HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As of Wednesday, gun owners in Mississippi no longer have to register for a permit in order to carry their weapon in a concealed location.
Senate Bill 2394 took effect July 1, which clarifies that a state-issued permit is not necessary when a firearm is carried in a purse, briefcase or other fully enclosed carrier. The law also reduces fees for permits, from $100 to $80 for an original regular concealed carry permit, from $50 to $40 for a renewed concealed carry permit and from $25 to $20 for renewal for senior citizens. Under this law, active duty military personnel are exempt from application fees.
"The initial bill, as it started out, was far broader," Sen. Joey Fillingane (R- Dist. 41) said.
Fillingane co-authored the bill, and he said gun advocates originally wanted the legislation to fulfill "Constitutional Carry," which is a belief that every abled and legal citizen has the constitutional right to bear a firearm without a permit.
"There was a good bit of debate in both the House and the Senate," Fillingane said. "I'm sure we haven't heard the last of that particular bill."
While SB 2394 allows gun owners to carry without training or a permit, Fillingane said he encourages those carrying loaded weapons to have proper training.
"If you haven't received the proper training, you can do as much or more damage to yourself in an effort to defend yourself as you can the person that you're trying to defend yourself from," he said.
Another gun-related bill (SB 2619) went into effect upon passage in the spring that exempts honorably retired law enforcement and honorably retired correctional officers from training in order to be a gun owner and permit holder.