SOUTHAVEN, MISSISSIPPI — July 1 marked the date when new Mississippi gun laws went into effect. In Mississippi, it is now legal to carry a firearm in an enclosed satchel, briefcase or purse without a concealed carry permit. Local Memphis covered both the changes in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi gun laws which went into effect on July 1st.
According to the Sun Herald, other aspects of the law are going into effect which should make it easier for first time applicants of a concealed carry permit.
It [would] reduce the fee for a new concealed-carry license to $80 from $100, and the renewal fee for people younger than 65 would drop to $40 from $50. For people 65 and older, the renewal fee would drop to $20 from $25.
These changes arrive on the heels of previous pro-gun legislation signed in April of 2015 which would allow active duty and veteran members of the military and honorably-retired law enforcement to substitute their training for the training requirement that Mississippians currently have to complete prior to being issued a concealed carry permit.
That April legislation also supported residents owning rifle munitions that may be subject to restrictions by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Provisions of Mississippi Purse Carry
In the Sun Herald article, the article notes that a big push for allowing concealed carry without a permit for purses was it encourage more females to feel comfortable carrying a concealed handgun.
As for the new legislation, the full text of the law as signed by Gov. Bryant is included here for convenience. The following stipulations were placed on the self-styled “purse carry”:
(24) No license shall be required under this section for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.
See? Plenty of room to maneuver. What constitutes a fully enclosed case or bag? Does a rolled up paper bag count? That’s yet to be defined. We believe the Mississippi legislature intended for purses and business-style cases but based upon the wording – this could be extended to a number of other satchels.
Concealed Nation has discussed the potential pitfalls of carrying a handgun in a purse versus a concealed carry holster. But that doesn’t mean purse carry has to be unsafe – and we’re sure to point out why in that article.
Mississippi Inching Closer To Constitutional Carry?
All of these provisions, which have since gone into effect, seem more geared for making concealed carry permits more accessible to residents from Mississippi. While Bryant has a record of signing pro-gun/pro-veteran legislature, it is not the prevailing opinion that he’s moving one iota closer to constitutional carry.
With the current law allowing the concealment of a loaded or unloaded handgun in one’s enclosed satchel, bag, or briefcase – does it still make sense to get a concealed carry permit?
Yes. Yes, it does.
With a resident Mississippi concealed carry permit, you’re allowed to travel out-of-state and best of all – choose where you want to position your handgun. Being restricted to a briefcase or courier bag is both inconvenient and unnecessary. As the law stands right now in Mississippi, a concealed carry permit is still the best way to go.
What do you think about “purse carry” and is it a substitute for a concealed carry permit? Tell us in the comments section!