A state judge has blocked a Mississippi open-carry gun law from taking effect Monday.
Circuit Judge Winston Kidd ruled that the law is vague and an injunction is needed to stop irreparable harm.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith requested the injunction, and Kidd granted it during an emergency hearing late Friday. Kidd will hear more arguments July 8.
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House Bill 2 clarifies that people don't need any kind of state-issued permit to carry a gun that's not concealed.
The bill's main sponsor, Republican Rep. Andy Gipson, of Braxton, says the law simply restates the state constitution's right to bear arms. But, some sheriffs and police chiefs worry people could become trigger-happy and hurt civilians or law-enforcement officers.
The attorney general's office defended the law, saying a challenge came too late.
"I never thought I'd live to see a lawsuit filed to say that the Constitution is unconstitutional, which is basically what they're saying," Gipson told The Associated Press after the judge's ruling. "I'm confident that in the end, our Second Amendment rights will be upheld."
The attorney general's office defended the law, saying the challenge came too late.
The Clarion-Ledger reported that Jody Owens, an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said those seeking to block the law are trying to stop mayhem.
"The plaintiffs are trying to stop mayhem. We're looking at a wild, wild West scenario," Owens said.
Attorney General Jim Hood issued a nonbinding legal opinion June 13 saying guns would still be banned on school and college campuses, and that law-enforcement officers could ban the open carry of guns in courthouses and other public buildings. Hood also said people would still be able to ban weapons on private property.
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