Law enforcement agencies around the state are educating their officers on the new open carry weapons law, which is known as House Bill 2. It has been approved by both houses of the Mississippi Legislature and signed by the governor.
The new law allows any Mississippian, who is not otherwise disqualified, to openly carry a gun, with or without a permit. A permit is still required if the weapon is concealed.
The author of the legislation Rep. Andy Gipson of Braxton says it simply makes clear what has been the law of the state since the 1890 constitution was approved.
"In the 28 states which have this open carry already, have not had any problems with it," said Gipson. "In fact they have seen crime go down. Because the bad guys already have guns, and this bill allows the good law abiding citizens to carry guns in a way that would protect themselves, their families and their property."
Madison attorney Andy Taggert, who also is a political commentator for WLBT on Red Blue Review, thinks the new law is good.
"I think the Mississippi constitution already made it legal to strap on a six shooter, and walk down the main street," said Taggert. "What this statute does is make it very clear, effective July one."
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey, who says he is a strong supporter of the second amendment and the right of law abiding citizens to carry firearms, is concerned about the safety of his officers and their understanding of the new law.
"The only thing is when you make the weapon easily accessible, and then you come in, you know a domestic situation, alcohol or drugs, it could be very dangerous for officers," said Bailey.
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