Can Mississippi residents qualify to get a concealed carry permit 100% online? No, that's not true: This misleading advertisement takes advantage of confusing language and false urgency. The price of the online safety course certification is non-refundable, and the website disclaimers put the onus on the people who were specifically targeted with the ad to do the research for themselves to learn that what is being offered for sale does not contribute toward the process of getting a concealed carry permit in Mississippi.
Misleading ads from companies offering online "qualification" for concealed carry permits have been circulating online for years. One example is an advertisement targeting Mississippi residents published by the Facebook page Your Carry Permit on January 21, 2022, with the caption:
Mississippi expands gun rights: Residents are now able to qualify for a concealed carry permit 100% online! Get your OFFICIAL/valid certification in just minutes! Start Here
This is how the post, which includes an image of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, appeared at the time of writing:
(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Jan 28 18:46:07 2022 UTC)
The post links to the website yourcarrypermit.com, which redirects to usconcealedonline.com (archived here) and will load a webpage that has Mississippi-specific text and a silhouette of the state. The link caption of the original post reads:
Mississippi Residents: Get CCW Qualified Online (Do it Before The Loophole Closes) Apply now
There is no loophole that allows Mississippi residents to qualify online to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). Mississippi is a shall-issue and permitless carry state. Either a resident is already qualified or they are prohibited from owning a firearm. There is nothing that a resident can buy "100% online" that will qualify them for a concealed carry permit in Mississippi. Your Carry Permit has ads that target specific states; 100% of the audience targeted by each ad lives in that state. These ads targeting Mississippians are misleading, while using a disclaimer at the bottom of the webpage to shift the responsibility to the consumer. It reads:
US Concealed Online is not a government agency nor are we affiliated with any government agency or entity. US Concealed Online is a training resource for consumers who want to educate themselves in firearm safety. We are not affiliated or associated in any way with the State of Mississippi nor do we guarantee or infer in any way that you will qualify for a concealed carry permit. The certification you receive from US Concealed Online is not a license or permit to carry a handgun. To secure a permit it is your sole responsibility to apply to the State of Mississippi and submit all paperwork required along with any fees. It is your responsibility to research and understand your local laws as it relates to handgun ownership and concealed carry.
Concealed Coalition, Inc., at two Las Vegas addresses, has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
To get a permit through the proper channels with the Firearm Permit Division of Mississippi, the applicant must fulfill the set requirements, send in the completed forms and pay a $112 fee the first time they get a five-year permit. In addition, a civilian must complete at least eight hours of an in-person training course with a firearm instructor certified with the state and must attach a certificate proving this to qualify for an enhanced handgun permit.
In Mississippi, if a resident can legally possess a firearm, they can carry it concealed in the state. If they want to be able to carry concealed in states offering reciprocity with Mississippi, they would need to have either a standard or an enhanced handgun permit, depending on the state. If applying for a standard firearms permit or a permit with the enhanced carry option, some documents must be mailed to the Firearm Permit Division in Jackson, Mississippi -- this is not a process completed online.
A two-page pdf file can be found at driverservicebureau.dps.ms.gov titled, "Mississippi Department of Public Safety Application For Concealed Carry Permit." A person can fill out the first page of the form online but then must print out the two pages. The second page of the form is an individual firearm permit affidavit and release of information. The applicant must show proper ID and sign the document in the presence of a notary public, who must notarize it, before mailing it in.
Additional documents must be attached to the application for people applying for special designations or the enhanced carry option -- civilians, active-duty military, retired military, disabled veterans, law enforcement or retired law enforcement. These details are listed in the pdf.
Lead Stories has written about misleading ads for concealed carry permit certificates in the past. Lead Stories reached out to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety for comment and will update the article if necessary when the agency replies.