The Mississippi State Senate voted to pass HB 786, aka the “Mississippi Church Protection Act”.
The pro-gun bill, aimed at legalizing armed security in places of worship, granting concealed carry without a permit and nullifying specific Federal gun laws sailed through the senate with a vote of 36-14.
Sen. Hillman Frazier (D-Jackson) brandished a sheathed sword before the chamber, saying, “We don’t need to pimp the church for political purposes. If you want to pass a bill liberalizing gun laws, then do that. Don’t use the church.”
Senate Judiciary A Committee Chairman Sean Tindell (R-Gulfport) countered with, “The self-defense of these churches is a God-given right.”
The senate sent the bill back to the house for minor revisions. If passed, the bill would make Mississippi the ninth state to allow permitless concealed carry in the United States.
Reacting to the vote, Moms Demand Action issued a statement which reads, “Today’s vote is a dangerous setback for our state that dismantles the concealed carry permitting system that has helped to keep Mississippians safe for years,” said Shirley Hopkins Davis, leader of the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Mississippi lawmakers have made it clear that the will of 83 percent of Mississippians who agree that a person should have a permit to carry a hidden loaded handgun in public does not matter to them at all.”
“This important piece of pro-gun legislation clarifies existing law in Mississippi and ensures that each Mississippian has the right to carry their firearm in the manner that best suits them,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.
Thankfully, both the Lt. Governor and Governor of Mississippi have voiced their support of the bill.
“Unfortunately, our nation has seen tragic incidents carried out in places of worship,” said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. “Mississippians should be able to attend church knowing they have security measures in place to protect them from anyone trying to do them harm.”