State legislature to evaluate multiple gun-related bills in 2014

2014 will be an active year for gun control in the Mississippi Legislature.

Last year, Mississippi House Bill 2 became law and clarified the definition of “concealed” weapons and affirmed the right to carry weapons openly in the state of Mississippi (to include in holsters or other carrying devices that can be plainly seen).  Since that time, local governments have been racing to ban firearms from city and county property effectively nullifying the state law while compromising the authority of concealed carry permit holders.

Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77) introduced House Bill 314 this year to clarify the limits and authority of local governments to restrict open or concealed carry.

Rep. Omeria Scott (D-80) introduced House Bill 231 to establish an ammunition registration and serialization system in the state.

Rep. Deborah Dixon (D-63) introduced House Bill 179 to repeal portions of the state “Castle Doctrine” law.  The bill would “remove the immunity of justifiable homicide provided to persons who commit the killing of an aggressor when that killing occurs outside of the dwelling.”  Also Anyone claiming protection under the Castle Doctrine would be required to submit to drug testing.

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Gov. Bryant aims to end abortion in MS

During his State of the State address on 22 January 2014, Governor Phil Bryant (R-MS) announced the goal of ending abortion in the state of Mississippi.  “On this unfortunate anniversary of Roe versus Wade, my goal is to end abortion in Mississippi.”  According to CBS DC,

“Bryant did not propose any new restrictions on abortion, but he defended a law he signed in 2012, requiring hospital admitting privileges for anyone who performs the procedure. Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has been unable to obtain the privileges for its OB-GYNs, and filed a federal lawsuit in 2012 seeking to block the law. The clinic remains open, by court order, while the lawsuit is pending.”

After reducing the state’s unemployment from 9.4% to 8.3% during his first 2 years in office, Gov. Bryant listed numerous other goals in his annual speeach:

  • Continue economic growth
  • Improve public safety by hiring more State Troopers
  • Make the prison system more efficient and effective
  • Improve teacher performance and student test scores
  • Lower the teen pregnancy rate
  • Add “In God We Trust” to the state seal

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Good basketball brings good choices to a Long Beach school

Courtesy of WLOX, Good basketball brings good choices to a Long Beach school.  The White Shadow, Jason Gibbons, visited Gulfport and Faith Baptist Church to spread the Good News!  Bro. Jason’s ministry, White Shadow55 Outreach, reaches young people in the public schools with  his incredible “Showtime Basketball.”  Having such great basketball skills attracts young people to him and gives him great soul winning opportunities.

During his week in Gulfport, The White Shadow was in more than 20 schools and drew a crowd of more than 1,800 to West Harrison High School on Friday, 23 Jan, to see his show and hear his testimony and a presentation of the Gospel.

State Reps Vote on Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 49 requiring drug testing for recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).  The bill passed with all Republicans voting “Yes” and most Democrats voting “No.”  Before becoming law, the bill must be passed by the state Senate which is expected to act on the bill later this year.

Under the proposed law, applicants for TANF who are at risk for drug use must submit to a drug test at state expense.  Refusal to submit to drug testing would terminate the benefit unless that person enters an approved substance abuse treatment program.

TANF is a federal cash program administered separately by the states.

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Former Governor Musgrove Supports Gay Marriage & Gay Adoption

In an op-ed written for the Huffington Post, Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D-MS) announced his support of gay marriage and adoption.  This announcement reversed a position he once held when, as Governor, he signed a law making it illegal for gays and lesbians to adopt in the state of Mississippi.

The governor stated that his previous action had been guided by his faith.  After some soul-searching inspired by Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) reversal of opinion, Gov. Musgrove now believes that signing into law that prohibition was wrong.  Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) changed his of position on “Gay Rights” following his son’s announcement that he was gay in March of 2013.

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