Churchill Wisdom; On Guns

Winston Churchill, who appears not infrequently as a part of this blog, was known to carry a firearm on his person.

icollector.com/google images

The above, a 1896 Broomhandle Mauser, was his military issued firearm.

According to British firearms author and historian Richard Law, knowing Churchill had been targeted by Hitler’s agents for assassination, Churchill always went armed, his bodyguards notwithstanding.  He kept a Thompson sub-machine gun, loaded in a rack within easy reach in his official limousine.  Discovering that his chief bodyguard carried a little .32 Webley, Churchill ordered a new Colt Government Model .45 for his him.  A short time later, Churchill asked the chief bodyguard how he liked the new pistol. The man replied that he was still carrying the .32 because the Colt was too heavy.

“Give it to me, then,” snapped Churchill, as he shoved it into his overcoat.   This became the great leader’s personal carry gun until the end of the war.

Prior Churchill Wisdom includes;

Mississippi, beginning in July, will allow open carry and 2 levels of concealed carry are currently available for residents.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi.  Contact TLF with your family law or firearm law related inquiry.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.

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Criminal Conversation (Just Sex)

Criminal Conversation is likely the most misleading term you will hear or read today.  Criminal conversation, briefly mentioned in this prior blog on Alienation of Affection, is today’s topic.

Criminal Conversation is an act of adultery between a person and the spouse of another.   This tort, meaning a civil wrong, commonly arises in Alienation of Affection situations, but differs greatly from AOA.  Alienation allows a wronged spouse to sue the “significant other” of the guilty spouse for the breakdown of the marriage. It requires proof of 3 elements;  1) Wrongful Conduct, 2) loss of affections, and 3) a causal connection.

In Criminal Conversation if you have sex with a married person, who is not your spouse, you are guilty.  There is no defense to the tort of criminal conversation.

Consent of the wife is no defense. The fact that the wrongdoer did not know the wife was married, but believed her to be single is not a defense. The fact that the wife represented herself as single is not a defense. The fact that the wife was the aggressor is not a defense. The fact that she has been neglected or mistreated by her husband is not a defense. The fact that she and her husband were separated through his fault is no defense.

Criminal Conversation has been hailed as “notorious for affording a fertile field for blackmail and extortion” and action may be brought “not for the purpose of preserving the marital relationship, but rather for purely mercenary or vindictive motives.”Kline v. Ansell, 287 Md. 585414 A.2d 929, at 931. (1980). Courts have found that this tort is “incompatible with today’s sense of fairness” because there are no defenses to a cause of action. Id.

Several arguments have been advanced for the abolition of it, including;

  • (1) a woman is no longer the property of her husband;
  • (2) the tort has no deterrent effect;
  • (3) a cause of action may be brought for vindictive purposes;
  • (4) the potential for abuse is great;
  • (5) the tort is devoid of any defenses; and
  • (6) determining damages, meaning money, is difficult. 

So now that you are sweating about this, rest easy.  Criminal Conversation was abolished by the MS Supreme Court in 1992 in the case of Saunders v. Alford, 607 So.2d 1214 (Miss. 1992).  Alienation of Affection, however, is alive and well.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi.  If you need to have a conversation with a lawyer about family law you know who to call.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer 

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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Open Carry in MS?

I have previously blogged on MS gun laws and recent tweaks in the law.  In the paper, Sunday, there was an article that stated effective July, MS will allow open carry.  (Perhaps, more accurately stated is that it appears that it is not prohibited.)

Previously, the MS Attorney General opined, in June 2012, which is only “advisory,”  that it is illegal to carry a handgun without a license (concealed carry permit).  The license requires that the entirety of the handgun be concealed.  The above picture would be a violation of the old law.  If the jacket were covering it completely, it would not be if you had a concealed carry permit.  This will be changed effective July 1, 2013, and includes incidental unconcealment will not be a violation. My prior article regarded this “tweak” of the law.  However, another inspection of the law change also reveals a few other things ADDED to and REMOVED from the prior law.

ADDED (paraphrasing)

97-37-1. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 45-9-101, any person who carries, concealed * * * on or about one’s person, any pistol, revolver… must have a concealed carry license.

(4) For the purposes of this section, “concealedmeans hidden or obscured from common observation and shall not include any weapon listed in subsection (1) of this section, including, but not limited to, a loaded or unloaded pistol carried upon the  person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried upon the person in a scabbard or case for carrying the weapon that is wholly or partially visible.

This change now takes any pistol out of the definition of “concealed” if in a holster and visible or partly visible.  This means the above picture is no longer a concealed handgun and no longer is subject to concealed carry license requirements.

The licensing requirements of this section do not apply to the carrying by any person of a stun gun, pistol or revolver, that is not concealed as defined in  Section 97-37-1.

So now the law change has established what the definition of “concealed” is NOT and that a pistol in a holster, on your person, that is visible is not concealed.

Now for the REMOVED section.

The prior law had a clause to the effect ‘that nothing herein may be used to authorize open carry…‘  This language has been deleted from the new law.  The reason is because now this concealed carry law, which defines “concealed,” specifically excludes being applied to a pistol in a holster that is visible.  It, by default, defines open carry.

There is a maxim in the law that holds that which is not prohibited is allowed.  “Everything which is not forbidden is allowed” is a constitutional principle of English law — an essential freedom of the ordinary citizen.  MS has no law, effective July, that prohibits open carry (and did not prior to this either, really).  Or rather, MS law now defines a pistol in a holster as not concealed and therefore not subject to concealed carry license requirements.

So, what else is on the books?  The MS Constitution guarantees our rights to keep and bear arms (along with the US Constitution).  There is nothing else in the law regarding concealed or open carry for citizens.

You can read the bill for yourself here.  While it is not black and white law allowing for open carry, there is now (July 2013) “nothing” which can be used to prohibit open carry.  Interestingly, I have heard that the same restrictions to concealed carry apply to open carry, meaning limitations on locations and that if a person posted a sign that you could not carry on premises.  I say “interestingly” because the prohibitions are all in the concealed carry license statute, the law which specifically authorizes concealed carry.  The argument could be made that open carry is not subject to concealed carry rules because it is specifically excluded from the definition.

I predict some more law changes and litigation/law enforcement run-ins about this one.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and supports your Second Amendment rights.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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