Open Carry In Mississippi Still On Hold

Judge Winston Kidd extended his Temporary Restraining Order against HB 2 until Friday according to “Jackson Jambalaya” who attended the proceedings this afternoon. The state argues that HB 2 only clarified the definition of concealed and that open carry is allowed under the MS Constitution of 1891.

Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Rankin) who authored HB 2 released this statement earlier today before the beginning of the hearing.

“The Amended Complaint filed with the Hinds County Circuit Court on July 1, 2013 alleges that House Bill 2 (which defined the term “concealed”) is unconstitutional on three grounds:

1) “Unconstitutionally vague.” House Bill 2 defined concealed as: “hidden or obscured from common observation.” Moreover, examples are given as to what is not concealed such as carried in a holster open to common observation. HOW IS THIS VAGUE TO ANY COMMON SENSE PERSON???

2) “Overbroad.” House Bill 2 narrowly defined the word “concealed” to ascribe to it a meaning that can be understood by most people. If you can seesomeon has a gun, it’s not “concealed.” If you can’t see a gun, it is “concealed.” IF ANYTHING THE LEGISLATURE GAVE THE TERM “CONCEALED” A NARROW DEFINITION, NOT A BROAD DEFINITION. HOW CAN THIS BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL???

3) “Arbitrary and Capricious.” This is where it gets most interesting. The complaint alleges that the definition “is arbitrary and capricious in excusing persons who wish to openly-carry firearms from the license requirements imposed on persons who wish to carry concealed firearms.” TRANSLATION: HINDS COUNTY OFFICIALS WANT TO REQUIRE GUN LICENSING AND REGISTRATION OF ALL GUNS BEING CARRIED BY MISSISSIPPIANS. THIS IS THE SAME LINE OF THINKING BEING PUSHED IN WASHINGTON D.C. AND NEW YORK CITY, RIGHT HERE IN OUR OWN BACKYARD.”

UPDATE: MS Assistant Attorney General Harold Pizzetta who argued the state’s case before Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd had this clarification about the impact of Judge Kidd’s order.

Pizzetta said Kidd’s order applies to the entire state since it prevents the state from going forward with the law. That had some confusion whether Kidd’s earlier ruling applied to just Hinds County or the entire state.