Mississippi became the 9th state to restore permitless carry today, the 15th of April, 2016. It seems a little poetic that Governor Bryant chose to sign HB 786 into law a few days before most citizens were required to file their federal taxes. The easing of one burden helps reduce the pain of another in this case. HB 786 is titled the "Church Protection Act", which is a correct description. The bill provides that churches can create volunteer church security that will have the same protections that private security guards now have in Mississippi. The program will require training and the designation of the volunteers in writing.
The permitless carry portion of the bill was an amendment that made a small, incremental change to Mississippi law. Last year, in 2015, the legislature changed the law to allow people to carry concealed firearms in purses, bags, cases, briefcases, and other fully enclosed case, without a permit. This year the amendment to HB 786 added pistols or revolvers carried in a "sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster". There is not much left. From HB 786, as it was sent to Governor Bryant. Underlined words have been added to the statute by the bill:
(24) * * * A license * * * under this section is not required for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver to be carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster or in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case if the person is not engaged in criminal activity other than a misdemeanor traffic offense, is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a pistol or revolver under state or federal law, and is not in a location prohibited under subsection (13) of this section.The law has a provision to prevent the use of state resources for the enforcement of any future federal regulation or executive order that infringes on the Second Amendment or the Mississippi Constitution of 1890:
SECTION 5. No federal executive order, agency order, law not enrolled by the United States Congress and signed by the President of the United States, rule, regulation or administrative interpretation of a law or statute issued, enacted or promulgated after July 1, 2016, that violates the United States Constitution or the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 shall be enforced or ordered to be enforced by any official, agent or employee of this state or a political subdivision thereof.Vermont has had "Constitutional" carry for as long as it has been a state. The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15th, 1791, a great Christmas present four months after Vermont became a state in the same year. In 1791, no permit was required for either open or concealed carry of weapons.
Vermont, plus the nine states that have restored "Constitutional" carry now make up 20% of all the states in the Union. They are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Wyoming. They extend from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and from the Canadian border to the Mexican. It will be more difficult to call them a "handful" now, as the outnumber the states that still cling to the outdated notion of "may issue" concealed carry permits.
Those states are Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
The new law is not absolute, perfect, "Constitutional" carry. All the "Constitutional" carry states have some restraints on carry. In Arizona, you are required to have a permit to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. In Wyoming, you are required to be a resident; in Mississippi, you are not allowed to carry in your waistband without a holster.
There are several other states that are prime candidates to pass permitless carry. New Hampshire and Utah passed bills that were vetoed by their governors. Louisiana and Missouri have implemented strong Constitutional amendment to protect the right to keep and bear arms; it seems unlikely that the courts would allow a permit requirement for a fundamental right.
I will not be surprised if a majority of the states have Constitutional carry by 2025. That would only be another 16 states. Three states became "Constitutional" carry states just this year. The infringements on the exercise of Second Amendment rights have always been based on racism and lies. Now they are being repealed, and Second Amendment rights are being restored.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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