Meridian Star

April 2, 2013

Open carry law passes legislature

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     House Bill 2 passed by both houses of the Mississippi Legislature will effectively allow Mississippians to openly carry a gun with our without a permit.

    If the weapon is concealed, however, a concealed weapon permit will be required.

    The new law which goes into effect July 1, allows any Mississippian, who is not otherwise disqualified to do so, to openly carry a gun.     

    Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said people people should take precautions when carrying a gun openly.

    "We, as law enforcement officers, have to equip ourselves with specific holsters and other measures to ensure when we get in a scuffle with the bad guys they can't get our firearms," said Sollie. "For the normal citizen that isn't the case. They may find themselves as a target for criminals who want their guns."

    Sollie also said he expects those who are bold enough, will carry their firearms in plain view as a deterrent to crime while others who choose to conceal their firearms will want to utilize the surprise element of having a gun if something should go wrong.

    "I don't expect it to look like the wild west but with this law residents will see more people carrying a firearm," Sollie said. "To what extent? We will have to see."