Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit. Yes or No? Question of the Day

Mississippi carry permit application

“The root of the dispute is a [Mississippi] law passed in 2011 that’s supposed to let people carry guns almost anywhere on public property after taking a training course and getting an enhanced concealed carry license,” fresnobee.com reports. “Universities have interpreted the law to say they can define public spaces, and have mostly excluded sports venues, dormitories, classrooms. Judges and counties have also reacted negatively to allowing people to carry guns everywhere except an active courtroom, with many still enforcing blanket bans on guns anywhere in a courthouse.” My dispute is with .  . .

the idea of an “enhanced carry permit.”

First, the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. The idea of requiring a government permission slip to exercise that right is fundamentally antithetical to the principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded. Think of it this way: if you have to ask the government permission to do something it isn’t a right.

Second, establishing two classes of people “allowed” to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is profoundly discriminatory. Who can afford to take the time and spend the money to get a Mississippi “enhanced license”?  The additional requirement closes the door for average citizens and opens it even wider for government tyranny.

Third, where’s the evidence that “enhanced” training eliminates dangerous people or increases license holder’s abilities? Not that it matters; the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t rest on arguments of social utility.

On the other hand, an enhanced carry license begins the process of ending “gun free zones.” Or so the theory goes.

I’m not buying it. As you might have guessed, I see enhanced carry licenses as a constitutional abomination that serves no useful purpose, save giving anti-gunners a shield to hide behind, to delay full gun rights restoration.

Your thoughts?


  1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I don’t imagine that it would end up being a good thing. I imagine it will simply be a precedent for additional conditions for a “permit” and the special areas where they are required will spread rapidly. This permit will become the one you need for any sort of practical carry.

    1. avatar Casey says:

      I assume it was to separate the largest block of friendly hunters/business people and the evil cop-wannabe “good guy with a gun” nut jobs into two easily identifiable and SWAT-able groups.


  2. avatar Scoutino says:

    Today it is enhanced license that requires all that extra bs, next you know it will be required for all licenses. It’s commonsense!

  3. avatar BLoving says:

    “You’re not a member of this club”
    That is precisely the point of this or any other permitting system: for the state to retain the authority to decide who gets in the door. And they get to define the criteria as well: are you a campaign donor? Are you wealthy? Are you a Party Member? Are you the right color? Etc.
    Sure, I got my Texas permit too but not because I felt is was right… I did it because I’m a law abiding citizen and I know I’m not rich/important enough to have a prayer of legally defending myself in court. So I jumped through the hoop like a good dog.

  4. avatar MisterFurious says:

    All permits are bullshit; I don’t need a permission slip from the fucking government.

  5. avatar little horn says:

    they just started this in Arkansas. i didn’t sign up. I don’t know if i will or not.

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “First, the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. The idea of requiring a government permission slip to exercise that right is fundamentally antithetical to the principles of individual liberty”

    This, The nation already has Constitutional carry,it just needs to be enforced across the 50 states,PERIOD.

  7. avatar John says:

    If it is costing more to get the enhanced permit it’s just another money grab by the government. There are a number of states that do this.

    1. avatar Sid says:

      The government is not profiting. Local gun ranges and instructors are.

      There are no extra government fees to have enhanced carry. You have to have a certificate of training form an authorized instructor. Take the certificate to the MHP station and they will place a sticker on the back of your permit.

      Now, you may not like the idea or imposition of permits. I agree. But the enhanced carry in MS is not an overreach by the govt. It was a Trojan horse to push back against govt regulations and restrictions.

  8. avatar Oh noes says:

    It starts out as an enhanced permit, offering exclusive access to GFZ’s. Next it will require you to register all of your firearms, or register you CCW to your permit somehow.

    1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      Maybe Arizona or somewhere could just deputize everyone as part time law enforcement? That would open up some options for carry…

  9. avatar Don Nelson says:

    Idealism has its place, and a natural and Constitutional right should not be limited. But…

    …pragmatically, I don’t need any more legal hassles. I have the SD “enhanced” permit because it’s recognized by a bunch more states than the basic. In addition, I have three other states’ permits to plug some holes in the map.

