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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Emails obtained by The Associated Press show Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s staff suggested the Department of Public Safety should delay fulfilling requests for gun permit records until a law could be passed by the Legislature to shield them from public scrutiny.

The emails, obtained under a public records request, show Bryant staff counsel Jack Wilson on Jan. 26 wrote that there was “no statutory exemption” to deny a records request from The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal newspaper of Tupelo. But he and other Bryant staffers suggested DPS should delay its response as long as possible, then deny the request as violating gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.

The department denied the newspaper’s request. Bryant signed the new law March 4.

Daily Journal Executive Editor Lloyd Gray describes the actions as “unfortunate.”

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