Open Carry Law Still in Question in Miss.By Jeffrey Hess | Published 08 Jul 2013 12:08pm |
Photo from Flickr account of denebola2025
The law, sometimes called the open carry law, passed the legislature this year with overwhelming support. But since its passage the law enforcement community in Mississippi has expressed concern that it will cause people to become trigger happy.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has filed a lawsuit to block it from taking effect.
"We support the second amendment. We absolutely think that it is a sacred right. However, this is going beyound that right. We think it poses a threat to everyone," Smith said.
A judge is expected to hear arguments for and against the law today.
Supporters say the open-carry law merely a clarification of the Mississippi constitution.
The law's author Representative Andy Gipson of Braxton says the state constitution only gives the state the power to regulate concealed firearms.
"And I view this lawsuit as nothing less than an attack on the constitutional right of Mississippians to keep and bear arms. In effect, this lawsuit is an attempt to say the constitution is unconstitutional," Gipson said.
Mississippians still need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The lawsuit could be on a fast track to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Mississippi College School of law professor Matt Steffe says the law does raise a number of important questions.
"There is over all this questions, can the Mississippi Supreme Court forbid the open carry of guns in the court house? The law address trial courts but not the appellate court. Can a business owner decide that guns in a frozen yogurt shop are not the way that owner wants to do business." Steffe said.
The law is currently blocked.
The judge could decide today whether to continue that block or let the law go in effect.
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