Gov. Bryant considering several bills

Gov. Bryant is carefully considering whether to sign Senate Bill 2161, an “anti-Common Core” bill. He is concerned that it doesn’t have any teeth but just makes recommendations that could be rejected by the Department of Education in favor of existing Common Core standards. Tea Party conservatives like Senators Chris McDaniel and Melanie Sojourner are pushing for a veto and a special legislative session to create a true alternative solution to Common Core.

The Governor has been more positive about a pair of pro-2nd Amendment bills, Senate Bills 2394 and 2619, which reduce concealed carry permit fees and allow weapons to be carried in fully enclosed cases (such as purses and briefcases) without a permit. Gov. Bryant has indicated that he will sign both bills.

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“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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Right to Hunt & Fish on November Ballot

In addition to the elected officials that are on the ballot Nov. 4th, there is one statewide ballot measure proposing a constitutional amendment to preserve hunting and fishing as rights in the State of Mississippi.

The language on the ballot will read as follows:

This proposed constitutional amendment establishes hunting, fishing and the harvesting of wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, as a constitutional right subject only to such regulations and restrictions that promote wildlife conservation and management as the Legislature may prescribe by general law.

Yes ___
No ___

Very little opposition has been raised to the initiative (17 other states have similar amendments) but PETA and the National Council of State Legislatures believe hunting is on the decline although Mississippi is not one of those states.  The amendment will not affect the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks from licensing and regulating but is expected to preserve outdoor space for hunting and fishing.

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Lt. Gov. Reeves’ 2014 Legislative Summary

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves filed a summary of the legislative session headlined “Session Ends with Balanced Budget, Efficiency Measures, Investment in Education.”  The release documents the major legislative achievements to include education initiatives, the budget, public safety, reinforcing 2nd Amendment issues, and efforts to make Mississippi “business-friendly.”

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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Miss. Legislature sends HB 314 to Governor

NRA Institute for Legislative Action reports that House Bill 314 has passed the legislature and will go to Gov. Phil Bryant for signature.  HB 314 provides 2nd Amendment protections as described by the NRA below:

H.B. 314 expands protections against government confiscation of legally-possessed firearms during a state of emergency or natural disaster. It would also protect law-abiding gun owners from restrictive gun control laws at the local level by giving them a legal remedy to challenge those that are enacted outside the scope of what state law allows. This bill would also protect the rights of law-abiding citizens who live in public housing to possess firearms and put a stop to local governments destroying firearms rounded up in taxpayer-funded gun buyback programs.

Executive Director for NRA-ILA Chris W. Cox credited Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77) and Senators Briggs Hopson (R-23) and Sean Tindell (R-49) for getting the bill through their respective legislative bodies and also noted the leadership of House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56) and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

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Legislature to Consider Sportsmen’s Sales Tax Holiday

State Sen. Philip Moran (R-Hancock & Harrison) sponsored Senate Bill 2425 which passed in subcommittee according to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.  With House Bill 1539 also passing, the full legislature will consider the bills that would create a tax free holiday in September for Mississippians.

For more information

Miss. Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bill

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action reports that Mississippi Senate Passes Comprehensive Pro-Gun Legislation.  The legislation, House Bill 314, expands protections against confiscation, protects rights to lawfully own weapons in public housing, limits local municipalities from restricting the carrying of firearms, and prohibits gun destruction in buy-back programs.

The House must consider a technical amendment made by the Senate before passing and and forwarding to Gov. Phil Bryant for signature.

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WaPo: Democrat Childers running for Senate in Mississippi

Travis Childers will be the Democrat nominee vying for the Mississippi Senate seat currently held by Sen. Thad Cochran reports the Washington Post in Democrat Childers running for Senate in Mississippi.

Childers, considered a conservative Democrat and “credible” challenger by the Huffington Post and Politico, represented Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District after winning the 2008 election but was unseated in 2010 by the current Representative, Alan Nunnelee (R).  His campaign press release touts him as “pro-gun and pro-life” and he received the NRA’s endorsement during the 2008 campaign.

With incumbent Thad Cochran facing a tough Primary challenger in Chris McDaniel, energy could shift to Childers who is considered a long shot for the seat that is considered firmly in Republican control according to the Rothenberg Political Report ratings.

Pundits believe a McDaniel victory in the Republican Primary could seriously shift Childer’s potential for a victory in the November Elections.  The Republican nominee will be determined in the June 3rd Primary Election.

Legislature taking action on more gun-related initiatives

In a previous post, House Bill 314 was introduced as the state legislature’s attempt to prevent local and county jurisdictions from limiting concealed and open carry rights in Mississippi.  The bill also would prohibit public housing authorities from preventing tenants from owning firearms.

The House Judiciary Committees have moved forward on several gun rights bills and it appears that proponents of HB 314 have added the provisions of at least two other House Bills:  HB 485 and HB 705.

  • HB 485:  Prohibits tax-payer funded gun buy-back and destruction programs,
  • HB 705:  Prevents the confiscation of legal weapons and/or ammunition in the event of a state of emergency or if martial law is declared in Mississippi.

House Bill 705 includes provisions of HB 708 and HB 1385:

  • HB 708:  Prohibits confiscation of legally owned firearms
  • HB 1385:  Prevents firearms confiscated in natural disasters

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