(DeSoto County, MS) DeSoto County’s proposed 'guns in parks' ordinance has been a hot button ever since word of the idea came out.
For that reason, it’s no surprise people packed the county board room for a public hearing on the matter.
Those on both sides of the issue had their say, before supervisors who want to make sure only people with an enhanced concealed weapons permit could have weapons at county parks and new Greenway trails.
Those who live near those trails had concerns about the ordinance infringing on their rights.
“It’s gonna stop me from shooting skeet in my backyard. It’s gonna stop me from shooting a 22 rifle in a safe area because the projectile is gonna go in straight into the greenway,” said Buddy Malone of Southaven.
Supervisors said only people who “intentionally” fire into greenways and parks would be held criminally liable.
Some who turned out agreed on the need for such restrictions.
”Well, it’s something they need to address because this is a totally new thing coming into the County and I think firing weapons irresponsibly, that should be controlled, explained Ed Jordan of Walls.
The hearing went on for nearly two hours and convinced county leaders to take a closer look at their proposal.
”Probably gonna change it just a little bit more based on their input,” stated Supervisor Mark Gardner.
The county had already enlisted the help of the National Rifle Association and plans to have the group look at proposed changes before scheduling another public hearing.
”We thought we had it pretty well clarified, then someone brought up about air guns and brought up about archery equipment so we may clarify that a little bit further,” said Gardner.
So now, they’ll all fall under the proposed law, but some here still think Supervisors are acting prematurely.
”They’re approaching a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Malone.
Supervisors expect to hold another public hearing on or about November 19th.
DeSoto Supervisors still believe they can have an ordinance in place by the end of the year.