JACKSON, Miss. — You can carry your guns out in the open now. The Mississippi Supreme Court today has upheld the state’s new open carry law.
“I’m glad they acted quickly,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “This decision will help our law enforcement officers understand what the rules are so that they can try to enforce the law and protect us.”
Under the law, you can openly carry a gun on public property except schools and government buildings. You can carry on private property, only if a sign is not posted saying otherwise. And that sign would have to be visible from at least 10 feet away.
But Hood says there may be some conflict between the new law and the state’s enhanced carry law. “The question posed to us is that you’ve got one statute that says you can’t carry a firearm on school property; but this enhanced carry statute expressly says you can carry it to sporting functions and things of that nature.” Hood expects to issue an opinion in a couple of weeks.
Several state leaders are reacting to the court’s decision to uphold open carry.
“House Bill 2 is an important clarification of citizens’ right to keep and bear arms under the state and federal Constitutions,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “I am very pleased that the court has agreed that House Bill 2 is consistent with the Constitution so that law will now take effect statewide.”
“The Constitution grants us the right to bear arms. As a life member of the National Rifle Association, I am pleased the Supreme Court has protected this fundamental right,” echoed Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
State Representative Andy Gipson said,“ I am very pleased the Mississippi Supreme Court has promptly decided that House Bill 2 is clear and unambiguous, and the bill is now in effect statewide. I would like to thank all those who stood with us and filed supportive briefs with the Court. This shows that the Hinds County lawsuit was a waste of taxpayers’ time and money.”
Opponents not happy with the ruling, but not surprised either. “We never really thought that we could halt the legislation on the constitution and the gray area that it had between the right to bear arm and what it actually means to open carry,” said Senator Kenny Wayne Jones (D) Canton. But he said, the fight’s not over. “We are gonna try to look at that legislation again and figure out if we are going to do anything to put some new language out there that takes out the part that we feel puts the general public at risk.”
If a bill to change the law makes it out of the legislature next year, it likely will not get the Governor’s approval.