Lawmaker holds up gun during debate on gun laws

Gary Chism left and Mark Keenum

Gary Chism left and Mark Keenum Greg Sankey Cheikh Taylor Rob Roberson

A MS law enacted in 2011 lets people carry guns nearly anywhere on public property after taking a training course and getting an enhanced concealed carry license.

Mississippi's eight public universities are warning that sports programs could suffer if lawmakers enact a bill that could broaden where people are allowed to carry guns on public property. If state agencies or state public institutions aren't violating the intent, language and spirit of the existing enhanced carry permit law, they should have no concerns with this legislation.

A Mississippi Democrat forced the state's GOP to confront their own hypocrisy on gun laws Thursday when he brandished an unloaded firearm on the floor of the state House.

That license, for example, allows people to carry guns in hallways of courthouses. The bill's main goal is to establish a process for enhanced carry permit holders to challenge policies and signage that are unlawfully restricting them from carrying on public property under the control of state entities. The attorney general's office would have to investigate written complaints within 30 days. "Under our house rule, persons authorized by law to carry concealed weapons are allowed to do so".

"We gave them seven years to fix this", Gipson said.

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But universities are reacting negatively to the bill.

Sankey made his comments in correspondence to the CEOs of the state's two largest universities in response to House Bill 1083.

"I believe that a majority of the parents of the outstanding young people we are entrusted with educating and nurturing share my concerns about the passage of this bill and with it the introduction of firearms into our classrooms and our residence halls", Keenum said in a statement.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Wednesday that athletic opponents "will decline opportunities" to play at Ole Miss and Mississippi State if pending gun legislation is allowed to pass in the state of Mississippi.

Other states, including Arkansas, Georgia and Texas, have faced similar issues.

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"He did show he had an enhanced hide carry license", noted Gipson. The hospital complex has adopted particularly restrictive rules about where guns are allowed.

Rep. Gipson introduced HB 1083 to address countless complaints he and his colleagues have received from enhanced carry permit holders across ms who are being prohibited from exercising their rights under the 7-year old enhanced carry permit law.

The Legislature in 2011 passed a law allowing enhanced concealed carry licenses for gun owners after a training course.

Gipson has brought out a stream of pro-gun bills.

"It's about NRA, A or F, which rating do you want to have?" said Rep. Steve Holland, a Plantersville Democrat. His sister is a county court judge, and he said she has heard cases that include domestic violence.

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