MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2013 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Representatives Carpenter, Arnold, Monsour, Bell, Boyd, Byrd, Chism, Crawford, Formby, Martinson, Moore, Staples, Taylor

House Bill 958

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO ADOPT A POLICY AUTHORIZING THE LOCAL SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS TO ALLOW CERTAIN SCHOOL EMPLOYEES TO CARRY A CONCEALED FIREARM ON SCHOOL PREMISES; TO PRESCRIBE THE STIPULATIONS FOR SUCH SCHOOL EMPLOYEES TO BE AUTHORIZED TO CARRY THE CONCEALED FIREARM; TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES AUTHORIZED TO CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON TO TWO EMPLOYEES PER SCHOOL; TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-11-29 AND 97-37-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 45-9-101 AND 97-37-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  (1)  The local school board of any school district, by a majority vote of its members, may adopt a policy authorizing the local superintendent of schools to allow certain school employees to possess and carry a concealed firearm on school premises, provided that:

          (a)  The authorized employees obtain a license to carry the concealed firearm under Section 45-9-101;

          (b)  The authorized employees:

              (i)  Complete a weapons training course approved by the Board of Law Enforcement Standards and Training;

              (ii)  Complete an instructional course in the safe handling and use of firearms offered by any organization approved by the Department of Public Safety;

              (iii)  Complete a weapons training course conducted by the local county sheriff's department; or

              (iv)  Complete an instructional course in the safe handling and use of firearms offered by a instructor certified by a nationally recognized organization that customarily offers firearms training; and

          (c)  Only two (2) employees in each school under the local school board's authority be authorized to a carry concealed firearm.

     (2)  The local school board shall pay the costs associated with costs of acquiring the license to carry and the firearms safety and handling training required of the authorized school employees to do so.

     (3)  The provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to personnel previously authorized by law or regulation to carry a firearm on school property, including security guards and school resource officers, employed under the authority of Section 37-7-321.

     SECTION 2.  Section 37-11-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-11-29.  (1)  Any principal, teacher or other school employee who has knowledge of any unlawful activity which occurred on educational property or during a school related activity or which may have occurred shall report such activity to the superintendent of the school district or his designee who shall notify the appropriate law enforcement officials as required by this section.  In the event of an emergency or if the superintendent or his designee is unavailable, any principal may make a report required under this subsection.

     (2)  Whenever any person who shall be an enrolled student in any school or educational institution in this state supported in whole or in part by public funds, or who shall be an enrolled student in any private school or educational institution, is arrested for, and lawfully charged with, the commission of any crime and convicted upon the charge for which he was arrested, or convicted of any crime charged against him after his arrest and before trial, the office or law enforcement department of which the arresting officer is a member, and the justice court judge and any circuit judge or court before whom such student is tried upon said charge or charges, shall make or cause to be made a report thereof to the superintendent or the president or chancellor, as the case may be, of the school district or other educational institution in which such student is enrolled.

     If the charge upon which such student was arrested, or any other charges preferred against him are dismissed or nol prossed, or if upon trial he is either convicted or acquitted of such charge or charges, same shall be reported to said respective superintendent or president, or chancellor, as the case may be.  A copy of said report shall be sent to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi, at Jackson, Mississippi.

     Said report shall be made within one (1) week after the arrest of such student and within one (1) week after any charge placed against him is dismissed or nol prossed, and within one (1) week after he shall have pled guilty, been convicted, or have been acquitted by trial upon any charge placed against him.  This section shall not apply to ordinary traffic violations involving a penalty of less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) and costs.

     (3)  When the superintendent or his designee has a reasonable belief that an act has occurred on educational property or during a school related activity involving any of the offenses set forth in subsection (6) of this section, the superintendent or his designee shall immediately report the act to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.  For purposes of this subsection, "school property" shall include any public school building, bus, public school campus, grounds, recreational area or athletic field in the charge of the superintendent.  The State Board of Education shall prescribe a form for making reports required under this subsection.  Any superintendent or his designee who fails to make a report required by this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in Section 37-11-35.

     (4)  The law enforcement authority shall immediately dispatch an officer to the educational institution and with probable cause the officer is authorized to make an arrest if necessary as provided in Section 99-3-7.

