On Thursday, March 14, Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed NRA-supported HB 1581 into law after it was passed unanimously in each chamber earlier this session.
House Bill 1581, sponsored by Representative Angela Cockerham (D-96), clarifies the meaning of “courtroom” and “courthouse” in the enhanced permit statute by limiting prohibited places to a prescribed list of areas such as the courtroom itself, the judge’s chamber and office, and witness and jury rooms. This clarification to existing statute became critically important as the right of enhanced permit holders to defend themselves in the public areas of courthouses was being slowly whittled away by judges and sheriffs who refused to recognize their rights under existing law.
Despite a Supreme Court ruling in favor of enhanced permit holders on this issue just last year, a handful of judges continue to defy the clear meaning of the enhanced permit statute by ordering that “courtroom” includes public areas throughout entire courthouse buildings and complexes. HB 1581 clarifies existing statute by listing various public areas in courthouses that are NOT to be considered “courtrooms,” and thereby, not subject to judicially-imposed restrictions on concealed carry for enhanced permit holders.
In addition to thanking the Governor for his leadership in signing HB 1581, the NRA would like to thank Representative Angela Cockerham (D-96), Senator W. Briggs Hopson (R-23), Speaker of the House Philip Gunn (R-56), and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for ensuring this legislation made it to the Governor’s desk. Without their continued dedication to the Second Amendment, this victory for Mississippi’s law-abiding gun owners would not have been possible.
Continue to check your inbox and www.NRAILA.org for updates on concealed carry, along with other issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in Mississippi.