(Hernando, MS) The public hearing on DeSoto County’s new parks ordinance went quicker and quieter than supervisors expected.
No one spoke against the ordinance after county leaders took out language that addressed guns in parks.
In fact, in the 13 pages of rules and regulations, you won’t find one mention of a gun anywhere.
”The ordinance as it was previously written had language in there about carrying firearms in the parks and we struck all that. I think we addressed that concern,” Supervisor Mark Gardner said.
That happened after a storm of calls and e-mails to supervisors, and concerns that a park gun ban might conflict with Mississippi law that allows gun owners to openly carry a weapon without a permit, and to carry it concealed where they do.
The ordinance otherwise bans explosives, sets rules for park use and hours, and details closures for bad weather.
It also bans both hunting in parks and destroying wildlife habitats.
Gardner said while the ordinance doesn’t ban guns, a previous law passed in 2012 bans firing of weapons in the parks.
"That basically addresses discharge of firearms in the parks. People can legally carry, but what they cannot do is go out and target practice and discharge in our parks and green ways.”
He says that helps ensure those who come to these parks stay safe.