Mississippi Supreme Court finds gun ban unconstitutional

On June 7, 2018, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that local judges of the 14th Chancery District acted unconstitutionally by issuing an order that banned people with enhanced concealed-carry licenses from taking guns into courthouses.

According to the Mississippi Constitution, only the Legislature “may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.” Because of this specification, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Chancery District stepped outside their authority by issuing the ban.

An article by the Associated Press explained that, “The Legislature enacted a law in July 2011 saying that people with enhanced concealed-carry licenses may take guns into courthouses, but not into courtrooms. In November 2011, judges in the 14th Chancery District issued an order banning anyone other than law enforcement officers from having concealed guns in and around all parts of courthouses in the district in Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Webster counties.

A resident with an enhanced concealed-carry license challenged the chancery judges’ ban.”

The resident that challenged the ban in the 14th Chancery District was firearms instructor Ricky Ward. The case name is Ward v. Colom, No. 2016-M-01072-SCT (Miss. 2018). He appealed to the judges because he noticed that the district courthouses “were all built many years ago and not designed to properly secure courtrooms.”

The case made it all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court. The court ruled the general ban of firearms in all areas of a courthouse was unconstitutional. The court explained that it is the function of the legislature, not the judiciary, to make such restrictions. Two dissenting justices from the Mississippi Supreme Court found the ban of the 14th Chancery District constitutional. Two other justices partially dissented and stated that a narrower version of the ban may pass.


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Original article can be found here.