such imprisonment and fine, within the discretion of the court.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1942, §2086.5; Laws, 1966, ch. 387, §1, eff from and after passage (approved May 20, 1966).

§97-37-30 - Willful discharge of a firearm toward the dwelling of another causing damage to property or domesticated animal or livestock

A person who willfully discharges his firearm toward the dwelling of another, causing property damage to the dwelling or any domesticated animal or livestock, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) or imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months in the county jail, or both.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2010, ch. 523, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2010.

§97-37-31 - (2016) Silencers on firearms; armor piercing ammunition; manufacture, sale, possession or use unlawful

It shall be unlawful for any person, persons, corporation or manufacturing establishment, not duly authorized under federal law, to make, manufacture, sell or possess any instrument or device which, if used on firearms of any kind, will arrest or muffle the report of the firearm when shot or fired. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or imprisoned in the county jail not more than thirty (30) days, or both.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, Hemingway's 1917, §§1110 et seq.; 1930, §1139; 1942, §2376; Laws, 1910, ch. 139; Laws, 2000, ch. 496, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2000; ; Laws, 2015, ch. 433, § 3; Laws, 2016, ch. 344, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 5, 2016.)

§97-37-33 - Toy pistols; sale of pistol or cartridges prohibited; cap pistols excepted

If any person shall sell, or offer, or expose for sale any toy pistol, or cartridges, or other contrivance by which such pistols are fired or made to cause an explosion, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not less than three days nor more than thirty days, or both.

It is expressly provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the sale, or offering, or exposure for sale of any toy cap pistols, or other devices, in which paper caps manufactured in accordance with United States Interstate Commerce Commission regulations for packing or shipping of toy paper caps are used or exploded, and the sale of such toy cap pistols is hereby declared to be permissible.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Codes, 1892, §1247; 1906, §1322; Hemingway's 1917, §1055; 1930, §1086; 1942, §2319; Laws, 1884, p. 82; Laws, 1952, ch. 257.

§97-37-35 - Stolen firearms; possession, receipt, acquisition or disposal; offense; punishment
  1. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess, receive, retain, acquire or obtain possession or dispose of a stolen firearm or attempt to possess, receive, retain, acquire or obtain possession or dispose of a stolen firearm.
  2. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to sell, deliver or transfer a stolen firearm or attempt to sell, deliver or transfer a stolen firearm.
  3. Any person convicted of violating this section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished as follows:
    1. For the first conviction, punishment by commitment to the Department of Corrections for five (5) years;
    2. For the second and subsequent convictions, the offense shall be considered trafficking in stolen firearms punishable by commitment to the Department of Corrections for not less than fifteen (15) years.
    3. For a conviction where the offender possesses two (2) or more stolen firearms, the offense shall be considered trafficking in stolen firearms punishable by commitment to the Department of Corrections for not less than fifteen (15) years.
  4. Any person who commits or attempts to commit any other crime while in possession of a stolen firearm shall be guilty of a separate felony of possession of a stolen firearm under this section and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by commitment to the Department of Corrections for five (5) years, such term to run consecutively and not concurrently with any other sentence of incarceration.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1998, ch. 431, §1, eff from and after July 1, 1998.

§97-37-37 - Enhanced penalty for use of firearm during commission of felony
  1. Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by any other provision of law, any person who uses or displays a firearm during the commission of any felony shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such felony, be sentenced to an additional term of imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections of five (5) years, which sentence shall not be reduced or suspended.
  2. Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by any other provision of law, any convicted felon who uses or displays a firearm during the commission of any felony shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such felony, be sentenced to an additional term of imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections of ten (10) years, to run consecutively, not concurrently, which sentence shall not be reduced or suspended.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2004, ch. 392, §1; Laws, 2007, ch. 323, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2007.

Honesty In Purchasing Firearms Act

§97-37-101 - Short title

Sections 97-37-101 through 97-37-105 shall be known and may be cited as the "Honesty in Purchasing Firearms Act."

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2012, ch. 494, §1, eff from and after July 1, 2012.

§97-37-103 - Definition
  1. For purposes of Sections 97-37-101 through 97-37-105.
    1. "Licensed dealer" means a person who is licensed pursuant to 18 USCS, Section 923, to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.
    2. "Private seller" means a person who sells or offers for sale any firearm or ammunition.
    3. "Ammunition" means any cartridge, shell or projectile designed for use in a firearm.
    4. "Materially false information" means information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2012, ch. 494, §2, eff from and after July 1, 2012.

§97-37-105 - Crime of soliciting, persuading, encouraging or enticing illegal sale of firearms or ammunition; crime of providing false information to licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition.
  1. Any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate the laws of this state or the United States is guilty of a felony.
  2. Any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate the laws of this state or the United States is guilty of a felony.
  3. Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00) or imprisoned in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than three (3) years, or both.
  4. This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer acting in the officer's official capacity or to a person acting at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2012, ch. 494, §3, eff from and after July 1, 2012.