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PHEBA, Miss. (WCBI) – In less than two weeks Mississippi’s new open carry gun law takes effect but confusion still remains. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood issued an opinion on what he thought the law means but business owners are still being cautious.

The so-called Open Carry Gun Law is causing rural store owners to rethink and prepare for it once it goes into effect July 1, 2013.

While rural Clay County store owner Tracy McKee believes in gun rights and even owns guns, he is joining with local law enforcement personnel in firing off caution when it comes to openly carrying a weapon.

“I enjoy hunting and fishing and there is a time and place for everything. And I just don’t think that coming into a business is the proper place to openly carry a gun. I mean why would you encourage somebody to tempt you,” said Mckee.

With a new gun law on the books, business owners like McKee are preparing to make adjustments.

“We will be posting signs urging customers not to bring them in and try to find out what we can do to prevent it. Because the safety of our employees and other customers is a great concern,” said McKee.

While the open carry law is being viewed by many as being confusing and as murky as muddy water, when it comes to gun ownership, many citizens are protective and up in arms about their individual rights. Private citizens are prohibited from having weapons on school grounds.

“I think it should be banned from school houses and courthouses. And if possible I’m going to have it banned from my business,” said McKee.

Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott is in favor of keeping private gun owners from bringing weapons into their courthouse. They’ll take up the issue at an upcoming meeting with county supervisors.

Comment on this Story

  • Rick Ward

    The only people who will honor signs are the law abiding citizens. Criminals will still come into the stores with guns and it leaves the store owner and the citizen shopper at a deadly disadvantage. I’ll bet you won’t see a handful of people open carrying anyway. And to the Mom and Pop store owner, guess what, the big national chains like Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot and the like have corporate policies to abide by whatever the law is in the state that the store is in. So more of your business will go to the major chains because those people who choose to openly carry will not bother to take of their gun to come into your place. They will go to the major chains. You will be the loser. The police are just angry because they aren’t the only ones who can carry guns in the open now. Many are scared of facing people with guns. They should go talk to the Game Wardens who do it all the time. By the way, I spent 14 years in Mississippi Law Enforcement, graduated from the State Police Academy and FBI National Academy. Also spent 20 years in military law enforcement and physical security.

  • Chelsie Brand

    I thought it was illegal to carry a gun in a Courthouse anyways.. even if you have a Carry Permit? So why should there be any confusion to that?

  • Ed

    As a store owner he has that right, no guns in my store. With that he has the responsibility to make sure the criminals obey that also, otherwise sue his rear off.

  • Rick Ward

    Chelsie:

    The law allows people with an enhanced permit to enter a courthouse with a gun because they received the training the legislature required for that access.

    Ed:

    SO how would you propose the owner keep the criminal out too? Metal detectors at the door operated by security guards might keep them out with guns. A sign sure won’t. Do you think the store owner will bear the cost of that equipment and manpower? Would you go into a store where you had to empty your pockets first? Get real man. Also, you can’t sue from the grave.

  • Rick Ward

    By the way Ed, nobody will argue that a storeowner has the right to keep people out with guns. However, we have the right to shop where we want to also. I am contributing to a website that will list all stores who choose not to honor our rights under the second amendment and we are asking people to boycott them.

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