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
California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Monday, September 26, 2016

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Today, Governor Brown made his decision on the final firearm-related bills of the 2016 legislative session that made it to his desk.   Governor Brown vetoed two anti-gun bills, AB 450 and SB 1332, and signed ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

On Monday, September 26, the Missoula City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would only create a burden for law-abiding citizens and may turn them into criminals if they unknowingly violate the ordinance.

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

Take Action  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

For a limited time only, the official NRA Store is offering a special deal to anyone who downloads the NRA-ILA App! Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you’ll receive a discount code that you can ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Hunting  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Next week, and important pro-hunting reform bill, Senate Bill 737, may be considered in the House of Representatives.  Please call your state Representative and urge them to vote in favor of Senate Bill 737!

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.

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

Friday, September 23, 2016

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

This is the last weekend to sign the referendum petitions! Signatures are still needed to ensure each of the Veto Gunmageddon Referendums qualify for the 2018 ballot.

News  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

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.