The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Thursday afternoon that House Bill 2 – the “open carry law” – is constitutionally clear, agreeing with the state that the law should take effect immediately.
The ruling came in the form of an order, agreed to by all nine justices, and signed by Justice Randy Pierce. The law will take effect immediately.
The fight over HB 2, which passed last legislative session, started earlier this summer when Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith asked Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd to issue an injunction that would keep the law from taking effect July 1. Smith was joined by a handful of law enforcement agencies.
Kidd granted the injunction, saying then that the law was vague. Attorney General Jim Hood’s office appealed Kidd’s ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
The high court said in its ruling Thursday that Kidd “erred as a matter of law when he found House Bill 2 to be vague and, therefore, unconstitutional.” The court also disagreed with the portion of Kidd’s ruling that said a reading of the law did not allow a reasonable person to determine what is and what is not prohibited.
HB 2 makes it lawful to carry weapons and firearms, as long as they’re not concealed. Exceptions include certain government buildings like courthouses and schools and private property where they owner has forbidden them. It does not change the state’s conceal carry law, which requires those carrying concealed weapons have a permit.
To read the three-page order, click here.