Just three days after Mississippi Justice Institute filed a lawsuit against Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s order banning open carry, the mayor appears to be backing down.
The order expires today with Lumumba choosing not to renew it, even though he previously indicated he might extend the open carry ban, and even though he did extend portions of his “stay at home” order.
“We are glad that Mayor Lumumba appears to have realized that he cannot lawfully disarm law-abiding citizens and ‘suspend’ constitutional rights,” said Aaron Rice, the Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute. “Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilant to protect our civil liberties. MJI will always be here to fight for Mississippians when an overbearing government tries to infringe on the freedoms that are the strength of our state and our country.”
MJI, a non-profit constitutional litigation center and the legal arm of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, brought the suit on Monday on behalf of State Rep. Dana Criswell.
“We are pleased that the mayor decided to do the right thing,” said MJI volunteer attorney, Sterling Kidd.
The U.S. Constitution and the Mississippi Constitution protect the right to openly carry firearms in public for self-defense, as do Mississippi statutes. A mayor does not have the authority to override these constitutional rights, even during a state of emergency.
MJI will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the ban is dropped and to explore any potential legal remedies.