Replay: Live chat with gun law author Rep. Andy Gipson

Rep. Andy Gipson:
Thanks Geoff. Great to be back. Been a lot of fear-mongering on this subject. Let’s try some facts for a change. To start this session, let’s throw out a little “true or false,” and I’ll share the answers at the end of our chat, ok?
1) Open carry remains legal in a majority of states. True or false?
2) Only six states have prohibited open carry. True or false?
3) Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Missouri are all open carry states. True or false?
4) Mississippi’s Constitution guarantees each citizen the general right to carry a firearm to defend your “home, person, or property.” True or false?
5) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” True or false?
6) As with all rights, the right to keep and bear arms remains subject to reasonable limitations such as the longstanding prohibition of gun possession by felons, the mentally ill, persons convicted of domestic violence, and drug addicts. True or false?


Rep. Andy Gipson:
On the status of HB 2, Judge Winston Kidd entered an injunction claiming to stop the law on Friday, June 28. However, Attorney General Jim Hood announced yesterday that the injunction was only valid in Hinds County. Nevertheless, the State of Mississippi is of course appealing the judge’s ruling, and the National Rifle Association will be joining in support of HB 2 and the Constitution. Stay tuned!


Geoff Pender:
Rep. Gipson, what’s your guess, will the Supreme Court case center on what HB2 says, or more on what the state constitution says?


Rep. Andy Gipson:
Great question Geoff. Courts typically conduct narrow review, so I would expect that the Court would look at the text of House Bill 2 – specifically, where the term “concealed” is defined, and determine the issue on that basis. Of course, it is the Constitution, though, that grants the Legislature the authority to regulate the carrying of “concealed weapons.” So it is likely that the Constitution will be looked at, at least in that regard.


Comment From Brother
Why does the legislator feel the need to create a law to tell citizens what they CAN do?


Rep. Andy Gipson:
Well, great question Brother, but we didn’t. We only defined “concealed” to mean “hidden or obscured from common observation.” If you carry a weapon concealed, you need a concealed carry permit. Otherwise, the Constitution of 1890 guarantees each citizen the right to keep and bear arms to defend himself/herself. No change to the Constitution here; just defining concealed for the first time. Until now, individual law enforcement or courts could fabricate a definition which resulted in an illogical infringement on constitutional rights.

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