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Mississippi: Important Victory for Gun Owners in Mississippi Supreme Court

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mississippi: Important Victory for Gun Owners in Mississippi Supreme Court

On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued a key opinion in a case involving the state’s employee parking lot protection law, which NRA-ILA worked with pro-Second Amendment lawmakers to pass in 2006.  The Court ruled that the state’s at-will employment doctrine is not absolute and that Section 45-9-55 of the Mississippi Code, which prohibits employers from adopting and enforcing policies restricting the storage of lawfully-owned firearms in employees’ locked private motor vehicles, does not conflict with it.  The Court also opined that liability protections granted to employers for complying with this law did not extend to the company being sued for wrongful termination in this case.

The question of whether an employer could be liable for wrongful discharge of an employee who stored a gun in a locked vehicle on company property in a manner consistent with 45-9-55 had been kicked to Mississippi’s highest court by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Robert Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation.  NRA filed an amicus brief in this case last fall, defending the plain language and clear intent of the parking lot protection law that has been on the books for a decade.  While the case will move back to the Fifth Circuit for resolution, the Mississippi Supreme Court has sent a clear message to employers who would thwart the will of the Legislature and fire workers for violating parking lot policies that are unlawful and unenforceable.

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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.