Mississippi joins a continually growing list of jurisdictions that have chosen to better respect the right to carry, and failed to suffer the negative consequences predicted by gun controllers.
It’s long been a predictable pattern. A state or locality relaxes its restrictions on carrying firearms and doesn’t devolve into the anarchy gun opponents predicted. The latest example comes from Mississippi, where last year a change in the law, and a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling, ensured that law-abiding residents could exercise their right to carry openly without a permit. According to a report in Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger, after a year of lawful open carry, not much has changed.
In 2013, Mississippi enacted House Bill 2, which amended the state’s definition of a concealed firearm. Previously, a person could have been in violation of the law for carrying a gun in a manner in which any portion of the firearm was obstructed from view, such as when it was in a holster. Prior to HB 2’s enactment, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office had also opined that the state’s concealed carry permit only offered protection for the carrying of firearms if the firearm remained completely out of sight.
The 2013 law makes clear that with regard to the state’s prohibition on concealed carry:
“concealed” means hidden or obscured from common observation and shall not include… a loaded or unloaded pistol carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried upon the person in a scabbard or case for carrying the weapon that is wholly or partially visible.