In spite of the winter storm that blasted much of the Deep South this week, state lawmakers remained busy at work in Jackson and advanced a number of bills aimed at further protecting your rights in the Magnolia State.
This week, the House Judiciary A Committee reported three NRA-supported bills, advancing them to the full House for consideration. These bills include:
- House Bill 485, sponsored by state Representative Gary Chism (R-37), would prohibit the destruction of firearms acquired by local governments as a result of gun “buyback” programs.
- House Bill 764, sponsored by state Representative Joey Hood (R-35), would exempt disabled veterans from fees on original and renewal concealed carry permits.
- House Bill 705, sponsored by state Representative Dennis DeBar (R-105), would expand protections against the confiscation of lawfully-possessed firearms during a state of emergency or natural disaster.
Portions of House Bill 708 by state Representative Sam Mims (R-97) and House Bill 1385 by state Representative Chris Brown (R-20), which also strengthened the state’s emergency powers statute, are now included in the version of HB 705 which was reported by the committee. Thank you to House Judiciary A Committee Chairman Mark Baker (R-74) for scheduling these measures well in advance of next week's committee action deadline and shepherding them through his committee.
Also this week, the House Judiciary B Committee reported House Bill 314, which contains the language of HB 485 and HB 705. Most importantly, HB 314 clarifies limits on the authority of municipalities and counties to restrict the carrying of firearms and provides a legal remedy for citizens who are adversely impacted by local gun control ordinances enacted outside the scope of this authority.
Thank you to House Judiciary B Chairman and sponsor of HB 314, state Representative Andy Gipson (R-77), for bringing this important bill forward to address the overreach of regulations created by many cities and counties after last year’s House Bill 2 was enacted into law. Please contact your state Representatives and urge them to support and pass House Bill 314! Contact information for your state Representatives can be found here:
Finally, two NRA-backed bills were reported by the Senate Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks Committee this week:
- Senate Bill 2425, sponsored by state Senator Philip Moran (R-46), would create a “Sportsmen’s Sales Tax Holiday” the first weekend in September for firearms, ammunition, hunting supplies and recreational fishing equipment. SB 2425 now goes to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
- Senate Bill 2478, sponsored by state Senator Terry Burton (R-31), would reduce fees for concealed carry permits from $100 to $75 for original licenses, renewal fees from $50 to $40, and lower senior citizen fees from $25 to $20. Positive comments made by Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves about SB 2478 can be viewed on his Facebook page. SB 2478 now goes to the Senate Accountability, Efficiency & Transparency Committee for consideration.
Thank you to Senate Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks Committee Chairman Giles Ward (R-18) for his timely consideration of these important measures. On the House side, Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56) is authoring House Bill 1404, a tax-free weekend bill similar to SB 2425. Since these three bills are revenue-related bills, the deadline to report these measures from committee is at a later date.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated when more information becomes available.