Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd issued a permanent injunction against Mississippi HB 2 calling it “unconstitutionally vague.” He ordered that it can’t take effect until such time as the Mississippi Legislature “reviews, amends, or clarifies” HB 2 so as to accomplish its intended purpose.
found no case law, or any other authority, which gives an individual the absolute right to “open carry” a weapon, as contended by the state.”. Judge Kidd further said “when the legislature creates laws which are vague, confusing, and overbroad, then it is the responsibility of hte court to make a determination as to the law’s constitutionality…. House Bill 2 is unconstitutional…
House Bill 2 does more than define “concealed.” It creates confusion and chaos with respect to the enforcement of gun laws here in this state. House bill 2 does not clearly set forth “who is allowed to openly carry a weapon in a holster. Certainly our legislature did not mean to allow anyone and everyone to openly carry a weapon in a holster. Next, House Bill 2 does notn state “where” an individual can openly carry a weapon in a holster. If this law goes into effect, individuals will attempt to openly carry weapons anywhere and everywhere. This can not possibly be the intent of our legislature….”
Mississippi House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson (R-Braxton), who was the author of the bill, fully expects Kidd’s ruling to be appealed by the State of Mississippi to the Mississippi Supreme Court. He has also gotten confirmation that the National Rifle Association intends to file an amicus brief in support of the state’s case.
In comments to the Clarion-Ledger, Gipson said:
“They (NRA) do see this as a matter of constitutional gun rights being threatened,” Gipson said.
Gipson said he was not surprised by the judge’s ruling, and believes the case will head post-haste to the state Supreme Court.
“(Kidd) just continued what he did with the temporary restraining order, and I am confident we will be appealing, the state will appeal, to the Supreme Court,” Gipson said. “I just think the judge got it wrong. Anybody who reads House Bill 2 can clearly see the legislation is clear and that the Legislature has the right to regulate concealed carry.
Attorney General Jim Hood (D-MS) released a written statement this afternoon indicating that he will be appealing the ruling after he has had time to study it.
“We are in the process of reviewing the Judge’s order,” said Hood in a written statement. “At this stage, we are likely to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to take a look at this case. We have 21 days to do so, but it will be up to the Court as to whether and when they do. It remains the duty of this office to defend our State laws and their constitutionality.”
More comments from both sides and some courtroom footage can be in seen in the video report below from WLBT-Channel 3/Fox 40 in Jackson.