Mississippi's open-carry gun law is in a holding patten after Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd blocked the law from taking effect July 1 after a lawsuit challenged its legality.
Despite the ruling both the DeSoto County and Tate County sheriff offices say the law stands in their counties and residents do not need a permit to openly carry a firearm.
DeSoto County District 5 Supervisor Harvey Lee is taking full advantage. Lee says many in his county should join him in packing heat. He believes more people packing heat makes for a better DeSoto County, but not without certain training.
"You come in my yard and I got my pistol, and I think everybody ought to have a pistol on their side in their yard," Lee said. "You just don't know."
Lee was working in his front yard on Tuesday with a .357 Magnum pistol on his right hip. He has a concealed carry permit, and before July 1 he had the pistol on him, but you would have never seen it.
"I got to putting this one on my side," he said. "I want people going up and down the road to see it. The law has changed, and if they say I can wear my pistol, I'm going to wear my pistol."
Lee started packing openly in his front yard because he says people have actually walked up on him, uninvited in the yard of his country home.
Do that these days, and you can't help but notice the heat.
"Warm, ain't it?," he asked.
While he openly carries in his front yard, in town Lee prefers to carry his pistol concealed. While he supports the open-carry law, he doesn't like all of it.
"Well the law says you can do it, but I think at the same time you still need to go get a permit, to protect yourself," he said. "So, if law enforcement approaches you can say, 'Hey, I've got my permit.'"
As for Circuit Court Jude Kidd and his injunction on the open-carry law, Lee said the injunction has no weight in North Mississippi.
"Well, that may be good in Hinds County, but it ain't good for DeSoto County," he said. "DeSoto County governs itself."
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