Amid MS open-carry confusion, cities post 'no weapons' signs - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Amid MS open-carry confusion, cities post 'no weapons' signs

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Tom Dees / FOX13 News Tom Dees / FOX13 News
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (FOX13) -

Mississippi's new open-carry law was supposed to go into effect statewide on July 1, but a Hinds County circuit court judge allowed an injunction to stop it.

Whether that injunction affects the rest of the Magnolia State isn't clear. So for now DeSoto County and Tate County are ignoring the injunction.

The legal mess has created a headache. Some counties in Mississippi are going with the injunction while some not.

Signs reading "No Weapons Allowed" are being posted throughout DeSoto County and Southaven, including city hall and the police department, marking where you can't carry.

"Basically what we are doing is to provide safety for the people that are conducting business in the city building, concerning the city meetings to provide that safety cushion that they feel comfortable, so that's why they made the decision to place them at the city buildings" said Southaven POlice Lt. Mark Little.

The Friday injunction of the open-carry law by Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd left law enforcement agencies and gun owners confused.

"The main confusion is does it affect anyone outside of Jackson," Lt, Little said. "Does it affect other counties? Some say it does, some say it doesn't."

As for clarification of the law, who knows when it is coming. 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.

So for now the signs are going up and the open-carry law is in effect in Tate County and in DeSoto County.

"They are hoping for a speedy decision on the (State) Supreme Court side," Lt. Little said. "They say it could be as fast as yesterday and they say it could be two weeks. There really is no telling when they will have a final decision on it."

Tuesday afternoon the Mississippi Supreme Court said it won't undo Judge Kidd's order that blocks the open-carry gun law. Justices say they made their decision for procedural reasons, not on the merits of any arguments. Attorney General Jim Hood filed papers with the Supreme Court on Monday, asking justices to undo Kidd's order.

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was among those who asked Kidd to block the law.

A panel of three Supreme Court justices on Tuesday denied Hood's request. That means Kidd can hold a hearing on Monday to decide whether to extend his order.

Under House Bill 2, business owners can post signs to stop customers from carrying firearms into their business. If the sign is not posted and you are carrying a firearm, the business owner can still ask you to leave. If you are asked to leave, you must do so.

The injunction has left law enforcement across Mississippi in a tough spot, in many cases. The question is, do you violate a Hinds County circuit court judge's injunction, or do you say the open-carry law is not in effect and get sued for violating someone's Second Amendment rights?

Plaintiffs say judge can block open-carry gun law

DeSoto, Tate counties to allow open carry

Judge blocks Mississippi open-carry gun law

Gun law set to turn Magnolia State into Wild West

Mississippians arming themselves for July 1


Associated Press reporter Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.

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