In 2018, the city of Tupelo considered regulations on food trucks that would have greatly limited their ability to operate within the city.
The regulations were not based on health or safety concerns - food trucks already must comply with such codes.
Rather, members of the Tupelo city council said they were doing this because they wanted to protect traditional, established brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings was reported to say, “I just want to make sure the established businesses are protected.” A regulation motivated by a desire to protect existing businesses flies in the face of rights under the Mississippi and federal constitutions.
The Mississippi Justice Institute sent a letter to the city of Tupelo warning of potential litigation should the city pursue they regulations some openly talked about.
In the end, the city backed away from protectionist policies and food trucks remained free to operate in the city.