The current Mississippi Legislature, under the watchful eye of a radical-right governor, Phil Bryant, is attempting a number of disturbing pieces of legislation this session. But few, if any, are more disturbing in a heart-of-being-an-American way than their recent legislation to protect the identifies of the residents who apply for the privilege of carrying a concealed weapon.
Regardless of your views on guns, this legislation is textbook overreach by the government. They passed legislation to protect from public view the list of people who are allowed to concealed a weapon on their person. That is, Mississippi is walking all over the First Amendment in its over-zealous attempt to convince voters that they are for the Second Amendment.
Meantime, this means there is no accountability to the state's concealed-carry laws. Watchdog media (or what there is left) will not be able to get in there and determine whether the law is being enforced equally and in a non-discriminatory way. I personally have no interest in publishing the list of concealed-carry permit holders, but that is beside the point. Because the NRA freaked out because media in other states requested the names of the concealed weapon carriers—a First Amendment right—the Mississippi Legislature decided to pass a law that clearly violates both transparency ideals and the First Amendment.
This means that a parent who believes their child is at higher risk around a person with a concealed weapon, for instance, cannot know who in their family and friends circle carries one. Knowing that information gives everyone in the conversation the right to make their own decisions about whether to associate with people who secretly carry weapons. The state government is making this kind of parental and personal decision-making impossible. It is a vast over-reach, but entirely predictable from state lawmakers who are sold out lock, stock and barrel to the gun industry.
Very sad. We hope that the law will not stand up in court.