MS HB591: Venomous snake ban


Remember to be professional and civil at all times!



HB591 Died in Committee on January 30th!

Mississippi House Bill 591 (HB591) is a duplicate of last year's HB1, and HB23 in 2016. HB591 seeks to add “all poisonous or venomous species” of snakes to the state list of “inherently dangerous wild animals.” This would ban the importation, sale, and possession of these species without a permit.

It has been assigned to the House Committee of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

See bottom of this page for permit system which would be very costly, thus establishing a de facto ban for most, if not all, keepers.

View the bill at

House Committee of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks email list (just copy/paste),,,,,,,,,,,,

Choose one of the subject lines below:

  1. NO to HB591
  2. HB591 is a bad idea
  3. HB591 is unnecessary

Sample letter

(always best to edit and personalize)

Committee of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks,

I write today as a responsible reptile keeper who will be negatively affected by the proposed ban and House Bill 591. Passing bans simply for the sake of appearing to do something only makes matters worse, rather than better. The permit required if this passes will be extremely costly and a horrendous financial burden upon those who currently have these animals. It will lead to unintended consequences. This bill is another example of government overreach by attempting to penalize criminals while punishing only responsible citizens.

Bans will punish only those who want to comply while others will simply do as they please. This bill is an example of collective punishment, which is one of the greatest examples of bad government and tyranny. I do hope this is realized by the Committee and I ask you to vote NO to HB591. Thank you for your time and have a good day.



Title 49, Chapter 8 of MS Code (Required Permit)

§ 49-8-7. Prohibited possession

(1)(a) It is unlawful for a person to import, transfer, sell, purchase or possess any wild animal classified inherently dangerous by law or regulation unless that person holds a permit under paragraph (b) or is exempted under paragraph (c).

(b)(i) Any person who possesses a wild animal on May 1, 1997, may receive a fee-exempt temporary permit for that animal if the person applies by July 1, 1997. The temporary permit shall be valid until such time as the department notifies the person of the adoption of the regulations for wild animals and of the date the person must apply for an annual permit. After notification, the person shall apply for an annual permit.

(ii) A person must obtain a permit before that person takes possession of a wild animal. The applicant must comply with all the requirements of this chapter and the regulations promulgated by the commission to obtain the permit. Prior to the issuance of a permit, the applicant must provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) for each wild animal up to a maximum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00). An applicant shall have the burden of proving that any wild animals subject to this chapter are or will be imported, transferred, sold, purchased or possessed in compliance with this chapter and regulations.

(c) Public zoos, university research facilities, governmental agencies, transient circuses and rehabilitation and sanctuary facilities may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the commission.

(d) Any permit issued under this chapter shall be valid for one (1) year and only for the species specified. A permit is required for each wild animal possessed. A permit for a female wild animal shall cover her progeny only while her progeny are physically dependant upon her or until her progeny are three (3) months old, whichever period is longer.

(2)(a) It is unlawful for any person to sell, transfer, deliver or give a wild animal classified as inherently dangerous to any other person unless the other person holds a permit for the wild animal or is exempt from holding a permit.

(b) Owners of unpermitted wild animals who do not qualify for a permit to possess the wild animal shall dispose of the wild animal according to law or regulation within thirty (30) days of notification by the department. Each day of possession of the unpermitted wild animal after the thirty-day period constitutes a separate violation.

Article written by USARK