I previously blogged on Mississippi gun law basics. Since that blog the Mississippi legislature passed two bills which tweaked one aspect of the prior blog and also added additional safeguards to persons possessing a concealed carry permit. (An additional “update” here on Open Carry in MS)
First the tweak. Prior to the change, a concealed weapon had to be “completely concealed” at all times in order to be legal. Having your firearm in a holster on your hip covered by a jacket was fine, but if you reached, stretched or adjusted and it became visible it was no longer “concealed,” and therefore a violation of the law. The law now provides that incidental “unconcealment” is not a violation. This is just a common sense change in the law.
Now the safeguard. Mississippi, along with 32 other states, now prohibits the release of the names of persons with a concealed carry permit. This is a safety issue as a New York newspaper recently published the names and addresses of all persons in Westchester County that had a concealed carry permit issued to them by the state of New York. After the article was published a home was specifically targeted for robbery due to the fact that the burglars suspected they could steal guns. Now whether a person has a concealed carry permit is protected not subject to disclosure pursuant to Freedom of Information Act requests. Though the information regarding concealed carry is still available to law enforcement and via valid subpoena.
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12 thoughts on “MS Gun Law Update”
Thanks for the concise condensed gun law info. BUT, since the MS constitution only allows regulation of CONCEALED carry, and the shamefully misused “in part” verbiage has been deleted, are we now truly an open carry state, regardless of permit status?
Elmer that is not an easy question to answer definitively. The MS Constitution guarantees our rights to keep and bear arms (along with the US Constitution).
However, a recent Attorney General opinion, June 2012, which is only “advisory,” concluded it is illegal to carry a handgun without a license. The license requires it be concealed. This AG opinion is actually in conflict with some prior AG Opinions and I cannot explain the reason for the change. There is no law “prohibiting” Open Carry that I am aware of, and is only mentioned in the concealed carry section language, stating “nothing w/i the concealed carry statute may be construed to allow open carry.” Usually, if something is not prohibited by law then it is lawful…however, until someone challenges MS Open Carry or our legislature passes a law to make it clear, I think there will always be some disharmony.
Thanks. Seems a shame that engaging in an activity that is not illegal by statute can leave one open to harrassment or even arrest. Love your blog. Thanks again
Check this out on “Open Carry.”
Kudos for the research! Looks like the Magnolia State will soon be as intended by its constitution concerning open and concealed carry. As I mentioned in a response to Helder’s article in the Clarion Ledger, a right doesn’t have to be convenient for law enforcement officers to be a right. There are several other amendments that are inconvenient, too, but they are crucial to our way of life. Do you think there will be any training for officers to accomodate our “new” freedoms, or will we be harrassed or left alone at the discretion of individual officers and police departments?
Thanks for your comments. I think there will be some push back from law enforcement, but the ones I know personally will try to do what’s right. It all depends on how you, as non-law enforcement, respond when asked. I know there is an effort being made to let local law enforcement know of the coming changes and what it means in English. We just need to be able to explain what we’re doing and why in a calm fashion.