“Permit-less” concealed carry for purses passes House

[UPDATE: Post title originally indicated that the Senate passed the bill; the Senate has not yet passed the bill as of the time of publishing.]

Senate Bill 2394 was passed by the House on March 27th to allow concealed carry of a gun in “a purse, bag, handbag, satchel or other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case” without a concealed carry permit.  The Senate is expected to approve the bill and Gov. Bryant has already said he would sign it into law.

Rep. Andy Gipson, who helped kill a bill earlier in the session misleadingly advertised as “constitutional carry” (SB 2618), reiterated his commitment to meaningful 2nd Amendment legislation and added the language to SB 2394. Originally intended to reduce the fees for concealed carry permits, SB 2394 would also exempt active-duty military and service-disabled veterans from concealed carry permit fees. A concealed carry permit would still be required for reciprocity with other states.

Senate Bill 2619 also passed the House and would exempt active military, veterans, and retired law enforcement from the training requirements to obtain enhanced carry permits. It also seeks to nullify any federal ammunition bans like the recent bans considered by the BATFE.

Both SB 2394 and 2619 must be approved by the Senate before going to the Governor.

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House kills so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill

Senate Bill 2618, the so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill, was killed in the house this week. Rep. Andy Gipson argued that the bill was not fundamentally sound and did not strengthen gun rights in Mississippi where open carry, unlicensed vehicle carry, and concealed carry are already legal. Gipson stated the House “remains committed to passing good legislation that further supports and restores the Second Amendment rights of Mississippians. But [the House of Representatives] will do so independently of questionable organizations, in a manner that retains integrity and in a way that will not risk sacrificing the many gains we have made the last four years.”

Gipson has been a staunch gun rights proponent. Under his leadership in 2013, the House passed and the Governor later signed House Bill 2 which, Gipson stated, reflects what the Mississippi State Constitution Article 3, Section 12 already guarantees.  Specifically, House Bill 2 clarified the definition of concealed carry in Sections 45-9-101, 97-37-1, 97-37-15, and 97-37-19 of Mississippi state law.

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“Constitutional Carry” bills under fire

Rep. Andy Gipson and other gun rights advocates have come out against Senate Bill 2618 known as the “Constitutional Carry” bill. Constitutional Carry is the ability for citizens to carry a gun just because the U.S. Constitution preserves that right in the 2nd Amendment. According to Rick Ward, “That means no permit, no application, no background checks, no government approval, no fees, and no training requirement.”

Rep. Gipson says that the bill, passed by the Senate, was not a “constitutional carry” bill and identified  the following:

Section 1 of the bill as passed the Senate included a general prohibition on concealed carry of pistols, revolvers, and an assortment of knives and other types of weapons.

Section 2 of the bill as passed the Senate included the requirement under current law (Section 45-9-101) of a concealed carry license for the concealed carry of stun guns, pistols and revolvers. Subsection 13 of this provision prohibits concealed carry, even by licensees, in numerous prohibited locations.

House Judiciary B Committee has amended the bill submitted to them by the Senate into something Gipson says is better legislation. However the final product has not been voted upon by the House. The Senate will also have to vote on the new language.

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Clarion-Ledger: State’s gay marriage ban’s days appear numbered

On October 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from 5 states where lower courts ruled same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.  By refusing to hear those appeals, the bans on same-sex marriage are overturned and the Supreme Court is unlikely to rule in favor of any bans in the future.

Geoff Pender reports that many legal experts believe it is only a matter of time before Mississippi’s ban will be overturned.  Even state Representative Andy Gipson (R-77), Pastor of Gum Springs Baptist Church, says to prepare for Mississippi’s constitutional ban to be overturned.

Gov. Phil Bryant remains defiant, “In 2004, over 86 percent of Mississippi voters supported a constitutional amendment providing that marriage in Mississippi is valid only between a man and a woman.  I will continue to uphold the constitution of the state of Mississippi.”

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Rep. Gipson: Unapolgetically conservative

Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) is an attorney and Baptist pastor.  And in her report in the Clarion-Ledger, Analysis: Gipson wields influence, Emily Wagster Pettus says he is one of the most influential lawmakers in the state.

As the chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee, he was influential in a number of bills including House Bill 585 (improve efficiency and costs of the state’s criminal justice system) and House Bill 1400 (banned abortion at 20 weeks).  He helped push through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Senate Bill 2681) in spite of all the opposition.

Gipson is a notably vocal opponent of gay rights since President Obama changed his stance on gay marriage in 2012.  He has remained a staunch opponent of gay rights even with calls for his resignation and the other pressures associated with taking a Biblical stand on a range of issues.

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Gov. Signs gun protections into Law

Yesterday, Gov. Bryant signed into law a tax holiday bill, Senate Bill 2425:

  • Creates a sales tax holiday on firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies during Mississippi’s “Second Amendment Weekend,”  September 5th – 7th.
  • Creates another sales tax holiday for a variety of organizations and items from July 25th – 26th.

The NRA thanked Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77) and Sens. Briggs Hopson (R-23) and Sean Tindell (R-49) for getting the bill to the governor.

On March 27th, the Governor signed into law several protections for gun owners under House Bill 314:

  • Limit government confiscation of legally owned weapons during states of emergency
  • Clarify local authority to limit the carrying of firearms
  • Affirm the rights of citizens to possess firearms in public housing
  • Prohibit destruction of weapons via government “buyback” programs

The NRA credited Sen. Philip Moran (R-46), Rep. Jeff Smith (R-39), Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56) for getting the measure passed.

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Legislature celebrates the criminal-justice reform law

Credit for the Criminal Justice Reform Law (HB 585) is being given to Rep. Brice Wiggins (R-Pascagoula), Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56), Rep. Greg Snowden (R-83), Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77), and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

HB 585 is 194 pages long and passage reflects a tremendous amount of effort from the state legislature in updating laws in many areas to include sentencing, parole, recidivism, drug and alcohol related crime, violent crime, corrections resources, and training requirements.

Twitter was a-buzz with all the back-slapping after the Gov. Phil Bryant’s signing ceremony:

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