Friday, March 08, 2013

Concealed and Open Carry in Mississippi to Conform to the Constitution

Although the Mississippi Constitution has undergone a number of iterations in the last hundred years, it seems clear when it comes to the carrying of weapons:

1817 Mississippi:  Every citizen has a right to bear arms, in defence of himself and the State.

1832 Mississippi:  Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and of the State.

1868 Mississippi:  All persons shall have a right to keep and bear arms for their defence.

1890 The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.

While the legislature was clearly given the power to “regulate or forbid” the carrying of concealed weapons in 1890, they were expressly not given the power to regulate the open carrying of weapons.

However, in 1992, the legislature passed a shall issue concealed carry law that forbid the carrying of a pistol or revolver, if it were "concealed in whole or in part" without a permit.

In an obscure court case, that law had been interpreted to mean that a person could not carry a handgun openly, because part of the firearm, even if it were suspended by a thong around the neck, was concealed.

This bit of judicial idiocy seems insane, as the Constitution only gives the legislature the power to regulate or forbid concealed carry, and yet the court is saying that all carry is concealed carry, making a mockery of the state Constitution.

On 4 March, 2013, reason prevailed in Mississippi. The offending language was removed from the statute. The law is now in concurrence with the state Constitution. It will go into effect on 1 July of 2013.

Open carry in Mississippi, will clearly be legal without a permit, as the Constitution requires. Those who have a permit to carry concealed need not worry about legal consequences if some part of their personal defensive weapon is inadvertently revealed through a gust of wind, a reach to an upper shelf, or a “wardrobe malfunction”.

Link to Mississippi constitutional provisions

Link to discussion of the law and the court case

Link to article discussing passage of the reform statute

©2013 by Dean Weingarten Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.


Anonymous said...

This law is really going to cause problems because of the fact now touch can carry and gun in open view with no permit but to carry it not in view you would have a permit. Whyyyyyy? is the question. What about our children come on people they don't need to see other people just walking around with a gun. Italy one thing if you have a firearm to PROTECT your household but some folks just don't know how to not be trigger happy.

Concerned person,

Anonymous said...


I will like to know will these citizens need a statement from their doctor? Will any suicide, bipolar, hypertension, baby mama, second attempted robber, and more have this opportunity to kill. People can walk into anywhere and kill "just because". Will all of the schools have security monitor? Will the thought towards the mind of stages of becoming a rapist become another crime? will the power, the confidence, the way out take out incidence people?
faces to Come on July 01,2013- :-(

Packin' Pretty said...

Neither of the previous two comments make a lick of sense.

Why don't people realize that not everyone who carries a gun does so with bad intentions? And that the only person who can take out a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun?

Wouldn't you rather that a law abiding citizen properly trained in the safe usage of a gun take appropriate action to safeguard the potential victims of a violent crime while awaiting the arrival of authorities? In the precious minutes between someone calling 911 and the police being dispatched, many lives can be saved.

Open carry is simply a deterrent to would be criminals, much like the lock on your front door. Not to mention, most criminals prefer victims who cannot defend themselves. Why do you think they choose venues where guns are usually prohibited? That's right...because no one can shoot back.

Responsible gun owners do not take carrying a weapon in public lightly. There are hefty legal consequences for drawing and or using your weapon inappropriately.

Will there be people who don't behave appropriately? Perhaps, but statistically those numbers are small and I for one, don't believe we should have our right to bear arms stripped from us due to the few idiots who would misuse this right.

If you were standing in line at the movies and a psycho with a gun started shooting, who would you want in that line with you...a bunch of unarmed victims, or me, a trained competition pistol shooter who does target practice regularly and carries a .45 in my purse, locked and loaded with an extra magazine just in case...

YEAH, that's what I thought.

Anonymous said...

Reason being that if you have someone that is crazy and has a gun its a perfect time for them to start shooting up any place that is filled with people. And what about our children do they need to see every Tom,Dick and Harry walking about with a gun.

Dean Weingarten said...

Open carry is the law in 43 states. They have not had any of the problems described by the concerned posters.

There are many benefits to children seeing people carry guns openly.

1. They realize that the State and Federal Constitutions means something, and cannot be simply changed by a few lawyers deciding that they do not like the limitations of the Constitutions on government.

2. Directly showing the children that people can be responsible with firearms.

3. Directly demonstrating to children that the State does not have a monopoly on the use of force.

Armed Citizen said...

Open Carry like concealed carry are both deterrents to criminals. I lived in SC where my concealed permit is not valid for Mississippi. I recently moved to Mississippi and welcome this new ruling.
Twice in my lifetime as a traveling salesman I was able to ward off would be assailants by merely making my armed status known.
I have competed in 3 gun combat matches and very well aware of the consequences of firing my weapon. I hope I never need to. BUT, even more so I pray I am armed and able to fire if the situation merits.
This is a good ruling and will result in an overall drop in criminal activity.

Armed Citizen said...

This is a good ruling. Now Concealed carry permit holders will not be harassed if their weapon happens to become exposed.

It will also deter crime and prove as a force multiplier for law enforcement ( The bad guys won't know who is the law and who isn't.)
Twice in my lifetime I have been able to discourage would be assailants by merely making them aware of my armed status.

Armed Citizen said...

I moved to Mississippi from SC wher I have a CWCP. It is not recognized in Mississippi. Now with Open Carry, it is no longer an issue.
Twice in my life I have stopped would be assailants by merely making it apparent that I was armed and prepared.
This acceptance of firearms in public will go a long way to educate those who remain Hoplophobic.