NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Swing and a Miss: Anti-Gunners Strike Out In Their Bid to Block Open Carry Law

Friday, August 30, 2013

On March 4, 2013, Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed Mississippi House Bill 2 into law.  Among other things, this legislation clarified Mississippi law regarding the open carrying of firearms.  Specifically, it limited the state's prohibition on the unlicensed carrying of handguns and certain other weapons to situations in which the item is "concealed on or about one's person …."  It also defined "concealed" to mean "hidden or obscured from common observation" and further explained that a "loaded or unloaded pistol carried upon the person in a … holster that is wholly or partially visible" does not fall within the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons.  The bill contained additional amendments that clearly established that the open carrying of a holstered handgun is not, in itself, a violation of law.

As we reported in July, the passage of HB 2 led to a frenzied and confused legal effort by a coalition of anti-gun officials to convince the courts to prevent the law from taking effect.  Their main complaint was that HB 2 was unconstitutionally vague. 

In rulings that surely will not burnish the judiciary's reputation for legal precision, a Hinds County circuit judge issued injunctions preventing the law from taking effect.  The state appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court.  Your NRA participated in these proceedings with a "friend of the court" brief that explained how existing laws that were left undisturbed by HB 2 still allowed authorities to address the public safety concerns raised by the lower court concerning dangerous persons and misuse of weapons.

The lower court veered back and forth between two contradictory notions of vagueness.  One asserted that the meaning of the law was difficult to decipher from its text.  This was not an easy argument to make, since HB 2 actually provided a definition for the key term "concealed," which had previously been undefined.  The other argument was essentially that the law had to be vague because the obvious meaning of the text led to public policy that did not make sense to the court.  Yet as the State of Mississippi argued to the State Supreme Court, "The narrow statutory amendments in House Bill 2 are not vague merely because the legislature has chosen not to adopt regulations thought by the Plaintiffs to be beneficial."  The NRA also noted that "[w]hile the federal and state rights to arms … do not necessarily preclude every conceivable type of regulation on open carry, they certainly do not affirmatively require the state to regulate open carry in a specific manner to the liking of the [Plaintiffs]…."   

Fortunately, reason has prevailed at the Mississippi Supreme Court.  In a terse three-page order issued on August 29, 2013, the court not only lifted the order preventing the law from going into effect, but ruled that "the Circuit Judge erred as a matter of law when he found House Bill 2 to be vague and, therefore, unconstitutional" and in his finding that "'a reasonable person reading the bill could not discern what the law allows and what it prohibits.'"

House Bill 2 is now the law of the land in Mississippi, and Mississippi joins the dozens of other states that recognize open carry as a lawful means of exercising the right to bear arms.  The state Attorney General's Office deserves thanks and recognition for its able and vigorous defense of HB 2 and the rights of Mississippians.

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg-Backed Pennsylvania Attorney General Convicted of Perjury, Criminal Conspiracy

News  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bloomberg-Backed Pennsylvania Attorney General Convicted of Perjury, Criminal Conspiracy

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane resigned this week after a jury found her guilty of perjury, criminal conspiracy, and several other criminal charges relating to the abuse of her position. Gun owners will take ...

New York Times Issues Ridiculous Anti-NRA Screed

News  

Friday, August 19, 2016

New York Times Issues Ridiculous Anti-NRA Screed

At the same time establishment newspapers are openly abandoning their usual façade of impartiality in their news coverage, their editorial boards have been working overtime to elect Hillary Clinton. However, few have been doing Robby Mook and David Brock’s work for ...

Professor: Take Granny’s Gun

News  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Professor: Take Granny’s Gun

Gun ban advocates, knowing their goals aren’t especially popular with the American people, have in recent years tried to couch their agenda in more innocuous-sounding terms. They don’t want to ban all guns, they’ll say, they ...

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

News  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

On July 19, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued an “enforcement notice” that greatly expands the Commonwealth’s definition of “assault weapon.”  AG Healey alleges that the ban’s definition of “copy” or “duplicate” “assault weapons” has been misinterpreted ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

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 as legal advice or a restatement of law.

The Washington Post Fails Again

News  

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Washington Post Fails Again

On Monday, the Post’s “fact-checker,” Glenn Kessler, said that the NRA's new TV ad is wrong, in claiming that Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.”

News  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NRA Statement on Governor Christie's Conditional Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox applauds New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's heroic conditional vetoes of two anti-gun bills that would further restrict the rights of firearm owners throughout the Garden State.

California: Register for the Second FREE Webinar on Recently Signed Gun Control Legislation

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

California: Register for the Second FREE Webinar on Recently Signed Gun Control Legislation

Tomorrow, August 24, 2016, at 12:00 pm, is the second of three FREE webinars hosted by NRA & CRPA’s legal team on California’s recently signed anti-firearm legislation.  Learn about how the recently signed gun laws ...

Doctor Prescribes Requiring a “Medical License” for Gun Ownership

News  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Doctor Prescribes Requiring a “Medical License” for Gun Ownership

In a recent Medical Economics blog, Dr. Monya De wrote a piece titled, “Obtaining an assault rifle should be as difficult as becoming a doctor.”  In this outlandish article, De illustrates the difficulties medical students must go ...

The Terror Watch List And Due Process Of Law

News  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Terror Watch List And Due Process Of Law

The core mission of the NRA is, of course, to protect our fundamental right to keep and bear arms. In doing so, we also fight to ensure that our firearm freedom is not restricted without ...

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.