Skip to comments.Mississippi: Representative Andy Gipson Files First Pro-Second Amendment Bill of the 2013 Le
Posted on 01/09/2013 4:10:22 PM PST by marktwain
State Representative Andy Gipson (R-Brandon) has pre-filed House Bill 2, NRA-backed legislation that makes important changes to vague and problematic language in Mississippis carry laws. This legislation addresses a recent opinion by state Attorney General Jim Hood (D) that has caused additional confusion and concern among carry permit holders and Second Amendment advocates.
If passed and enacted, House Bill 2 would strike the phrase in whole or in part after the word concealed where it appears in Section 97-37-1 of Mississippi law prohibiting the carrying of certain firearms or other deadly weapons. It would also more clearly define the term concealed for carry permit holders and non-permittees. Case law has established that under this statute, if any part of a weapon is obscured from view, it is considered concealed. One judge even stated, Conceivably, carrying a revolver suspended from the neck by a leather throng could be partially concealing it. L.M., Jr. v. State, 600 So.2d 967, 971 (Miss. 1992) (Lee, Chief J., concurring). All methods of carrying a pistol or other weapon belt or shoulder holsters, even just holding it in your own hands involve some form of concealment. The need for clarification was reinforced by an Attorney General opinion issued last year.
The Attorney General opinion issued on July 5, 2012, stated that Section 45-9-101 of the Mississippi Code, the states concealed carry law, does not authorize a permit holder to carry a pistol "concealed in part," but rather it requires that the firearm be completely concealed. According to this opinion, it is now unlawful for both regular and enhanced carry permit holders to carry holstered, partially-visible, pistols on their person. Additionally, any permit holders who temporarily or accidentally display their pistols when removing or adjusting a suit jacket or sport coat, for example would be violating the law. This opinion relies on language in 45-9-101(18) which states that nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the open and unconcealed carrying of any stun gun or a deadly weapon as described in Section 97-37-1, Mississippi Code of 1972 as indicating an intent to criminalize anything but total concealment of handguns by licensees. House Bill 2 would delete that language from the carry law.
Without the proposed changes in House Bill 2, Mississippi laws that are supposed to protect the right to carry firearms for personal defense could instead set legal traps for otherwise law-abiding citizens: a firearm carried by a person without a carry permit cannot be obscured, and any part of a pistol carried by a licensee cannot become visible.
Lastly, but not insignificantly, Article III, Section 12 of the Mississippi Constitution states: The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called into question, but the Legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons. [Emphasis added.] This Attorney General opinion creates a problem for carry permit holders by prohibiting something which is not currently illegal (the carrying of partially- or temporarily-visible firearms) that the state legislature may have had no constitutional authority to pass and enforce in the first place.
Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support House Bill 2 and Representative Gipson's effort to make these important and necessary clarifications to Mississippi's carry laws. House Bill 2 has been referred to the House Judiciary B Committee and will be heard in the coming weeks, so please also contact the following committee members and urge their support of this legislation.
Contact your state Representative by clicking here.
Leave it up to Dixie to strike a blow for freedom.
The article is very confusing. This would not benefit those with concealed carry permits as much as it would help those wanting to exercise open carry. This would be GREAT since currently my only carry option is by government permission via permit. Not that that stops me from carrying concealed anywhere I want.
Anything that clarifies Hood is likely GOOD, right?
Yes! MS supposedly has an open carry policy, but the wording has made it a useless policy since a holster “conceals” at least part of the weapon. While I prefer to carry concealed and anonomously, the hot weather makes it difficult to keep anything fully concealed in teh Summer unless you like to sweat extra. It would be nice to not have to worry about part of the weapon becoming visible.