AG Hood: Gun OK On Government Property For ‘Enhanced Carry’ Permit HoldersBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Dec 2013 05:29pm |
Mississippians with enhanced concealed carry weapon permits can take weapons onto nearly all public property. That's according to a legal opinion by the Attorney General as MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports.
A number of cities, counties and school districts posted signs banning weapons in the wake of the open-carry gun law passed earlier this year.
Attorney General Jim Hood has issued an opinion saying that those signs mean nothing to Mississippians with an enhanced carry permit.
Mississippi College School of Law Professor Matt Steffe says the opinion means that anyone with that permit can take a weapon into most government buildings or where government activity is taking place.
"Polling places. The court house excluding courtrooms perhaps. Educational property and so on. Places that will be a surprise to some at least," Steffe said.
Also places like colleges, and inside airport terminals.
Some buildings can still prohibit weapons such as inside courtrooms, police stations or jails.
Steffe says Hood's opinion is just advisory but does carry a significant amount of influence.
"I think it is sweeping. And I think when you look at this in combination with the open carry provisions that were in the news earlier this year. It is a very strong statement about the rights on gun owners," Steffe said.
The enhanced carry permit was created in 2011 and is the top level weapons permit in Mississippi.
The opinion does not cover weapons permits or concealed carry permits.
The city of Corinth asked the AG for clarification on the law.
Wendall Trapp, an attorney for Corinth, says the law has created confusion with many cities.
"There were issues as to interpretation, not only here in Corinth but else where in the state. There was an interest in being sure it was being interpreted correctly by those who needed to know that. Particularly law enforcement officers," Trapp said.
The ruling could be motivation for the legislature to revisit the open carry law to clear up any confusion or untended consequences.
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