Mississippi Man Claims Court House Violates His Gun Rights

Different states have different rules and such for concealed carry. Some are constitutional carry and you can take your gun virtually anywhere not prohibited by federal law. Others are incredibly strict to the point that you might as well not even have the permit.


However, one of the more interesting ideas out there is the concept of “enhanced permits.” These are special permits that expand the list of places people can carry a firearm. While they’re still far from perfect–we shouldn’t need a permit to exercise our constitutionally protected rights–it’s a concept that I find may well be leveraged to expand gun rights for everyone over time.

Of course, that only works if localities actually follow the law.

In Mississippi, a man is arguing that a local courthouse isn’t.

The Mississippi attorney general’s office says Madison’s firearm ordinance violates state law by prohibiting those with enhanced concealed carry permits from bringing firearms into City Hall, parks and other city property.

Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler received a letter last month from the AG’s office notifying the city about its law.

Gun rights advocate Marvin Clifford of Saucier filed a complaint with the AG saying the city was violating the rights of people with enhanced concealed carry permits.

“With regard to the subject Madison ordinance relating to firearm possession, I am of the opinion, and you are hereby notified, that this ordinance is in violation of Section 45-9-51 and Section 45-9-53 because the ordinance exceeds the authority granted to municipalities ….” Deputy Attorney General Onetta Whitley said in an Oct. 9 letter to Butler.

Clifford said the city has yet to amend its ordinance despite the letter.

The city says it’ll address the issue at the next meeting of their Board of Aldermen on December 3. However, there’s some indication that they may not actually make the correction in a manner that allows carry for those with enhanced permits.


Of course, this is Mississippi, which isn’t known as a haven for anti-gun sentiments. Then again, there are a lot of people who think of themselves as pro-gun up until it means allowing someone else to carry in a particular place or time. That’s when the Second Amendment seems to go out the window.

It’s also only fair to note that the board may well address the issue in a satisfactory manner. The concerns stem from the part of the local ordinance being addressed, which deals specifically with police officers. As the law currently reads, off-duty police officers are also forbidden from carrying a firearm. It’s possible that the law will be changed not just to address this issue but also include those with enhanced carry permits. We’ll frankly have to wait and see.

If not, then it’s likely the attorney general will step in yet again and offer a polite slap down for the city. That office may well also begin exploring more concrete steps to force the correction the board seems determined not to make.

After all, if they don’t have it handled by then, they’re not likely to get it handled on their own.

It’ll be something to keep an eye on.

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