NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Mississippi: Pro-Gun Right-to-Carry Reform Goes into Effect… Sort of?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

During the 2011 Regular Session, the Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill 506, a bill which relates to prosecutors carrying weapons. It contains an NRA-supported amendment designed to allow concealed pistol permit holders who complete certain training requirements to protect themselves in certain locations currently prohibited by law.  This measure was signed into law by Governor Haley Barbour on March 11.  The language of the amendment reads as follows: 

"a person licensed under Section 45-9-101 to carry a concealed pistol, who has voluntarily completed an instructional course in the safe handling and use of firearms offered by an instructor certified by a nationally recognized organization that customarily offers firearms training, or by any other organization approved by the Department of Public Safety, shall also be authorized to carry weapons in courthouses, except in courtrooms during a judicial proceeding, and any location listed in subsection (13) of Section 45-9-101, except any place of nuisance as defined in Section 95-3-1, any police, sheriff or highway patrol station or any detention facility, prison or jail.  The department shall promulgate rules and regulations allowing concealed pistol permit holders to obtain an endorsement on their permit indicating that they have completed the aforementioned course and have the authority to carry in these locations."

This law went into effect on July 1.  Thus far, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) has not adopted – or even formally proposed – any rules or regulations for public comment as required by Mississippi law under the Administrative Procedures Act.

The NRA-ILA, amendment authors state Representatives Greg Snowden (R-83), Phillip Gunn (R-56) and Mark Formby (R-108), and individual NRA members who are local attorneys with an interest in the new law have repeatedly attempted to contact DPS over the last few months with questions about how the department intends to allow permit holders to obtain their endorsement.  It is only through persistent investigation that we have obtained documents outlining the direction the department intends to take in this matter.  While we hesitate to comment on anything not yet adopted pursuant to the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law, the detail in which instructor and curriculum requirements are outlined – and the fact that the law has already taken effect – leads us to believe that this is more than "conceptual.”

From what we are able to discern, the DPS appears poised to implement rules and regulations that would require:

  • Annual approval of instructors (it remains unclear whether NRA Certified Instructors will even be recognized, outright); 
  • Successful completion of a state-developed 16-hour firearms training course to qualify for an endorsement (for comparison's sake, NRA's Personal Protection Outside the Home Course Level I Basic is 9-hours long; Level 2 Advanced is 14-hours long);
  • Students to provide a minimum of 75 rounds to complete a standardized firearms qualification course approved by the department, and another 250 rounds to complete shooting position training. The NRA-ILA is in the process of comparing these course curriculum requirements with NRA-sanctioned courses.
  • NO PRIOR TRAINING WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR AN ENDORSEMENT (in other words, if you have completed any of these courses – or more intense training – even within the last year, it apparently may not be recognized).

We believe the proposed regulations are excessive.  The authors of the amendment to HB 506 wrote this letter to Governor Barbour and the Commissioner of DPS in response to rumors that the department was going to require the equivalent of law enforcement training for anyone seeking a special endorsement on their concealed pistol permit.  While the department seems to have backed off those far-reaching requirements, those outlined in these documents demonstrate that there is still vast room for improvement.  The points made by the Representatives in their letter are instructive - the neighboring state of Louisiana has much more straightforward requirements for instructors and training.

The bottom line: The plain language of the amendment passed by the legislature clearly states that persons who have taken a course from an NRA Certified Instructor – such as the NRA's Basic Pistol or Personal Protection Outside the Home Course – should qualify for the endorsement.  Additionally, this was the intent of the authors of the amendment. Annual instructor application requirements and refusal to recognize previously-completed training are excessive and overly-restrictive.

What can you do? 

1)    Please contact DPS Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz at (601) 987-1586 and his Director of the Firearms Permit Unit Sgt. Eugene Williams at ewilliams@mdps.state.ms.us and urge them to adopt rules and regulations for HB 506 that follow the law's language and the intent of the authors by officially recognizing NRA Certified Instructors and the courses they currently teach.

2)    Ask DPS to post the proposed rules on the Secretary of State’s website to allow for the mandatory public notice and comment period required by law.

3)    Contact Governor Haley Barbour by calling (601) 359-3150 or through his website by clicking here, and urge him to step in to ensure that DPS follows the letter and intent of the law regarding HB 506.

TRENDING NOW

News  

Friday, February 5, 2016

“F” Stands for Fail: Georgia College Instructor Boots Uniformed Cop, Gets Lectured in Return

Colleges usually take great pride in proclaiming their “diversity” and “inclusiveness,” but simply wearing a tool of his ...

News  

Friday, February 5, 2016

2016 Begins

The 2016 presidential campaign is now officially underway, with the completion of the Iowa caucuses last Monday evening. ...

News  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fourth Circuit Requires “Strict Scrutiny” for Maryland Gun and Magazine Ban

It hasn’t been a good week for Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, would-be contender for President of ...

News  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bill Aimed at Ending Operation Choke Point Passes House

On Thursday, a bi-partisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 766, the ‘‘Financial Institution Customer ...

News  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Europeans Discover Virtues of Armed Self-defense as EU Bureaucrats Seek New Gun Controls

At the same time the European Union bureaucrats in Brussels are trying to foist further gun controls on ...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Anti-Gun lawmakers Introduce Gun Confiscation Bill in Georgia

With a complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of Georgia residents, state Representative Mary ...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

South Carolina: NRA-Endorsed Self-Defense Legislation Passes Committee

Yesterday,  H. 4703 was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee.  This critical self-defense legislation had no opposition ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

California: A Champion of Freedom, Remembered

It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Espanola Jackson, lead plaintiff in the NRA supported case of Jackson v. San Francisco.  

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...

Florida Times-Union  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Florida House approves campus carry, open carry bills

During four hours of debate, House Republicans and one Democrat argued that the bills each help to improve the safety of Floridians by allowing them more freedom in how and where they can legally carry ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.