DeSoto Supervisors Do About-Face On Guns In Parks

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(Hernando, MS) Gentry Hull likes the peace of feeding the ducks and fish with his family at the park and it doesn’t bother him somebody nearby might have a gun, as long as they keep it to themselves.

”It doesn’t bother me as long as they’re licensed to carry. I know Mississippi does have the open carry law.”

A long-running proposal to ban the discharge of all weapons in DeSoto County parks brought a hail of criticism to County Supervisors.

”We got a lot of e-mails from constituents when it was first proposed, but again, it was never passed,” said Supervisor Mark Gardner.

That’s why the board met Monday to remove language referring to guns from the DeSoto County park rules.

”We’re all strong second amendment proponents and we didn’t want to change the intent of the state legislature,” Gardner explained.

Supervisors say the change in the state law to permit the open carry of weapons made necessitated the change in the proposed park rules.

The change only applies to the handful of county parks, which are largely in rural areas, and not to the numerous city parks across DeSoto County.

But park-goers wonder if perhaps supervisors weren’t just a little hasty.

”Rules need to be put in place for certain things so it definitely needs to be addressed one way or another,” said Gentry.

He and others will get their chance to voice their opinion on the subject at a public hearing in April.