MS Supreme Court upholds 'open carry' - - Jackson, MS

MS Supreme Court upholds 'open carry'

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld House Bill 2 and the state's "open carry" law has gone into effect after an almost 60-day delay.

The court ruled that Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd erred when he found House Bill 2 to be vague and therefore unconstitutional. The court's ruling also found Kidd erred when he stated that "a reasonable person reading the bill could not discern what the law allows and what it prohibits."

The court vacated the permanent injunction, allowing the law to go into effect.

Supporters and opponents of the decision held separate news conferences at the Capitol Thursday afternoon.

State Rep. John Horhn said he will work to craft legislation that would change how the state permits weapons. He wants anyone who is carrying a weapon, open or concealed, to have a permit.

Horhn also said he wants Jackson and Hinds County leaders to ban open carry. He says it's possible because of an Attorney General's opinion. 

"There's just so many nooks and crannies in this bill that don't make sense. If it's my constitutional right, I ought to be able to carry everywhere, but the Attorney General said no, if you are a unit of government you can restrict where firearms are carried," said Horhn.

Horhn, who has a concealed weapon permit, is also considering a petition that would restrict the open carry of firearms to be placed on an election ballot in 2015.

Rep. Andy Gipson and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said this was a victory for Mississippians.

"I'm glad that the people of Mississippi can exercise their freedom to keep and bear arms without fear of being arrested for that," said Gibson

Gunn doesn't believe Horhn's ideas will gain much traction once the legislature convenes in January.

"This is a fight that does not need to be waged. This is over. The decision of the Supreme Court today established that much," said Gunn.

"House Bill 2 is an important clarification of citizens' right to keep and bear arms under the state and federal constitutions," said Gov. Phil Bryant in reaction to the ruling. "I am very pleased that the court has agreed that House Bill 2 is consistent with the Constitution so that law will now take effect statewide."

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