    Until we make the necessary changes to various laws, I choose to carry hassle-free.

  10. avatar DCJ says:

    It’s Mississippi. A long cultural history of special clubs and classifications.

  11. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Got friends in Mississippi that have this.

    Dont agree with the premise bit dont agree with permjts in general.

    It was political posturing….we will LET you do this….. if you jump through an extra hoop.

    Waiting for someone to get arrested that doesnt have the enhanced permit to sue for discrimination.

    Grew up in Mississippi and we had no allowance to carry….just things you could use in your defense….you know…if you were white and had money and wealthy friends.

  12. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Does the enhanced permit allow for the purchase of and carry of fully automatic, suppressed mp7s? Or sawn off grenade launchers? Or backpack turret lasers? Might get some support…

  13. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    … establishing two classes of people "allowed" to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is profoundly discriminatory. Who can afford to take the time and spend the money to get a Mississippi "enhanced license"?

    That is a feature, not a bug!

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      How much time and money are we really talking about anyway? Neither this post nor the article say, and that is kind of important before someone flies off the handle saying that such a requirement is too burdensome. Hell, in California, assuming you live in a permissive county, it is still $160 for the permitting process (including a LifeScan), another $160 (or so) for the “up to” 16 hours of required class and range time for the initial license. That’s two full days, not including the time spent in the interview with the local Sheriff. It is four hours of class time ($80) plus a renewal fee every two years.

  14. avatar Joe R. says:

    If you buy into ‘enhanced’ then they can make everyone do enhanced as the new minimum. Rinse repeat, until one day you decide you have to kill them and their children, and destroy everything that they ever cared about.

    All THEY are trying to do is push that day back as far as they can to make it harder on you.

  15. avatar Bob says:

    Is this not the same sense of idea as acquiring a carry license in New Jersey? If you are prominent enough you can get one, but not everyone?

  16. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Setting aside the whole “licenses are unconstitutional!” hysterics, because that’s a different discussion for another time and licenses are reality today, I’d say that enhanced licenses generally an imperfect improvement in theory.

    In practice, they’re even less perfect, but still an improvement. It’s recognizing the momentum toward more freedom for more people. That’s the goal.

  17. avatar chris says:

    I watched a licensed CC holder talk on the news after his college was attacked. The reporter asked him if he had a license to which he chuckled and replied “Yes, I chose to purchase my rights back from the government.”

    Why would I purchase my ‘enhanced’ rights back from the government?

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      Because you aren’t willing to fight the government for them.

  18. avatar ArkhamInmate says:

    We have Constitutional Carry. Not a fan of the enhanced permit, but just saying…

  19. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    It’s about as bad an idea as “Enhanced free speech” permits.

  20. avatar Mater says:

    Mississippi has constutional carry now and used to have 2 types of permit the enhanced in ms is about the same pain in the ass as the texas regular carry permit so yeah….

  21. avatar D in ID says:

    The basic Idaho license has lower requirements than many/most other states. As such, a lot of states refuse to recognize it. Idaho introduced an enhanced license, requiring classroom and range time for the purpose of reciprocity with less gun friendly states. Unfortunately, the legislature quickly decided that the enhanced license should also be required to carry on college campuses. Idaho now has constitutional carry for residents.

    To answer the question, NO! I don’t like the idea of enhanced carry permits for allowing carry in otherwise prohibited areas. Given the reality of the current political environment, I am glad that I have a way to legally carry in Washington and Nevada, etc., the slave states that neighbor my less-slavish state.

  22. avatar John says:

    I’m not against training for a carry permit I’m not for it either. Problem is you can’t give legislators an inch because when it boils down to it; its all just an introduction to total disarmament.

