When it comes to self-defense in America, handguns rule the roost, but they aren’t the only option. For those wanting something that is a little less final, or when a firearm just isn’t the right choice, tasers can be an intriguing alternative… They can afford you some range, and still have impressive effectiveness when they work as advertised.
But despite being considerably less dangerous and lethal than firearms, they still aren’t legal in every state, if you can believe it. How about Mississippi? Are Tasers legal there?
Yes, tasers and stun guns are legal in Mississippi. However, if you want to carry them anywhere in public you’ll have to have a concealed weapons permit. There is no provision for public possession of a taser unless you are exempted.
Kind of puzzling considering how pro-gun, overall, Mississippi is that they would install such an onerous statute concerning Tasers specifically.
It isn’t too bad, but it is some red tape that you just shouldn’t have to put up with. If you want to taser, you’ll have to get that permit. There’s a lot more to know about the Mississippi State statutes concerning tasers and stun guns, so keep reading.
How are Tasers Classified in Mississippi?
Tasers are legally categorized as “stun guns” under the Mississippi State statutes, but don’t let that confuse you.
Mississippi defines a “stun gun” as any portable device or weapon from which an electric current or impulse can be directed, and is capable of incapacitating or stunning a person temporarily. Definitely sounds like it fits the description for a taser!
You can read the exact text of Mississippi’s definition for yourself below in 45-9-101 which has a lot to do with stun guns and other personal weapons generally.
45-9-101. License to carry stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver; license fees; exemptions; no license required to carry pistol or revolver in a purse, briefcase, fully enclosed case, etc.
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.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Mississippi?
Yes, stun guns are legal in Mississippi. I need to clear this up because it’s going to get confusing fast otherwise:
When it comes to electroshock weapons, there are two basic types: stun guns and tasers. Tasers fire the darts or probes that trail wires back to the launching unit, whereas stun guns don’t and only shock when in direct contact. Practically speaking, two different things.
Both of these devices are lumped under the blanket definition of stun gun in Mississippi, but I will be referring to them by their proper designators throughout this article.
Knowing that, yes, traditional stun guns are also legal in Mississippi but under the same statutes that tasers are. No exceptions, so remember that as you read on…
Can You Carry a Taser Openly?
Yes, but only with a concealed weapons permit. Even possessing a taser or stun gun in public requires the carrier to have a permit. See the next section for more…
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed?
Yes, but you have to have a concealed weapons permit to do so. As with the section preceding this one, to even possess a taser or stun gun in public you’ve got to have that permit, so once you do it is your choice whether you want to carry concealed or openly.
I know it sounds strange, but read the exact text of 45-9-101 for yourself below: notice how paragraph 1.a talks about the issuance of licenses for the carry of stun guns, and concealed pistols or revolvers? It’s for stun guns and tasers generally, not just concealed ones!
45-9-101. License to carry stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver; license fees; exemptions; no license required to carry pistol or revolver in purse, briefcase, fully enclosed case, etc.
1.a. Except as otherwise provided, 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.
1.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.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Mississippi?
Yes. You’ll have to be at least 21 years old in order to obtain your concealed weapons permit to legally carry a taser in public, although if you are in the armed forces you can get the same permit at the age of 18.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Mississippi?
If you want to buy a taser or stun gun in Mississippi you’ll need to head to a dealer where these devices are sold, and follow their instructions…
Note that you don’t have to have a permit merely in order to purchase the taser or stun gun, but you will need it if you’re going to possess it anywhere outside of your home or other private property.
97-37-7. Deadly weapons; persons permitted to carry weapons; bond; permit to carry weapon; grounds for denying application for permit; required weapons training course; reciprocal agreements
1.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.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in Mississippi?
No, not for ownership, but you’ll have to get trained to the standard in Mississippi if you want to get a concealed weapons permit which will allow you to be in possession of the taser while away from private property or your home.
Where Can You Carry a Taser?
You can carry a taser in most places throughout Mississippi, but note that they’re subject to all of the same laws that firearms are when it comes to prohibited locations.
For starters, you cannot carry your taser into any police, sheriff or highway patrol station or facility, into any courthouse including a courthouse annex, into any kind of school or on school property and that includes school buses and other conveyances, or into any polling place.
You also cannot carry a Taser into any place of nuisance, into any government meeting whether or not it is open to the public or into any premises that has posted signage against the carrying of pistols or other weapons. Those signs have the force of law in Mississippi!
There are many other places besides, so make sure you read the full Mississippi State statutes for yourself or consult with a knowledgeable self-defense attorney.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Mississippi?
Tasers should only be used against someone else in Mississippi for legitimate self-defense. Particularly, you should only deploy your Taser or stun gun and get someone if you are in genuine fear for your life or in fear of great bodily injury.
This is because tasers themselves can inflict considerable injury or even death, so using them against another person is a significant increase in force compared to something like pepper spray.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.