"State Government Over-reaching to Protect Concealed Weapon Carriers" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackblog

State Government Over-reaching to Protect Concealed Weapon Carriers

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.

Comments

donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

Also, another problem with concealing the names is that it makes it near impossible for the media or anyone else to analyze these laws and make sure they are not more dangerous to the public health than not having them. That is, how can we know when someone with a concealed carry permit commits a crime if we don't know who has them? The government is providing an easy cover-up for problems with the law. Perhaps on purpose.

Also, someone posted this on Facebook; anyone know if this is true; we'll check it out as well:

the exemption from the Open Records act has been in the CCW permitting for a long time. See MSCODE 45-9-101(8), the same provision was in the 2004 statute. So I dont know what the Governor's legislation is supposed to do, exactly, but the identities of the CCW holders are ALREADY protected. EDIT: It may extend that 45 days of immunity to Open Records requests permanently... in which case, so what?

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Josh77 4 years, 7 months ago

Its your responsiblilty as a parent to ask family and friends about guns, not to snoop through government freedom of information acts. That act was made to give the citizens the ability to hold the government accountable not spy on other citizens. People who jump through the hoops of getting a permit don't commit crimes. Its an extensive FBI background check someone who is already a criminal won't be allowed to get one. Our law makers aren't sold out to the gun industry. How many major manufacturers do we have here? 0? Winchester has an ammo plant here but does not make guns here. The government is protecting the privacy of the people because we asked them for it.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

OK, here's what we found about the language change:

Original language:

(8) The Department of Public Safety shall maintain an automated listing of license holders and such information shall be available online, upon request, at all times, to all law enforcement agencies through the Mississippi Crime Information Center. However, the records of the department relating to applications for licenses to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers and records relating to license holders shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 for a period of forty-five (45) days from the date of the issuance of the license or the final denial of an application.

New language of HB 485, which Bryant signed:

(8) The Department of Public Safety shall maintain an automated listing of license holders and such information shall be available online, upon request, at all times, to all law enforcement agencies through the Mississippi Crime Information Center. However, the records of the department relating to applications for licenses to carry stun guns, concealed pistols or revolvers and records relating to license holders shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 * , and shall be released only upon order of a court having proper jurisdiction over a petition for release of the record or records.

The house bill changes

for a period of forty-five (45) days from the date of the issuance of the license or the final denial of an application.

to

and shall be released only upon order of a court having proper jurisdiction over a petition for release of the record or records.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

So ... no accountability now.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

"Snooping" is the whole point of government information acts, dude. Or, better yet, watchdogging. We must watch how the government allows concealed weapon permits and to whom. (I thought a lot of y'all gun types don't trust the government; hmmm). And it's in the public interest (and individuals and parents) to know who has a gun and where so we can avoid them if we choose to.

People who jump through the hoops of getting a permit don't commit crimes.

We have no way of knowing this without access to knowledge of who gets them. Otherwise, this is just wishful thinking. And many, many gun crimes and suicides are committed by "law-abiding citizens." That phrase has long been a red herring. Many of our worst crimes in history have been committed by so-called law-abiding citizen. That is basically a meaningless phrase used by people to fight gun regulation.

And what do you think the NRA is?! It's a trade organization for the gun industry that holds political figures hostage with Second Amendment rhetoric and by stoking fear. And the point is to SELL as many guns as possible. Defend guns all you won't, but don't be naive about the motive of the NRA and other industry groups.

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TheBouncer1111 4 years, 7 months ago

I am at a loss to understand how you take the stance that "The Press" is the know all, end all authority 'trade group' that has the established rights to anything on earth. While many in "The Press" can adequacy string together enough words and phrases to showcase a higher than average knowledge of the English language, very few have ever demonstrated that they are knowledgeable in any other subject known to mankind.

I have often been amazed at how they(The Press) can cause grievous harm to individuals by trying to discos "The Truth!" as they see it. And yet cry out for 1st amendment protection when their sins are uncovered. Yes, I have witness loss of life because of The Press reveling information that should not have been published at the time it was. The Press has invented this game of Who Can Print It First. Sadly, they have proven not to have the morality to play, Who Shall get it Right. And lately it has been, Print Anything, Throw It Up to The Wall and See What Sticks. The tail wagging the dog.

IF the Press has the right to ccw permit owners information, can not the same case be made toward victims of crimes information? Victims of rape, incest? What about medical information? Shouldn't you also be publishing articles calling for th release of peoples private medical records? How many times a woman has miscarried should be public 1st page news correct? I mean the Press knows what's most important right? The Press should determine what is private. No one and nothing else knows more than a member of the trade organization known as the Press Corps. Don't be naive about the motive of the Press and other trade groups of the Fourth estate. They want to stoke fear in order to further their own careers and sell papers.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

So, what's up with the Fondren bashing? Yawn. There is a huge variety of people who live and work around Fondren: ages, races, political stripes. Some of y'all's obsession with Fondren as a liberal bastion is so goofy.

