Tag Archives: gun laws

Mississippi Gun Laws; Churches, Open Carry & You.

Mississippi House Bill 786 is poised to become law any second.  This is commonly referred to as the “Mississippi Church Protection Act.

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It basically extends Castle Law Doctrine immunities to you while at church, if you otherwise meet the requirements.  Prerequisites include that your Church is such per state law, that your Church establish  a security program, that members of said security program otherwise meet the licensure requirements of 45-9-101 and said members take an instructional course. Finally, the members must be in the act of “resisting any unlawful attempt to kill a member(s) or attendee(s) of such church or place of worship, or to commit any felony upon any such member or attendee in the church or place of worship or in the immediate premises thereof.”

This Bill is being noted for what else it claims to do.  Buried on page 18 of 30 in the bill is a one sentence addendum to the current concealed carry statute, 45-9-101 et al.

“(24) No license shall be required under this section for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster or carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.”

I’ve seen stories, blogs and FaceBook posts touting this as a seismic shift in Mississippi Gun law. However, readers of this blog will know that this has been the law since at least July 2013. At this time, the definition of Concealed for purposes of the law came into being.

97-37-1. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 45-9-101, any person who carries, concealed * * * on or about one’s person, any pistol, revolver… must have a concealed carry license.”

“(4) For the purposes of this section, “concealedmeans hidden or obscured from common observation and shall not include… 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.”

Are you safer in church? Well, that depends on who you go to Church with. Is there any other meaningful change in the law? No, just further clarifying what the law is and making the criminal code and concealed carry laws consistent.

Read about Open Carry,  Purse Packin’,  Gun Myths and  Gun Law 101.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and supports your Second Amendement right to responsible gun onwership.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at 

(601) 850-8000  or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

Gun Myths Debunked

People make a lot of assumptions about guns.  Most of them are wrong…

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Mississippi has fairly straight forward gun laws.

Can I purchase a gun from a dealer

Yes, if you are 18 or older for a long gun (ie: shotgun, rifle, muzzle loader)


Yes, if you are 21 or older for a hand gun (ie: pistol, revolver)


have not been convicted of domestic violence, a felony and have not been committed for alcohol or drugs, and are not under the influence at the time of purchase.

What about Possessing a Firearm?

Possession as opposed to purchasing has lesser restrictions.  There is not minimum age for possession of a long gun. It’s not uncommon for 9-year-olds and up to have a shotgun for dove or duck hunting.  It’s legal, and assuming proper supervision, safe.  The law is a little more restrictive on a youngster possessing a handgun, but you can possess one if you are 18 or older, and if younger than 18 you may possess one for hunting purposes, at a shooting range or on private property with permission of the landowner.

Do I need a Permit or License?


Do I have to Register my Firearm?


What about Concealed Carry?

MS has recently adopted new laws concerning concealed carry vs. open carry and a license is required for Concealed Carry.

Where can I have this gun?

Your home, your business and your car and a lot of other places too, unless there is a Federal restriction against it, or if your local entity has the proper signage, unless of course you have the instructor certified endorsement (though the endorsement does not override Federal restrictions). Confused yet?

I would suggest you consult with your local law enforcement office if you have specific questions, though reading the law for yourself may prove more beneficial.  Also, the laws are ever-changing.  Confer with an attorney if you have any questions concerning the use, purchase or possession of a firearm in Mississippi before you have an issue.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

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Is Mississippi Open Carry?

The question above has been asked, searched, googled and pondered more than any other gun law query in recent months.

MS Gun Law Roller Coaster

Mississippi was set to be an “Open Carry” state, joining about 30 other States, effective July 1.  I say “was” because there is some doubt right now.  The Mississippi legislature passed House Bill 2 set to “kick-in” July 1, which was signed by the Governor, making it law.  However, a Hinds County Circuit Judge said not so fast.  Judge Winston Kidd held that the new law was vague, issued an injunction – which is a temporary hold – and set a hearing for July 8.  This came about based upon a motion of the Hinds County District Attorney, Robert Schuler Smith.

The gist of the issue is that House Bill 2 redefined a concealed firearm.  It removed from the definition of concealed a pistol in its holster that is wholly or partially visible.  This change was common sense.  HB 2 also deleted the statement ‘that nothing herein may be used to authorize open carry…‘  This language being deleted was significant in that this law now could be construed to allow open carry at least to the extent that it no longer prohibited open carry.

It is also interesting to note that the legislators that voted in favor of this law that are now saying they did not understand it, were actually provided with the old law with the proposed changes added in bold and the removed language with a line through it, so that you could still read what was being removed.  Not understanding is an excuse.

A senator that voted in favor of the change and then came out publicly against it stated, “the interpretation is that by putting that change in the law you allow open carry, and we don’t believe that the constitution provides for open carry,” –John Horhn.

Decide for yourself.  The Mississippi Constitution holds, in part;

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.  Art. III, § 12 (enacted 1890, art. 3, § 12).

Open carry is not prohibited by the MS constitution in any fashion.  The arguments that MS will turn into the “wild west” are overstated and speculative at best.  The places that are posting “No Firearms” signs, I think, will regret it, as only the law-abiding folks will pay that any heed.

Ultimately, I predict the injunction will be dissolved and life will go on- with Open Carry.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney and implores you to not Open Carry just yet, and when you do upon the law being upheld, to Carry responsibly.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.



MS Gun Law Update

I previously blogged on Mississippi gun law basics.  Since that blog the Mississippi legislature passed two bills which tweaked one aspect of the prior blog and also added additional safeguards to persons possessing a concealed carry permit. (An additional “update” here on Open Carry in MS)

First the tweak.  Prior to the change, a concealed weapon had to be “completely concealed” at all times in order to be legal.  Having your firearm in a holster on your hip covered by a jacket was fine, but if you reached, stretched or adjusted and it became visible it was no longer “concealed,” and therefore a violation of the law.  The law now provides that incidental “unconcealment” is not a violation.  This is just a common sense change in the law.

Now the safeguard.  Mississippi, along with 32 other states, now prohibits the release of the names of persons with a concealed carry permit.  This is a safety issue as a New York newspaper recently published the names and addresses of all persons in Westchester County that had a concealed carry permit issued to them by the state of New York.  After the article was published a home was specifically targeted for robbery due to the fact that the burglars suspected they could steal guns.  Now whether a person has a concealed carry permit is protected not subject to disclosure pursuant to Freedom of Information Act requests.  Though the information regarding concealed carry is still available to law enforcement and via valid subpoena.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.