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Mississippi Gun Control Laws

Gun control laws can be a controversial topic. Undeniably, the U.S. Constitution in the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own guns. However, there’s much debate as to the extent that gun laws need to be regulated, what types of guns should be illegal (if any), and what types of individuals, such as those with serious mental illness, can lose the right to own firearms.

Mississippi has loose gun laws as compared to most of the United States. Gun control law proponents, such as the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, give Mississippi an F grade for its gun laws. The primary areas of contention involve the state's not requiring background checks before transferring guns between private parties, not prohibiting 50 caliber rifles and assault weapons, nor limiting the number of guns that can be purchased at one time.

The following table outlines the main gun control laws in Mississippi.

Code Sections Mississippi Code Title 97: Crimes, Chapter 37: Weapons & Explosives
Illegal Firearms Although some people believe all guns should be legal, due to federal and state laws, as well as for the safety of residents and cops, some guns and firearm accessories can’t be owned and used in Mississippi:
  • Machine gun or fully automatic firearm
  • Short-barreled rifle less than 16 inches or a shotgun less than 18 inches
  • Silencer or muffler for guns
  • Toy pistols that can fire or make an explosion (cap pistols are expressly excepted)
  • Armor piercing ammunition
Waiting Period None
Who May Not Own Guns Several defined groups can’t legally own guns in Mississippi, including:
  • Students living on a campus or education property (although off-campus storage could be possible)
  • Children and youth under 18 years old
  • Convicted felons (unless they have certificates of rehabilitation which is possible to receive through a court petition and expungement process)
  • Individuals who are chronically intoxicated
  • People who have voluntarily or involuntarily been committed to mental health facilities (unless recovered for at least 5 years)
Firearms On or Near School Grounds It’s a felony for anyone to possess or carry an open or concealed firearm of any kind, bomb, grenade, etc. on school properties. It’s also a felony to encourage or help a child under 18 to carry a gun or weapon to school (except BB guns). The penalty for either is up to 3 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

You can, however, if the person isn’t a student, has a gun in a car, and doesn’t display it in an angry or threatening manner. Also, parents or guardians who have a gun in their car when bringing or picking up kids at school isn’t a crime.

This section also doesn’t apply to military, National Guard, mail persons, or law enforcement officers when acting in official duties, home schools, or competitors in organized shooting events.

If you have questions about your gun rights, you should contact a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer. However, if you’ve been harmed by a gun, such as with a misfire or other problem, or any other product, you can check with a product liability lawyer about your options.

Note: State laws are revised regularly, it’s best to contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these gun laws.

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