  23. avatar Tt78 says:

    Reminds me of the North Carolina Homeland Security Patriot Act from 2015 (https://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/Senate/PDF/S708v0.pdf)’

    * establishes a homeland security unrestricted concealed handgun permit
    * may carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the State, including property on which a notice is posted prohibiting said carry and has the same exemption from all State prohibitions and restrictions that State and local law enforcement officers enjoy while acting in the discharge of their official duties
    * the sheriff shall issue a permit and a badge to those that qualify (ha)

    Alas, died in the Rules & Operations of the Senate committee

    1. avatar ATTAG Reader says:

      Unfortunately will remain utterly dead with he-should-have-lost Roy Cooper as Gubnuh. I suspect the lesson here is that the R’s thought that by playing nice with the D’s, they would get more of their agenda accomplished and keep McCrory in place for a second term. Wrong. The D’s turned out their welfare contingent and squeaked in. They should have crammed every bit of the agenda up the D’s places where the sun don’t shine. If they nonetheless lost to Cooper, they would still have passed more and stronger legislation (not just gun-owner related) and still have retained the legislature (until the D’s re-gerrymander it in their favor.) Similarly, the R’s in Congress should have dropped their disbelief about Trump, gotten with the program, and crammed a lot more up the D’s, dared them to filibuster, and forced the fence-sitters to declare their allegiances. Maybe Pelosi would stroke out if she talked even longer about DACA. Who knows? It would be worth the small risk.

  24. avatar Jim Bob George Bill John Jones says:

    While I of course prefer straight Constitutional carry, the idea of a federal level “enhanced” permit that would allow the possessor to carry a firearm literally anywhere including planes, courthouses, schools etc in any state would be a good starting point. Oh, and make it a license to bypass NFA restrictions… Yes, it would create a “special class” of gun owners but as long as it is equally accessible to all citizens and not prohibitively expensive, it would be a good middle ground that would at least give the option of total firearms freedom to those that were willing to put in the effort… Or we could just return to a literal interpretation of the 2A, but unfortunately that seems less and less likely these days, in fact, further restrictions on gun rights seem far more likely since both parties seem to favor gun control now.

  25. avatar Jared says:

    How many of the people posting here decrying the enhanced permit actually live in the state? I’ve lived in MS for the last 10 years and while the idea of a permit is irritating, MS is far more relaxed then any of yall know. First of all, open carry is extremely relaxed. Daily working front counter sales I would see multiple people a day open carrying firearms with no issues. Also, they dont require any permit whatsoever to open carry or to concealed carry when using a bag (like a purse or a murse). As for the enhanced sticker (thats all that separates someone with from someone without), anyone in the military gets one automatically by showing their ID or DD214 as I did. All other mere mortals can take a 1-2 hour class for usually about $100 which is basically an NRA familiarization/safety course for handguns. The only ‘painful’ thing in it all is having to go by the DMV. Given most peoples lack of familiarization with their carry guns (or any gun at all for that matter) I am all for having a basic handgun course.

  26. avatar KURT Robert INGALLS says:

    what part of “shall not be infringed” is not understood……so my civil right boils down to someone’s preference…..we are doomed….. 🙂

  27. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    Until someone wins a Supreme Court case (and the lower courts enforce it) that says I can carry my gun anywhere, I’m in favor of any law that expands where I can carry. Are there better options than even the best gun law(s) out there? Yes, but I live in the real world where I know that the Mississippi enhanced carry law is very likely better than anything we will get from the Supreme Court in my lifetime.

  28. avatar Shwiggie says:

    What a lot of well-intentioned posters miss is that the enhanced permit system is a step toward greater freedom in our fair state, not away from it. Before the enhanced carry permit, it was straight-up illegal to carry in most of the places the current enhanced system allows for. MS firearms law was a shambles before the enhanced carry law was adopted in 2011 and the steps from clarifying concealed vs open carry, purse carry to open carry happened in intervening years. These laws were passed precisely because they were incremental steps, helped by the realization that the familiar hoplophobic refrain of “blood in the streets” was found to not be the case.

    The record of firearms use and lack of misuse by enhanced permit holders since those laws were passed proves that citizens can and should be free to exercise their natural right of firearm possession. Sure, the second amendment should be interpreted as written, but the fact remains that the concept of law-abiding citizens innocently exercising their natural right to bear arms is undermined when said citizens can’t be bothered to abide the law.

    Mississippians have a lot of leeway with regards to carrying weapons. It is my hope and expectation that the requirement for a permit enhancement will be diminished over time and manifest in the dwindling of the number of restricted places and become true constitutional carry. But it should be seen as a positive development rather than negative.

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