Hinds County Sheriff's "Guns for Gas" illegal - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds County Sheriff's "Guns for Gas" illegal

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - An embarrassing turn of events for the Hinds County Sheriff's department; Actor Dan Ackroyd's $10,000 dollar gas card giveaway for illegal weapons has "backfired" 

Our Three On Your Side investigation reveals "the letter of the law  was not followed by the county's top cop. 

Wednesday the Sheriff announced that the "Guns for Gas" giveaway would take place this Saturday at a local church; Bring a gun, get a gas card. No questions asked.

During an interview Sheriff Tyrone Lewis told WLBT News  "We just want the weapons right now off the street."

But District 77 State Representative Andy Gipson said this is dangerous and that's why he pushed for a law making sure the public had input before city or counties can do this type of gun collection.

"I think it's a dangerous thing," said Gipson. As we have seen in other states, it has the potential for corruption, the potential to increase crimes with stolen guns to  be brought in. That's the reason we have the law."

The Hinds County's Sheriff's plan to buy guns for gas this Saturday is a highly publicized event. It's all over the county. But little did the sheriff's department realize if that event took place this Saturday they would be breaking state law.

The author of that 2014 bill says this event requires passage of an ordinance and approval.

Gipson said that if the sheriff did not get an ordinance passed for approve to do this guns for gas, then he would be breaking the law.

"That would be the truth yes, added Gipson. "He would be in violation of Mississippi code section 45 9 53-subsection 6."

Gipson also indicated it would be illegal to destroy the guns or give them back to the rightful owners.

"Right," said Gipson. "The guns must be. the ordinance must required that they be publicly auctioned to federally licensed firearm dealers."

Our investigation found there is not an ordinance on the books at the Hinds County Chancery Clerks office. The Sheriff quickly sent out this statement to our newsroom:

Due to our just now finding out about an update to a state statue (Mississippi Code of 1972—45-9-53(6))…updated in 2014, we are postponing our Gas for Guns event until such time as provisions are made via the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.  We were made aware of the update via a public press release through various media outlets submitted by State Rep. Andy Gipson, one of the authors of the updated legislation.

This speaks volumes to the need to get illegal weapons off the streets of Hinds County.

Our commitment to public safety remains strong and unwavering. We will announce a new date soon.

We are however, turning this event into a community awareness event. Pearl St. AME Church is located in the heart of our MACE area and we intend to remain extremely visible.

The public is invited to come meet, greet and fellowship with acclaimed actor Dan Aykroyd from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Pearl St. Church 2519 Robinson St. in Jackson. The event happens this Saturday, June 13. 

The law went into effect July 1, 2014.  In this case Mississippi law trumps city and county law.


It has been brought to my attention that certain counties or agencies in the State of Mississippi have promoted and advertised a “gas for guns” program in which gas cards are to be given in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the county or agency, upon which the firearms will be destroyed.

This type of program, or any other similar program in the State of Mississippi is required to comply with the provisions of state law found in Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-53(6) as amended by House Bill 314 (2014 Regular Session).  Effective July 1, 2014 state law provides as follows:

(6) No county or municipality or their officers or employees may participate in any program in which individuals are given a thing of value provided by another individual or other entity in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the county, municipality or other governmental body unless:

(a) The county or municipality has adopted an ordinance authorizing the participation of the county or municipality, or participation by an officer or employee of the county or municipality in such a program; and

(b) Any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section must require that any firearm received shall be offered for sale at auction as provided by Sections 19-3-85 and 21-39-21 to federally licensed firearms dealers, with the proceeds from such sale at auction reverting to the general operating fund of the county, municipality or other governmental body. Any firearm remaining in possession of the county, municipality or other governmental body after attempts to sell at auction may be disposed of in a manner that the body deems appropriate.

HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 1986, ch. 471, § 2; Laws, 2006, ch. 450, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 443, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 2014. 

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