A bill intended to prohibit the governor and other officials of the state, counties and municipalities from interfering with the right of citizens to possess firearms was introduced Thursday in the Mississippi legislature. House Bill No. 314 would also provide a complaint procedure to challenge ordinances in violation of that right and to restrict county and municipal programs to purchase weapons from citizens.
Acknowledging the powers and protocols for the governor to declare martial law in a state of emergency, the bill mandates “Nothing in this section or in any other statute shall be construed to confer upon the Governor or any official or employee of any department, agency or political subdivision of the state the power to: Confiscate or seize a firearm, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition from a person who is in lawful possession of such firearm, ammunition, or components of ammunition; or Impose additional restrictions as to the lawful possession, transfer, sale, carrying, storage, display or use of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition.”
[UPDATED TEXT] The legislation will also allow private citizens to hold counties and municipalities liable for ordinances that violate state preemption, giving them the ability to challenge such edicts in court, and providing attorney fees and a civil penalty that may not be paid with public funds. [END UPDATED TEXT]
The bill has been sent to the Judicial B Committee for further consideration.
While gun rights advocates will see this as a good and needed piece of legislation that bodes well for the furtherance of their rights in the Magnolia State, Mississippi presents its share of threats requiring awareness and a commitment to grassroots activism. This column presented a series of reports summarizing a legal fight when anti-gun Circuit Judge Winston Kidd was overruled by the State Supreme Court last August after he tried to kill House Bill 2, a measure that clarified the definition of “concealed” as it applies to firearms and weapons, and that some characterized as an “open carry” bill.
More recently, Rep. Deborah Dixon introduced a bill Monday that would remove “the protection citizens have when defending themselves anywhere other than within 30 feet of their home.”
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