Can a convicted felon hunt with a bow or crossbow in Mississippi?
October 1, 2015 Leave a comment
Archery season opened in the Delta and Hill Zones of Mississippi today. Hunters will hit the woods with bows and crossbows in search of backstrap and big racks. While many Mississippians are prevented from hunting with a gun or muzzleloader due to a prior felony conviction, they can use a bow or crossbow to hunt deer in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Attorney General issued an opinion in 2004 expressly allowing convicted felons to possess bows and crossbows. See 2004 WL 555121 (Miss.A.G.) Opinion No. 2004-0043, dated February 13, 2004. The opinion states:
It is the opinion of this office that a muzzle loading rifle or a muzzle loading shotgun is within the meaning of the term “firearm” as used in Mississippi Code Annotated Section 97-37-5. However, the statute does not include weapons such as a traditional bow and arrow or crossbow. Therefore, a convicted felon may possess (and consequently hunt with) a traditional bow and arrow or crossbow.
If you have been convicted of a felony and want to hunt with a firearm rather than a bow or crossbow, check with an attorney in your area to see if your conviction can be expunged. Our law firm does not handle expungements, but we can often recommend someone in your area if you don’t know anyone. Even if you have previously consulted with an attorney that told you your conviction couldn’t be expunged, ask again because the Mississippi Legislature revised the expungement laws recently.