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Miss. AG Moves to Push Open Carry Measure Into Effect

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 17 Jul 2013 08:52pm | comments

State Attorney General Jim Hood says he'll file an appeal early next week to try to push Mississippi's open-carry gun measure into law and confusion is surrounding the law that was slated to take effect July 1st. 


Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says he will ask the state Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by a Hinds Count Judge that puts the states open carry law on hold. The judge called the law unconstitutionally vague. During a press conference yesterday  Hood tried to clear up confusion about whether the hold on the open carry law only applies to hinds county or the entire state.  


"The judge's decision does have an impact statewide legally but as a practical matter I don't think it does, I think that law enforcement officers will probably not be arresting people for carrying a weapon openly in a place where they can carry it, if a business has got a sign up that says no weapons, then the charge would be trespass after warning," details Hood.     


Hood says a Hinds County judge has the power to block the state law from taking effect because the seat of state government is in Hinds County. The action is the result of a lawsuit filed by a number of legislators and law enforcement officers including Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. Shortly before the suit was filed Shuler Smith commented on why the law needed to be blocked.  


"It makes it very difficult for citizens  and law enforcement alike to determine who is a threat and who is not, that's very dangerous, this needs to be reconsidered, we support the second amendment, however, this is going beyond that right, we think it poses a threat to everyone," says Shuler Smith

Mississippi College Constitutional Law Professor, Matt Steffy says the law does raise a number of concerns.  "Anytime a judge issues an injunction against the enforcement of a law, even non-parties to it take note, they know that the Supreme Court is likely to resolve the issue, they take note that there's a real question about the enforcability of a law and prudence suggests that, that be taken into account."        


Until the Mississippi Supreme Court decides to weigh in on the case Hood is telling sheriffs and police officers across the state they might  be wasting their time arresting people for simply carrying a gun that's not concealed. 





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