Eighty Mississippi lawmakers on Monday submitted a motion with the state Supreme Court asking permission to file a brief in support of the state of Mississippi’s appeal to vacate a permanent injunction issued earlier this month by a Hinds County Circuit Court judge.
The injunction issued by Judge Winston Kidd prevented the enactment of House Bill 2, passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
House Bill 2 clarified the term “concealed” in the state’s concealed carry statute and was set to take effect July 1. However, on the eve of its implementation, a lawsuit was filed seeking an injunction to prevent it from taking effect. Kidd held hearings and granted the plaintiff’s motion saying the law was unconstitutionally vague. Almost immediately after the permanent Injunction was granted, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed a combined Interlocutory Appeal and Motion to vacate the lower court’s injunction with the Mississippi Supreme Court. The matter is currently pending before the state’s high court.
Representative Andy Gipson who authored the bill, along with Senator Giles Ward, who filed a companion bill in the Senate and handled HB 2 on the Senate floor, issued a combined statement as they filed the motion with the Supreme Court on behalf of 80 members of the Legislature Monday afternoon. “House Bill 2 has been widely represented as a new open carry law in Mississippi. There is nothing new about Mississippians having a right to bear arms and to do so openly. Since our first constitution was ratified in 1817 our citizens have had a constitutional right to bear arms to defend themselves. That’s 196 years!” said Gipson and Ward.
The legislators further explained, “HB2 was necessary to prevent citizens who had met all the statutory requirements and who had been permitted by the state to carry a concealed weapon from being arrested if their concealed weapon was to be accidentally observed by someone. Such was the essence of a 2012 Attorney General’s opinion.”
In their motion, legislators also argued that the lower court had infringed on the Constitutional authority of the legislature to enact laws and determine what constitutes a crime in Mississippi. “We hope and believe the Mississippi Supreme Court will issue an expedited ruling on this matter. We also wish to express our gratitude to Governor Bryant and the National Rifle Association, both of whom filed similar motions with The Supreme Court on Monday seeking to have the injunction vacated,” Gipson and Ward concluded.
Legislators, in addition to Gipson and Ward who filed the Motion are, Speaker Gunn, Speaker Pro Tempore Snowden, Representatives, Alday, Arnold, Baker, Byrd, Barton, Beckett, Bell, Bennett, Bounds, Boyd, Brown (Chris), Busby, Carpenter, Chism, Crawford, Currie, DeBar, Denny, Eure, Evans (Michael), Formby, Frierson, Guice, Hood, Horne, Howell, Huddleston (Mac), Kinkade, Ladner, Lott, Martinson, Massengill, Mayo, McLeod, Mims, Monsour, Moore, Morgan, Nelson, Powell, Rogers (Margaret), Rogers (Ray), Rushing, Shirley, Smith (Jeffrey), Staples, Sullivan, Taylor, Turner, Weathersby, White, Willis, and Zuber. They were joined by Senate President Pro Tempore Brown and Senators Browning, Burton, Carmichael, Clarke, Collins, Doty, Gandy, Gollott, Harkins, Hill, Jackson (Gary), Jolly, Longwitz, Massey, McDaniel, Moran, Polk, Smith, Sojourner, Tollison, Watson, and Wiggins.
MS State Senate Press Release