Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

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
Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

On Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court created a dangerous new exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a strong safeguard for our right to keep and bear arms.  

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Introduced, Legislator Bill Introduction Deadline Extended

Monday, March 18, 2019

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Introduced, Legislator Bill Introduction Deadline Extended

Today, Assembly Bill 291 was introduced by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-41).  This omnibus anti-gun legislation is a threat to both gun owners residing in Nevada and those who are visiting. 

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

Last month, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) concluded two days of hearings on Bill C-71, the Liberal government’s gun control bill. (An additional hearing date has been set for March 18, ...

Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Anti-gunner Embraces Operation Choke Point as Official Policy

News  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Anti-gunner Embraces Operation Choke Point as Official Policy

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) unabashedly embraced the tactics behind one of the most shameful policies of the Obama era, openly using the guise of her federal authority to berate and not so ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Alert! Look Out ALABAMA! Here comes D.J. Parten's Bait & Switch

It looks like D.J. Parten is making a move on Alabama.  We’ve heard that he’s trying to establish himself in another state – Alabama.  So, if you know people in Alabama, forward this email to ...

Colorado: Senate Committee Rapidly Passes “Red Flag” Bill to the Senate Floor With Little Notice

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Colorado: Senate Committee Rapidly Passes “Red Flag” Bill to the Senate Floor With Little Notice

With less than 12 hours-notice to the public, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed gun control legislation, House Bill 1177, this morning.

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

News  

Friday, February 22, 2019

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

Gun controllers have become increasingly frustrated that their federal agenda has been repeatedly rejected by Americans through their elected representatives, leading them to seek to circumvent the legislative process and restrict gun rights by way ...

Washington: Gun Ban Bills Fail Crossover Deadline

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Washington: Gun Ban Bills Fail Crossover Deadline

Today, March 13th at 5:00PM, was the cutoff deadline for all bills to be voted out of the chamber in which they originated.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.