Beyond that, "Hatchet," how would the media know if someone used a concealed weapon to commit a crime. Even with the 45-day waiting period, it's near impossible in our state and city to get more information on guns used in crimes. We're already not exactly transparent.

Your last point makes a degree of sense on this particular issue: The government would indeed have less of a First Amendment concern about transparency if it wasn't putting itself in the position to choose who is "law-abiding" and trustworthy enough to carry a weapon secretly. I'm not saying I prefer your option, but it would get them away from this special privilege problem.

As you for, Bouncer, there's not a whole lot to say back to that rant. The Constitution specifically provides for freedom of the press, and for good reason. I have no need to argue that point with you at all.

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Gomezz 4 years, 7 months ago

Now this is funny. Bouncer is right he was making good points. I love the way the press oversteps anothers point just to try to prove them selves right. The way I see it If I decide to carry a fire arm in my jacket and the State Of Mississippi says it's ok by having a permit then it's nobodys business. That is my right no ones elses. The over reaching power of the government wants to tell me what I can buy and how much. I put the people that wants tight gun controls or bands in the same group of people that rail against Smokers. It's my body and my guns look at New York they try to ban soft drinks and want to tell you how much you can buy if any. I give the govonor a ^5 for the new laws because the press would be the first to print it with no protection to the person under the disguise of Freedom of speech. You are throwing to many what if's out here to try and vaidate your point sorry does not work here. I would suggest a little more education about gun owners we are law abidding citizens and just because some one smokes or owns a gun makes them no less of a American with the same rights as you. Please respect our rights just like you expect your to be respected. Laws are for crimnals not law abiding gun owners.

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TheBouncer1111 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh, it was far from being a rant I assure you.

And yes, the Constitution DOES specifically provide for the Freedom of the Press. Along with the Right to Bear Arms.

Thank you for playing along...

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Josh77 4 years, 7 months ago

If you don't trust someone to give you a true answer to the question "Do you have a CC permit?" Then you shouldn't be letting your kids around them. I know the gun ownership status of every single person who has ever been around my kids without my presence. You may ask how I know for sure. I asked. Not 1 has denied ownership. We are the NRA. They are our lobbying group. They lobby to protect our rights just like pro-choice groups lobby for their belief. Your law abiding arguement carries no weight. I am sure there is a first time criminal act for all criminals. Their permits are revoked after felonies. You think you can tell better than the FBI who is and is not a criminal! You also said you want to know who and where these gun owners are. Do you want us all to wear a gps locator. Knowing my home address wont keep you from being around me. I am home 8 hours a day or less. The other 16 I am out in public. You want to know if a criminal had a CC permit when he commuted a crime petition the judge for his information if it is relevant to the crime you will get your info.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

No, thank YOU, Bouncer for helping me prove my point: Both the First and Second Amendments can be and are regulated to protect public safety -- including speech, assembly, press and the right to bear arms and have a "well-regulated" militia.

Besides, we're not talking about whether you get to bear an arm in the blog post above. Pay attention. ;-)

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no1 4 years, 7 months ago

First of all, please don't delete this post. Because there were posts that were posted and you even replied to them. They were later removed to fit you own agenda and to make yourself look better. Your replies to them are even still there. Why were they deleted ? If you have any ethics and strongly support the first amendment, this post will be posted. Why not just have a civil discussion. Unless, of course your point of view is biased and flawed and can't be rationally defended and you lack integrity.

Now, what does any this have to do with the first amendment ? How can you equate not releasing personally identifiable information with walking all over the first amendment. You have the freedom and right to express yourself however you want. However, you do not have the right to personally identifiable information of law abiding citizens that are merely exercising a constitutional right. What kind of convoluted twisted logic did you use to come up with that ?

Furthermore, I'm sure you know that HB2 was signed into law and will go into effect on July 1st. On that date, anyone that can legally own a firearm in the state of MS will be able to openly carry the weapon without any permits. Ain't it great !!!

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

no1: No one has deleted posts that were already opened, unless the system is doing it (which it occasionally does.) The only posts on this thread that we have not opened has been some troll calling Fondren a "pot full of p*ss," or some such for no apparent reason that the fact that I work here as far as I could tell. That was trash, and it has no place on this site.

Secondly, the Jackson Free Press is not a governmental entity. Thus, the First Amendment has nothing to do with whether we allow people to post on our site. We never moderate out comments based on respectful disagreement, only for trash talk, libelous statements or ad hominem attacks; see our user agreement to get acquainted with the rules for the privilege of posting here. Adhere to them, and you're good.

