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UNDATED, Miss.-The nine-member Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously says a Hinds County judge erred when he ruled the state’s new “open carry” law was unconstitutionally vague.

The ruling released this afternoon reinstates the law, which allows people to carry weapons almost anywhere as long as they are at least partially visible.

On July 12, Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd issued an injunction blocking implementation of House Bill 2, saying it was too vague for average people to understand. Attorney General Jim Hood asked the court to overturn Kidd’s action.

The law was set to go into effect July 1.

Today’s ruling allows it to take effect immediately.

Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, the author of the legislation, has maintained that the 1890s Mississippi Constitution, not his bill, gives Mississippians the right to openly carry a weapon. The Constitution, he said, gives the Legislature the authority to regulate concealed carry, but not the authority to regulate open carry.

Still, he conceded that, though, the language in the Constitution allows the open carry of weapons with no permit, the issue had never been decided by the Courts.

Gipson’s bill deals primarily with concealed carry issues but in doing so clarifies that anyone had the right to open carry.

Kidd blocked enactment of the law in late June after law enforcement, primarily from Hinds County, filed a lawsuit. After Kidd’s ruling, Attorney General Jim Hood filed an appeal with the Supreme Court asking the high court to expedite a ruling on the issue.

 

 

Comment on this Story

  • Shannon Crow

    Regardless of the Nerveous Nellies fears, this is not going to cause blood to run in the streets. If you see someone with a firearm in a holster, just ignore them. As long as they are following the gun safety rules, no one is in danger. Our state Constitution recognizes the citizen’s two responsibilities: the moral responsibility to protect your person, home, and property; and the civic responsibility to protect your community as part of the militia. To meet these responsibilities, the Constitution is very clear that the right to keep and bear arms is unquestionable, and that only concealed carry can be regulated. Just remember that having a gun does not make you a superhero, a cop, or a security professional. And, it does not mean that you automatically win the fight. A firearm is a tool. The person using the tool decides whether or not to use it responsibily.

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