Judge Extends Open Carry Ban Until July 12

A temporary ban on a new state law will remain in effect at least through the end of this week.

A group of law enforcement officials, state lawmakers and advocates had successfully sued to prevent a law that clarifies when individuals need to have a permit to carry weapons. Attorneys from the state argued that the law was only a minor change from the existing statute, and should be allow to go into effect. The Mississippi State Supreme Court refused to get involved with the case for procedural reasons.

Today, arguing for plaintiffs, attorney Lisa Ross asked Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd to strike down the law--House Bill 2--as "unconstitutionally vague." Ross invoked the recent shooting at Jackson Police Department headquarters in which a murder suspect disarmed and killed veteran Det. Eric Smith.

"If someone can take a gun from an officer, just imagine what could happen if they had their own gun," Ross said in court.

Jerry Moore, a Hinds County constable and Jackson police officer, was called as a witness. Moore called enforcing the law confusing.

Assistant Attorney General Harold Pizzetta said state law already does not prohibit open carrying of firearms and other weapons and that the new law only makes it clear that individuals must obtain a state permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Kidd said he would leave his previously issued temporary restraining order in place until Friday, July 12.


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