Self Defense Laws
Mississippi

These are excerpts taken from Mississippi Statutes and are up-to-date as of February 23, 2003. Information herein should not be assumed accurate, and if you find yourself needing accurate information about law, you are hereby advised to consult a lawyer. Information herein should be used for informational, and not legal, purposes only.

Mississippi Legislature, Mississippi Code (free via Lexis) – - State Gov. Operator 601-359-1000 , Senate 601-359-3770 , House 601-359-3358 – - Senate Sec. 601-359-3202 , House Clerk 359-3360, State Law Library 601-359-3672

Weapons
Type of Weapon

  • Pepper Spray-Yes
  • Stun Guns and Tasers-Yes
  • Batons-Yes
  • Nunchucks-Unknown
  • Brass Nuckles-Unknown
  • Sling Shots-Unknown
  • Knives (All types)-Unknown
  • Throwing Stars and Knives-Unknown
  • Switchblades-Unknown
  • Blowguns-Unknown
  • Swords-Unknown
  • Cane Swords-Unknown

How Hard You Can Hit?

  • SEC. 97-3-15. Homicide; justifiable homicide.
    (1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another shall be justifiable in the following cases:
    (a) When committed by public officers, or those acting by their aid and assistance, in obedience to any judgment of a competent court;
    (b) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of some legal process, or to the discharge of any other legal duty;
    (c) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in retaking any felon who has been rescued or has escaped;
    (d) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in arresting any felon fleeing from justice;
    (e) When committed by any person in resisting any attempt unlawfully to kill such person or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be;
    (f) When committed in the lawful defense of one’s own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished;
    (g) When necessarily committed in attempting by lawful ways and means to apprehend any person for any felony committed;
    (h) When necessarily committed in lawfully suppressing any riot or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
    (2) As used in paragraphs (1)(c) and (1)(d) of this section, the term “when necessarily committed” means that a public officer or a person acting by or at the officer’s command, aid or assistance is authorized to use such force as necessary in securing and detaining the felon offender, overcoming the offender’s resistance, preventing the offender’s escape, recapturing the offender if the offender escapes or in protecting himself or others from bodily harm; but such officer or person shall not be authorized to resort to deadly or dangerous means when to do so would be unreasonable under the circumstances. The public officer or person acting by or at the officer’s command may act upon a reasonable apprehension of the surrounding circumstances; however, such officer or person shall not use excessive force or force that is greater than reasonably necessary in securing and detaining the offender, overcoming the offender’s resistance, preventing the offender’s escape, recapturing the offender if the offender escapes or in protecting himself or others from bodily harm.
    (3) As used in paragraphs (1)(c) and (1)(d) of this section the term “felon” shall include an offender who has been convicted of a felony and shall also include an offender who is in custody, or whose custody is being sought, on a charge or for an offense which is punishable, upon conviction, by death or confinement in the penitentiary.
  • SEC. 97-3-17. Homicide; excusable homicide.
    The killing of any human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another shall be excusable:
    (a) When committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent;
    (b) When committed by accident and misfortune, in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation;
    (c) When committed upon any sudden combat, without undue advantage being taken, and without any dangerous weapon being used, and not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
  • SEC. 97-3-33. Killing trespasser involuntarily.
    The involuntary killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, while such human being is engaged in the commission of a trespass or other injury to private rights or property, or is engaged in an attempt to commit such injury, shall be manslaughter.
  • SEC. 97-37-1. Deadly weapons; carrying while concealed; use or attempt to use; penalties.
    (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 45-9-101, any person who carries, concealed in whole or in part, any bowie knife, dirk knife, butcher knife, switchblade knife, metallic knuckles, blackjack, slingshot, pistol, revolver, or any rifle with a barrel of less than sixteen (16) inches in length, or any shotgun with a barrel of less than eighteen (18) inches in length, machine gun or any fully automatic firearm or deadly weapon, or any muffler or silencer for any firearm, whether or not it is accompanied by a firearm, or uses or attempts to use against another person any imitation firearm, shall upon conviction be punished as follows:
    (a) By a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both, in the discretion of the court, for the first conviction under this section.
    (b) By a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and imprisonment in the county jail for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months, for the second conviction under this section.
    (c) By imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, for the third or more convictions under this section.
    (d) By imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years for any person previously convicted of any felony who is convicted under this section.
    (2) It shall not be a violation of this section for any person over the age of eighteen (18) years to carry a firearm or deadly weapon concealed in whole or in part within the confines of his own home or his place of business, or any real property associated with his home or business or within any motor vehicle.
    (3) It shall not be a violation of this section for any person to carry a firearm or deadly weapon concealed in whole or in part if the possessor of the weapon is then engaged in a legitimate weapon-related sports activity or is going to or returning from such activity. For purposes of this subsection, “legitimate weapon-related sports activity” means hunting, fishing, target shooting or any other legal sports activity which normally involves the use of a firearm or other weapon.
  • ยง 97-37-9. Deadly weapons; defenses against indictment for carrying deadly weapon.
    Any person indicted or charged for a violation of Section 97-37-1 may show as a defense:
    (a) that he was threatened, and had good and sufficient reason to apprehend a serious attack from any enemy, and that he did so apprehend; or
    (b) that he was traveling and was not a tramp, or was setting out on a journey and was not a tramp; or
    (c) that he was a law enforcement or peace officer in the discharge of his duties; or
    (d) that he was at the time in the discharge of his duties as a mail carrier; or
    (e) that he was at the time engaged in transporting valuables for an express company or bank; or
    (f) that he was a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, National Guard, State Militia, Emergency Management Corps, guard or patrolman in a state or municipal institution while in the performance of his official duties; or
    (g) that he was in lawful pursuit of a felon; or
    (h) that he was lawfully engaged in legitimate sports; or
    (i) that at the time he was a company guard, bank guard, watchman, or other person enumerated in Section 97-37-7, and was then actually engaged in the performance of his duties as such, and then held a valid permit from the sheriff, the commissioner of public safety, or a valid permit issued by the secretary of state prior to May 1, 1974, to carry the weapon; and the burden of proving either of said defenses shall be on the accused.

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