(DeSoto County, MS) Gun owners in Mississippi will tell you, the many shifts in state gun law this year have been too confusing to keep up with.
Monte Dabbs hears it at his gun shop almost every day.
“It’s very hard to understand what’s going on. One minute it’s this, the next minute it’s that.”
What’s the problem? Law officers believe it comes down to the three separate, but unequal, levels of gun rules.
“A lot of the confusion comes with the open carry versus the regular permit versus the enhanced carry,” said Southaven Deputy Police Chief Steve Pirtle.
All those different categories have different rules and separate levels of privilege.
Many cities tried to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach, with signs on city buildings banning guns.
City leaders in Corinth wanted to adopt an ordinance prohibiting firearms in some areas, making no distinction between open or concealed weapons, so they asked for an Attorney General’s opinion.
The official opinion lays out 13 places where local governments may not ban guns for “advanced” permit holders.
They include courthouses, schools, churches, airports and even places that serve alcohol.
Southaven’s Deputy Police Chief says the city will likely keep its signs in the hopes that everyone will comply.
“We’re hoping that even the enhanced carry will avoid those areas, but we can’t force ‘em, no, no.”
That’s doing little to appease gun owners, who say only a court challenge will clear up these murky rules.
”Until there’s a clear ruling on it, it’s gonna keep on,” explained Dabs.
You can download or view the Attorney General’s opinion here.