     (5)  Any superintendent, principal, teacher or other school personnel participating in the making of a required report pursuant to this section or participating in any judicial proceeding resulting therefrom shall be presumed to be acting in good faith.  Any person reporting in good faith shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

     (6)  For purposes of this section, "unlawful activity" means any of the following:

          (a)  Possession or use of a deadly weapon, as defined in Section 97-37-1, except that the person be an employee of the school district authorized to carry a concealed weapon under the provisions of Section 1 of this act;

          (b)  Possession, sale or use of any controlled substance;

          (c)  Aggravated assault, as defined in Section 97-3-7;

          (d)  Simple assault, as defined in Section 97-3-7, upon any school employee;

          (e)  Rape, as defined under Mississippi law;

          (f)  Sexual battery, as defined under Mississippi law;

          (g)  Murder, as defined under Mississippi law;

          (h)  Kidnapping, as defined under Mississippi law; or

          (i)  Fondling, touching, handling, etc., a child for lustful purposes, as defined in Section 97-5-23.

     SECTION 3.  Section 45-9-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     45-9-101.  (1)  (a)  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.

          (b)  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.

     (2)  The Department of Public Safety shall issue a license if the applicant:

          (a)  Is a resident of the state and has been a resident for twelve (12) months or longer immediately preceding the filing of the application.  However, this residency requirement may be waived, provided 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;

          (b)  Is twenty-one (21) years of age or older;

          (c)  Does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a stun gun, pistol or revolver;

          (d)  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;

          (e)  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;

          (f)  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;

          (g)  Desires a legal means to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver to defend himself;

          (h)  Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent, or has waited five (5) years from the date of his restoration to capacity by court order;

          (i)  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;

          (j)  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;

          (k)  Is not a fugitive from justice; and

          (l)  Is not disqualified to possess or own a weapon based on federal law.

     (3)  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.

     (4)  The application shall be completed, under oath, on a form promulgated by the Department of Public Safety and shall include only:

          (a)  The name, address, place and date of birth, race, sex and occupation of the applicant;

          (b)  The driver's license number or social security number of applicant;

          (c)  Any previous address of the applicant for the two (2) years preceding the date of the application;

          (d)  A statement that the applicant is in compliance with criteria contained within subsections (2) and (3) of this section;

          (e)  A statement that the applicant has been furnished a copy of this section and is knowledgeable of its provisions;

          (f)  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

          (g)  A statement that the applicant desires a legal means to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver to defend himself.

     (5)  The applicant shall submit only the following to the Department of Public Safety:

          (a)  A completed application as described in subsection (4) of this section;

          (b)  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;

          (c)  A nonrefundable license fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).  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 shall be exempt from the payment of the license fee;

          (d)  A full set of fingerprints of the applicant administered by the Department of Public Safety; and

          (e)  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.

     (6)  (a)  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.

          (b)  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.

          (c)  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:

              (i)  Issue the license;

              (ii)  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

              (iii)  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.

          (d)  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.

     (7)  (a)  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.

          (b)  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.

     (8)  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 for a period of forty-five (45) days from the date of the issuance of the license or the final denial of an application.

     (9)  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.

     (10)  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.

     (11)  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.

     (12)  (a)  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.

              (i)  Except as provided in this subsection, a renewal fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) shall also be submitted along with costs for processing the fingerprints;

              (ii)  Honorably retired law enforcement officers shall be exempt from the renewal fee; and

              (iii)  The renewal fee for a Mississippi resident aged sixty-five (65) years of age or older shall be Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00).

          (b)  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.

          (c)  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.

     (13)  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; 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.

     (14)  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.

     (15)  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.

     (16)  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.

     (17)  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.

     (18)  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.  Further, nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the open and unconcealed carrying of any stun gun or a deadly weapon as described in Section 97-37-1, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     (19)  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.

     (20)  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.

     (21)  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.

     SECTION 4.  Section 97-37-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     97-37-17.  (1)  The following definitions apply to this section:

          (a)  "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.

          (b)  "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.

          (c)  "Switchblade knife" shall mean a knife containing a blade or blades which open automatically by the release of a spring or a similar contrivance.

          (d)  "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:

          (a)  The person is not a student attending school on any educational property;

          (b)  The firearm is within a motor vehicle; and

          (c)  The person does not brandish, exhibit or display the firearm in any careless, angry or threatening manner.

     (7)  This section shall not apply to:

          (a)  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;

          (b)  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;

          (c)  Home schools as defined in the compulsory school attendance law, Section 37-13-91;

          (d)  Competitors while participating in organized shooting events;

          (e)  Any person as authorized in Section 97-37-7 while in the performance of his official duties or any employee of a school district authorized to carry a concealed firearm under the provisions of Section 1 of this act;

          (f)  Any mail carrier while in the performance of his official duties; or

          (g)  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.

     SECTION 5.  Section 97-37-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     97-37-7.  (1)  (a)  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.

          (b)  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.

          (c)  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.

          (d)  (i)  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); provided, however, that 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).

              (ii)  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.

              (iii)  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.

     (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 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 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, 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.  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.

     (3)  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.

     SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.