Liberals will be up in arms — not literally, of course — about yet another new Mississippi bill just signed into law today. And it’s some much-needed good news for the Second Amendment, after the ruling yesterday that a lawsuit holding gun manufacturers criminally liable if a gun they make kills someone.
The new law, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, expands permitless carry — thereby expanding momentum for constitutional carry in the nation.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law a bill allowing guns in churches and expanding permitless carry on Friday despite strong opposition by gun control advocates.
The “Mississippi Church Protection Act,” or House Bill 786, was approved by the Mississippi House last week by a majority vote.
The law allows any church or place of worship to create a security program that would permit certain members to carry firearms to protect congregation members. It also expands permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry, to belt and shoulder holsters.
“The governing body of any church or place of worship may establish a security program by which designated members are authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation of such church or place of worship, including resisting any unlawful attempt to kill a member(s) or attendee(s) of such church or place of worship, or to commit any felony upon any such member or attendee in the church or place of worship or in the immediate premises thereof,” the new law states.
The legislation was authored by State Rep. Andy Gipson in response to a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina last year that left nine dead, including the pastor, at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
We’ve shared with you previously the compelling proof of how armed church members can save lives — the story of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, which was fortunately not a gun-free zone when a maniac attempted to shoot up the church in 2007. Case in point that armed church members saves lives.
There was a contentious battle over the bill, with pro-Second Amendment groups claiming law-abiding residents should not need government approval for concealed carry and gun control groups claiming the bill would make Mississippians less safe.
“Gov. Bryant stood strong for the Second Amendment by signing this significant bill, in spite of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s attempts to spread lies about it,” Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), said in a prepared statement. “It’s a great day for law-abiding gun owners in Mississippi. This will allow them to carry firearms for personal protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”
Local Second Amendment groups, such as Mississippi Gun Rights, praised the new law.
“Constitutional carry is the basic principle that if you are legally eligible to possess a firearm, you should be able to carry that weapon, concealed, for self-defense without government permission,” said Robert Roland, the group’s senior state director.
“Law-abiding people shouldn’t be forced to get a government permit before they can exercise their right to self-defense. House Bill 786 removes the penalty for carrying a concealed handgun without a permit,” Roland said, “It does away with the tax or ‘fee’ required for law-abiding gun owners to exercise their God-given right to self-defense.”
NRA-backed legislation expanding permitless carry has gained momentum in recent years. Mississippi became the third state this year to expand permitless carry. Idaho’s governor signed permitless carry legislation late last month, and West Virginia’s governor signed permitless carry legislation earlier this year.
Mississippi has already been under liberal fire after the governor signed a controversial religious liberty bill — named “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” — with some liberals banning the state in protest.
Today’s new law may just give them one more reason to stay away.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]