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Bill deadline tomorrow — guns bill to live or die

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my story in this week’s MBJ about the bill that would allow people who have valid concealed weapon permits to carry their firearms into public parks, unsecured public buildings and bars and restaurants, if owners choose to allow them to do so. The angle that we pursued was the bar and restaurant conundrum. Not surprisingly, people on both sides of the issue have strong feelings about handgun possession in places that serve alcohol.

The bill sits in the House Judiciary B Committee, and since it originated in the Senate, it must clear Judiciary B by 8 p.m. Tuesday, or it dies. Rep. Willie Bailey, D-Greenville, chairs Judiciary B, but Magnolia Marketplace was unable to corner him for comment before press time last week.

Also arriving just a little too late for the print edition was a statistic from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, which issues the weapon permits, which shows that 14,004 people in Mississippi have a valid concealed weapon permit. That number is as of Feb. 26.

On the agenda today is the monthly luncheon meeting of the Stennis Capitol Press Corps, in which¬†Judith Phillips, of MSU’s Stennis Institute of Government, will discuss her research and report, “Obesity and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: An Overview for Decision-Makers.” The effects of soft drinks on public health and its impact on the state’s bottom line, and whether they should be taxed, has gotten a good amount of play this legislative session.

Magnolia Marketplace will have the particulars as soon as they’re available. Stay tuned.

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