For most anti-gun politicians, the knee-jerk reaction is nearly always to blame the gun or ban the gun when things start going bad. That’s just what many local and state leaders have done—or attempted to do—during the COVID-19 pandemic and now widespread rioting from the unjust death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
Judge Overturns Mississippi Open Carry Ban
Now, however, some such “emergency” bans are getting their day in court. And in some cases, those anti-gun city leaders aren’t smiling anymore.
When Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba banned open carry in his city because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many gun-rights advocates cried foul, claiming the move was illegal under state law. Now, Chief U.S. Judge Daniel P. Jordan III has agreed with that assessment, stating the city couldn’t block the right to open carry as provided by state law, even during a time of emergency.
In conjunction with the decision, attorneys for Lumumba and the city council agreed, through a consent decree, to never attempt to restrict open carry again. Under the consent decree, the City of Jackson, the mayor and city council, and all other city agents or employees, are prohibited from adopting “any orders, resolutions, ordinances, policies, or practices which have the purpose or effect of directly or indirectly prohibiting, restricting, or inhibiting the open carry of firearms, unless a statute or law of the State of Mississippi is adopted or amended to specifically prohibit, restrict, or inhibit the open carry of firearms in Mississippi, or to specifically authorize municipalities to do so, and such statute or law is not held violative of the United States Constitution or the Mississippi Constitution by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
Falling on Deaf Ears
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch had warned Lumumba earlier that such a ban ran counter to state law, and even advised him to drop the ban. But the warning apparently fell on deaf ears.
“Cities can’t usurp the authority of the state’s elected Legislature and violate the constitutional rights of the people,” Fitch told wlbt.com. “I support the Second Amendment and will enforce the laws of this state.
“I have serious concerns about the order and the burden it imposes upon Mississippians’ constitutional right to possess a firearm. Accordingly, I ask that you rescind the order immediately.”
Alas, Lumumba didn’t heed that good advice, forcing the Mississippi gun ban to go before the court. The court, of course, sided with the rule of law.
The consent decree to never attempt another open carry ban was met with favor by Republican state Rep. Dana Criswell, a licensed firearms dealer who was the plaintiff in the case.
“I’m very glad to know that this will never happen again in the future,” Criswell said in a prepared statement, reported apnews.com. “Mississippians should be able to protect themselves no matter what city they are in.”