By Jennifer Lenain, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Local law enforcement is upholding the open carry gun law as it was intended until an official decision is issued by the state.
The open carry gun law that was set to go into effect Monday was quickly overturned Friday evening by Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd.
Kidd ruled that the law was vague and granted an injunction. He scheduled a hearing for July 8.
The law allows people in Mississippi to carry a gun that is not concealed without a state-issued permit.
Attorney General Jim Hood requested to the Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday that the lower ruling blocking House Bill 2 be thrown out.
Both sides were to have presented their arguments by 5 p.m. Monday.
“Attorney General Jim Hood has filed a petition against the injunction and is asking for clarification,” District Attorney Hal Kittrell said.
“It’s hard for me to make a decision on its enforceability,” Kittrell said. “We’re in a state of limbo awaiting the Supreme Court decision.
“The only report we are receiving that it is state-wide, is from the media,” he said.
“We took the stance that we are not abiding by that judge’s ruling,” Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said.
The Picayune Police Department is taking a similar stance. “We are going to uphold the open carry law until we hear different from the Attorney General or the state Supreme Court,” Chief Bryan Dawsey said.
“We are honoring what the lawmakers passed until otherwise notified,” Dawsey said.
D.A. Kittrell does not recommend making any arrests regarding open carry, he added, “If someone is carrying, we need to let them know it’s up in the air.
“I don’t know right now that they would make an arrest on it,” Kittrell said. “At this point, I don’t think arrests should be made at all.”
Until an official ruling is made, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office and the Picayune Police Department are maintaining the validity of the open carry gun law.
“We have nothing short of the interpretation of the Supreme Court,” Kittrell said.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story