Otherwise, I've explained my logic. Trying to insult me isn't exactly going to prove me wrong.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

Also, the U.S. Constitution doesn't give the right to carry a concealed weapon. The government is selectively granting that right; thus, the constitutional issue.

To review:

JFP = private business = does not equal government: therefore, not governed by 1st Amendment

Government = government = governed by 1st Amendment

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

BTW, no1, here is what the NRA says about HB2:

*House Bill 2, sponsored by state Representative Andy Gipson (R-Brandon) in the House and managed by Ward in the Senate, addresses a recent opinion by state Attorney General Jim Hood (D) that has caused confusion and concern among carry permit holders and Second Amendment advocates. According to this opinion, it is now unlawful for both regular and enhanced carry permit holders to carry holstered, partially-visible pistols on their person. Additionally, any permit holder who temporarily or accidentally displays their pistol - when removing or adjusting a suit jacket or sport coat, for example - would be violating the law.

HB 2 will eliminate confusion by striking the phrase “in whole or in part” after the word “concealed” where it appears in Section 97-37-1 of Mississippi law prohibiting the carrying of certain firearms or other deadly weapons. It also more clearly defines the term “concealed” for carry permit holders and non-permittees alike. Without the changes in HB 2, Mississippi laws that are supposed to protect the right to carry firearms for personal defense instead set legal traps for otherwise law-abiding citizens: a firearm carried by a person without a carry permit cannot be obscured, and any part of a pistol carried by a permit holder cannot become visible.*

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bill_jackson 4 years, 7 months ago

However that effectively makes open carry without a permit perfectly legal. That could prove to be interesting.

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no1 4 years, 7 months ago

Second, thank you for your 1st amendment lesson. Your response was anticipated and you made my point like I knew you would. I completely agree, the 1st amendment only covers public speech and not a moderated forum. However, the 1st amendment also doesn't have anything to do with releasing personally identifying information of law abiding citizens. Which could in fact create dangerous situations for permit holders, their families, and their property. So , how does the DPS not releasing personal information of permit holders, equal "Mississippi is walking all over the First Amendment in its over-zealous attempt to convince voters that they are for the Second Amendment." ????

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no1 4 years, 7 months ago

Not sure why you quoted HB2 from the NRA website. But if you're implying that open carry is not going to be legal on July 1st, you are completely off base and should do some research before speaking on the subject. As bill_jackson above stated, open carry will effectively be legal on July 1st.

Per www.handgunlaw.us :

45-9-101 (This new law does not go into effect until 7/1/13. Until that time a firearm that is partially covered is considered concealed. This makes open carry illegal until 7/1/13 as a holster partially conceals a firearm when open carried and under the law in effect now is considered concealed and a permit/license is required.)

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm not implying anything, no. I posted about the law from a source I thought you'd appreciate.

As for the First/Second Amendment discussion, you're still missing the point. The First Amendment is designed to do several things. One of them is to give the press power to watchdog the government. The problem with concealed weapons permits is that the government is inserting itself into a situation so that it decides who can and cannot carry a concealed weapon. That, in itself, is arguably questionable from a constitutional standpoint (not saying unconstitutional, but it must be watchdogged). The First Amendment isn't about protecting the right to privacy; it is about the government not limiting the expression of individual citizens, as well as granting a strong freedom of the press to keep the government in line. What you and others claim that the government is doing to, supposedly, protect the Second Amendment is precisely the kind of selective action that the media must have First Amendment protection to watchdog (especially since some could argue that concealed permits are special privileges the government is choosing to grant, being that the Second Amendment says nothing about the "right to bear a concealed arm.")

So, to break it down for you, it is entirely possible (and even probable) that something could be deemed legal under the Second (or other) Amendment without limiting the media and citizens' right to know what the government is up to under the First Amendment. I'm a bit surprised to hear that those who fear a government conspiracy (not saying that's you) would even think of allowing the government to conceal who it gives special privileges, too. Careful what you wish for. (Boo!)

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

To others: You are welcome to discuss this issue and agree and disagree. But no posts will be opened that contain troll-like comments, whining about the moderation or ad hominem attacks. So either play by our user agreement and agree/disagree like adults, or move on to a sandbox where they allow such behavior.

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donnaladd 4 years, 7 months ago

We also encourage you to have the courage of your convictions and use your real name (and picture?) as many of us do. You will be taken much more seriously if so than anyone who posts anonymously or under fake names and may even be motivated to be more respectful in your attempts at dialogue. Have the courage to own your opinions! What are you afraid of?

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