Mississippians React to Open-Carry RulingBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 29 Aug 2013 10:05pm |
The Mississippi Supreme Court's decision to uphold the state's open carry-gun law is receiving swift reaction from state lawmakers and law enforcement officials.
The justices ruled unanimously yesterday that Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd erred when he found the state's new open carry-gun law vague and therefore unconstitutional. The ruling has prompted State Senator John Horhn of Jackson to consider introducing legislation requiring permits for all firearms sighting safety concerns.
"When I have a gun on my hip, whether I'm law abiding or not, it may have a tendency to embolden me and so I think it's going to lead to a lot more rash decisions, I think a lot more injuries either accidental or intentional are going to occur and I just don't think that's in the best interest of the people of Mississippi," says Hohrn.
Earlier this year, legislators passed and Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 2, which says adults don't need a permit to carry a gun that's not concealed. Republican House Representative Andy Gipson of Braxton authored the bill.
"In response to them, I would say here in Hinds County they've had an order for two months allegedly keeping this law from going into effect and in that same amount of time, criminals have still been committing crimes," says Gipson. "Murders have happened, double homicides have happened, if you've been watching the news law abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms to defend ourselves and that's what this bill is for,."
Now that the state's open carry law has been deemed constitutional, Attorney General Jim Hood says there are still rules to abide by.
"You can go on public property except school property and most governmental buildings and those are the ones that will have signs posted that you're not allowed to carry a weapon. As far as the rules on private property, you are allowed to carry unless the store owner has a sign posted that says that you can't carry a weapon on that property. So, if you're going to have a sign, it probably should be viewable ten feet away," explains Hood.
In light of the courts ruling Senator Horhn says he will immediately ask officials with the city of Jackson, Hinds County as well as municipalities across the state to ban the open carry of guns.
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