Nearly two months after a lower court judge blocked the state's open carry gun law, the Mississippi Supreme Court weighs in, issuing a unanimous decision that upholds the law.
in the Thursday decision, only three pages long, the justices said hinds county "circuit court judge(Winston Kidd) erred as a matter of law when he found house bill 2 to be vague and...unconstitutional." the decision also says Kidd "erred when he stated that “a reasonable person reading the bill could not discern what the law allows and what it prohibits."
Supporters were pleased with the court's ruling. "It’s a victory. It’s about the right on law-abiding Mississippians to keep and bear arms to defend our homes, our person, our property," said Rep. Andy Gipson, the Rankin county Republican who authored the bill.
Opponents, like hinds county district attorney Robert Smith, who filed the civil lawsuit that temporarily halted the law, expressed disappointment at the outcome of the case. Smith says there should be a public education campaign to make sure citizens know for sure where they can and can't open carry. Smith said, "our constituents were concerned about the open carry law and our job and responsibility was to give them answers."
The answers from the high court isn't sitting well with state Sen. john Horhn. The Jackson lawmaker said at a news conference at the state capitol that he will ask the Jackson city council, Hinds county board of supervisors to pass local ordinances that restrict open carry in their jurisdictions. And Horhn says he will ask other cities and counties all across the state to follow suit. The Democrat also wants the require anyone who totes a weapon in public to get a permit. Another option for restricting law, Horhn says, is putting the issue before voters as a ballot initiative in the 2015 statewide election.
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