Tag Archives: Mississippi

New Mississippi Law Allows Concealed Carry of Gun in Purse, Briefcase Without Permit

On Wednesday, Mississippi’s SB 2394 took effect, a new law that relaxes the state’s concealed carry permit rules. The legislation removes the requirement that a citizen obtain a permit in order to transport a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver in a fully-enclosed container such as a purse or briefcase.

Additionally, according to WDAM-TV, SB 2394 lowers fees for concealed carry permits from $100 to $80 for new applicants, from $50 to $40 for renewals, and from $25 to $20 for renewals by senior citizens. The law also exempts active-duty military personnel from having to pay to apply for a concealed carry permit.

State Senator Joey Fillingane (R-District 41), who co-authored the legislation, said that the final bill was a compromise, as gun rights supporters wanted to pass a broader constitutional carry bill that would more generally legalize the concealed carry of firearms without a permit. “The initial bill, as it started out, was far broader,” said Senator Fillingane. “I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of that particular bill.

The legislation, which was backed by the National Rifle Association, was signed into law on April 9 by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

An April statement by the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said, “Governor Phil Bryant and the Mississippi legislature failed to recognize the dangers of passing SB 2394, and in doing so, have ultimately compromised the public safety of Mississippi families. We are terribly disappointed that Representative Gipson quietly amended and pushed through this dangerous bill allowing Mississippians to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit. He was probably hoping that we wouldn’t notice – but unfortunately for him, we did and we will remember when it comes time to head to the voting booth.

State Representative Andy Gipson, who introduced the House version of the bill, said, according to Y’all Politics, “As may be seen, the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Legislature are committed to passing real, meaningful pro-Second Amendment legislation.

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement about the new law, “On behalf of the NRA and our five-million members, we thank Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn and the Mississippi Legislature for their leadership over the last four years to allow citizens to more fully exercise their right to self-defense.

7,033-Person City Funds $4.1 Million Police Station Through Civil Asset Forfeiture

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal maneuver used by police agencies to seize property from individuals accused, but not necessarily convicted, of a crime. The Cato Institute has referred to mechanisms that fund police agencies through civil asset forfeiture abuse as “policing for profit.” Some civil liberties advocates feel that, when local police departments can raise funds by seizing cash from travelers on the highway on mere suspicion of criminal activity, there is a corrupting incentive for officers to, as an example, interpret a cash withdrawal that someone might make to buy a used car as evidence of drug dealing.

Mississippi Watchdog‘s Steve Wilson recently sounded the alarm on apparent civil asset forfeiture abuse taking place in Richland, MS. The 7,033-person city features a $4.1 million police station, a new fleet of Dodge Chargers, and a police training complex so advanced that it is also used by 22 other local law enforcement agencies.

Said Wilson in his report, “Since 2006, Richland’s four-officer interdiction team has racked up huge forfeiture numbers. In 2014, the team seized $506,400 in cash and property, helping boost the city’s civil forfeiture account to more than $2.3 million. For those keeping score at home, that’s $72 for every resident of Richland. The city also reported $400,000 in revenue from fines and court costs… Those numbers are actually down from past years. In 2013, the department seized more than $1.2 million in cash and property.”

Richland Mayor Mark Scarborough started having officers seize assets through a drug interdiction program back in 2005. His officers mainly target travelers headed in and out of Jackson, MS on I-20. “It’s great to be able to say that we built that [police station] and built it not only today, but built it for the future with funds that aren’t taxpayer dollars. That frees us up huge with the rest of the city. Every other department benefits from the drug seizure deal,” said Scarborough, defending his asset seizures.

Wilson’s report notes that Richland seizes far more property per capita than neighboring police agencies. Wilson wrote, “The city of Clinton, on Interstate 20 west of Jackson in neighboring Hinds County, declared only $10,000 in seized assets on the balance sheet of the city’s 2015 budget. In a 2014 audit of Brandon’s finances, the Rankin County city listed $567,510 in fines and forfeitures in 2013. In the city of Jackson’s most recent budget, the city listed more than $3.1 million in fines and forfeitures.”

Civil liberties law firm the Institute for Justice gave Mississippi a “D+” ranking for its civil asset forfeiture rules, noting that police only need a preponderance of evidence that property is related to a crime in order to seize it, that the burden of proof is on property owners to prove in civil court that the property was not used in a crime in order to get it back, and that police in the state are not required to report data on the items that they seize from individuals. The Institute for Justice calls the 80% rate at which Mississippi police agencies can keep the proceeds of their seizures a “corrupting incentive.”

DESPERATE: Cochran literally begs Democrats to vote for him over Tea Party’s McDaniel in runoff

MISSISSIPPI, June 21, 2014– Only a few short weeks ago, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R- Miss.) was forced into a runoff by Tea Party endorsed Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel (R). Three days from now, Mississippi voters will again return to the polls in order to choose their next U.S. Senator. Feeling the heat, the Cochran campaign has resorted to begging Democrats to “crossover” in order to save Cochran’s seat.

“Thad Cochran and his team should be ashamed of themselves. They have abandoned conservatives by having letters sent out like this all over the state,” said McDaniel while referencing the letters.

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Jerome Wyatt, Jones County Mississippi District 5 Supervisor, works with Cochran campaign in order to convince Democrats to crossover and vote against McDaniel in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff.

By rallying Democrats, the Cochran campaign hopes to pull them to the voter booths and have them pull the trigger for Cochran in order to keep a more conservative candidate out of office.

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