Looking Back: Ten Years of Protecting the Second Amendment in Mississippi

By Aaron Rice
April 26, 2021

“People overestimate what they can accomplish in one legislative session and underestimate what they can accomplish in ten.”

In this series, we are conducting a review of what Mississippi lawmakers have accomplished over the last 10 years. The list provided here is not comprehensive, and we feature only the policies we like, some of which were initiated by MCPP (marked by an *asterisk* below).

Over the past 10 years, Mississippi has gone from the middle-of-the-pack on gun rights to near the top. Below is a review of just some of the Second Amendment protections passed by the Legislature.

Before we get to the gun bills, however, worth mentioning is an important law MCPP worked on (typically, we have left the Second Amendment fights to other groups).

In 2016, Mississippi lawmakers had a great deal of discussion about eliminating the problematic practice of civil asset forfeiture. Rep. Chris Brown succeeded in passing a transparency law (HB 1410) to better track such forfeitures and institute some accountability.*

In 2019, an effort led by MCPP’s Mississippi Justice Institute defeated an attempt to revive the practice of administrative forfeiture.*

Second Amendment Protections

In 2011, the Legislature (HB 506) allowed gun owners who had completed special training to carry their weapon in a courthouse (NOT the same as a courtroom).

In 2013, HB 2, sponsored by Rep. Andy Gipson, confirmed the right to open carry, clarifying that a visibly holstered gun is not a concealed weapon.

That same year, HB 485, sponsored by Rep. Mark Baker, protected concealed-carry permit holders from having their names released via a public records request.

In 2014, the Legislature passed HB 314, sponsored by Rep. Gipson. This law creates a complaint procedure that allows citizens to challenge policies and ordinances that restrict gun ownership.

In 2014, the Legislature also created a Second Amendment Tax Free Weekend with SB 2425.

In 2015, SB 2619 recognized military and law enforcement training as meeting state enhanced concealed carry requirements.

Also in 2015, the Legislature passed SB 2394, which waived concealed carry licensing requirements “for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.”

In 2016, Rep. Andy Gipson sponsored the Mississippi Church Protection Act (HB 786), which provides legislative guidance for churches wishing to set up a security team for the protection of their congregation.

Finally, 2016 saw the passage of “constitutional carry,” contained in HB 786. Constitutional carry stipulates that people may carry a gun, whether concealed or not, without a government-issued license. Mississippi was the 9th state to pass this protection.

Also embedded in HB 786 is a codification of the well-established “Anti-Commandeering Doctrine.” Thanks to now Agricultural Commissioner Andy Gipson, Mississippi law states: “No federal executive order, agency order, law not enrolled by the United States Congress and signed by the President of the United States, rule, regulation or administrative interpretation of a law or statute issued, enacted or promulgated after July 1, 2016, that violates the United States Constitution or the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 shall be enforced or ordered to be enforced by any official, agent or employee of this state or a political subdivision thereof.”*


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