AG: Gun ruling doesn’t apply statewide
“I do not believe that the injunction would prevent someone outside Hinds County, who was openly carrying a weapon, from using the statute as a defense,” Hood said in a statement. “In other words, the judge’s decision would only prevent Hinds County residents from availing themselves of the defenses contained in the new law.”
Still, the Democratic attorney general said “due to all of the confusion caused by this injunction,” he hopes the state Supreme Court will agree to his request that it consider the issue “and end this matter.”
On Friday, Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd blocked the enactment of the open carry law approved by the 2013 Legislature because he said it was vague and would create chaos for law enforcement and the general public.
State Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, who was among a handful of legislators who along with Hinds County law enforcement officials and others sued to block the law, said Friday it is his understanding that Kidd’s ruling does apply statewide.
Sheriffs in both DeSoto and Tate counties in northwest Mississippi have said the open carry law is in effect despite the judge’s ruling.
Hood said that technically a judge’s ruling only applies in his or her district. “However, in such a case where the Court has enjoined the state from enforcing a statute, the state is prevented from enforcing the statute statewide,” he said. “In this particular case, the statute is not an enforcement statute. It is simply a statute that clarified when a weapon is considered to be concealed under our criminal law.”
The issue is confusing because the law clarifies the regulations on concealed carry while at the same time affirming anyone who can legally purchase a weapon has the authority to carry it openly with no permit.
Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, the author of the legislation, has maintained that the 1890s Mississippi Constitution, not his bill, gives Mississippians the right to openly carry a weapon. The Constitution, he maintains, gives the Legislature the authority to regulate concealed carry, but not the authority to regulate open carry.
Posted July 16, 2013 - 7:42 pm