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Mississippi: Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Pro-Carry Legislation

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mississippi: Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Pro-Carry Legislation

Sponsored by Judiciary B Chairman, Representative Andy Gipson, House Bill 1083 seeks to clarify the original intent of Mississippi's enhanced carry permit law and close loopholes that governmental entities have created to wrongly prohibit permit holders on their premises.  Please contact your state Representative and politely urge them to support HB 1083.

Mississippi’s enhanced carry permit law was created in 2011, the result of an NRA-backed amendment successfully authored by Reps. Philip Gunn, Greg Snowden and Mark Formby to House Bill 506 – a bill dealing with the carrying of firearms by prosecutors.  The intent and purpose of the amendment was to allow concealed pistol permit holders to complete certain training requirements and be able to protect themselves in locations that were otherwise off-limits under the original concealed carry law (except courtrooms, police stations or jails, and places of nuisance.)  In other words, HB 506 as amended was designed to eliminate “gun-free” zones for law-abiding citizens with an enhanced endorsement on their permits.

Obtaining an enhanced carry endorsement for a concealed pistol permit involves completion of a minimum of 8 hours of classroom and live-fire range instruction from a DPS-approved instructor, including a review of the legal requirements of concealed carry in Mississippi and laws relating to the use of deadly force.  Enhanced endorsements on permits are valid indefinitely, though the permit itself must be renewed every five years.  People invest the additional time and money to obtain this training, so that they can protect themselves in more places -- including locations which have proven to be soft-targets for criminals and perpetrators of mass shootings.

In 2017, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office issued an opinion which turned this law on its head, ruling that controllers of public property could restrict enhanced carry permit holders in additional locations – far beyond the areas HB 506 specified they could still not carry.  This is not what firearm instructors, enhanced carry permit holders or legislative supporters have believed the law to be for the last 5+ years.  Chairman Gipson's bill, HB 1083, would remedy this situation and clarify the original intent of the enhanced carry permit law.  It would also make clear that rules and policies adopted by controllers of public property that conflict with the law have no force and effect.

Again, please contact your state Representative and politely urge them to support HB 1083.

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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.