Tuesday, March 31, 2015

MS: Passage of 90% Constitutional Carry Appears Likely

After a rocky start, Mississippi appears ready to pass a 90% constitutional carry bill.  Bickering among second amendment supporters seemed to doom constitutional carry in the state early this year.  Hard feelings were ignited between longtime legislative supporters of the second amendment, and serious, unfounded allegations were tossed about.   It appears that those supporting the second  amendment in the Mississippi legislature have overcome those difficulties and passed a significant reform to restore second amendment rights on Friday, 27 March, 2015.

 SB 2394  started off as a reform to amend the concealed carry permit fees in Mississippi.  It became a vehicle to enact 90% constitutional carry in the state.   In the conference committee, the legislative leaders realized that all the bickering was about non-issues, and that they agreed far more than they disagreed.   They added this sensible paragraph to the bill that had already passed the House and Senate.  From SB 2394:
(24)  No license shall be required under this section for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.
 The photograph at the top of the story is a Sneaky Pete holster designed to look much like a cell phone or tablet holster.  It has proven so popular that the company has started to produce holsters for cell phones as well.  It meets the definition above.  There have long been fanny packs and holsters disguised as day planners.  I made and sold a number of book holsters that would meet the definition.  It appears that SB 2394 is on the fast track.  It has been passed by the House and is expected to easily pass the Senate, according to the clarionledger.com:
The Senate is expected to approve the agreement and send it to the governor.
"Most ladies don't want to carry a gun on their hip for the world to see," said House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton. "Men may, but ladies may not."
Governor Bryant did not waffle or hesitate about his intention to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
Gov. Phil Bryant said he will "absolutely" sign the bill into law, and noted his wife, Deborah, might find it handy for carrying her Ruger .380.
Observers of the restoration of second amendment rights across the nation may have a difficult time deciding if Mississippi will qualify as a constitutional carry state.  Constitutional carry refers to the situation when the Bill of Rights was ratified, and there were no restrictions on the carry of arms, concealed or openly carried.

As a practical matter, the bill will bring Mississippi so close to constitutional carry as to matter very little.   The bill also reduces the fees for a concealed carry permit from $100 to $80, and eliminates the fees for active duty military personal and disabled veterans.

As John Lott has noted, any reduction of fees results in an increase of permit holders.

With a constitutional carry bill ready to go to Governor Brownback in Kansas, and another bill getting strong support in Maine, 2015 may prove to be a banner year in restoring second amendment rights, in spite of vetoes by Democrat Governors in West Virginia and Montana.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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