Mississippi: Judges have No Power to Ban Concealed Guns in Courthouse

when I go to a gun school I am dressed in jeans and a T-shirt.
Mississippi: Judges have No Power to Ban Concealed Guns in Courthousec

U.S.A.  -(Ammoland.com)- In November of 2011, the Mississippi legislature restored the right to carry concealed weapons in most public buildings, including courthouses, but not courtrooms while a judicial proceeding was in process, to people with an enhanced concealed carry permit.

 

Some judges in Mississippi attempted to reverse the modest restoration of the right to bear arms. They banned the carry of concealed firearms within 200 feet of any door to any courtroom. In 2016, Rick Ward, a Second Amendment activist, filed a petition to the Supreme Court, complaining that the judges had overstepped their authority. On June 7, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in Ward's favor. From starkvilledailynews.com:

The court prohibited concealed carry within 200 feet of any door to any courtroom of Fourteenth Chancery District courthouses in Lowndes, Oktibbeha Clay, Noxubee, Chickasaw and Webster counties.

Ward, along with the state Attorney General Jim Hood and the National Rifle Association, argued that the order was invalid.

Following the court order, enhanced concealed-carry licensee Ricky Ward filed a petition to modify or dismiss the order. The chancellors then issued an order denying the petition and doubled down on their order blocking concealed carry permit holders from bringing guns into the courthouse.

Ward moved forward, though, and requested the Mississippi Supreme Court vacate the order as unconstitutional and in conflict with state law.

The state’s highest court agreed, calling the orders “unconstitutional on their face.”

The Supreme Court ruled the judges of the lower courts exceeded their authority  granted under the Mississippi Constitution.  From  courts.ms.gov:

A plain reading of these provisions in our Constitution renders the orders unconstitutional on their face, for “no set of circumstances exists under which the [orders] would be valid.” U.S. v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 745, 107 S. Ct. 2095, 2100, 95 L. Ed. 2d 697 (1987). “[T]he key to a successful facial challenge . . . is whether [the orders], as [they are] currently written, could never be constitutionally applied and valid.” Crook v. City of Madison, 168 So. 3d 930, 942 (Miss. 2015) (Coleman, J., dissenting) (emphasis in original). Applying this standard to the present case, the chancellors’ orders, as they currently are written, could never be constitutional. The Mississippi Constitution vests only the Legislature with the authority to regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons. The orders at issue usurp that power.

On 20 June, 2018, three judges asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling from June 7th. From wtva.com:

Chancellors Dorothy Colom, Kenneth Burns and H. J. Davidson, Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration Wednesday with the state's highest court.

They claim they should have the right under a separation of powers in the Constitution to issue a ruling.

The current Mississippi Constitution dates from 1890. The 1890 Constitution gave the legislature the authority to regulate the carry of concealed weapons. Prior to that date, the State of Mississippi had no such authority. From the Mississippi Constitution of 1817:

Sect. 23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and of the state.

Here is the relevant section of the Constitution of 1890, where the Constitutional Convention creates the authority to regulate concealed, but not openly carried, weapons. From the Mississippi Constitution of 1890:

SECTION 12.
The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.

In 2016, Mississippi became the 10th Constitutional Carry state. People in Mississippi are generally not required to have a permit in order to carry firearms, concealed or openly. Permits are still legally available. They are useful in situations such as those covered by the Supreme Court ruling above.

It remains to be seen if the three judges from the 14th Chancery Court District will prevail upon the Supreme Court to change a decision it made only two weeks ago.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 13 thoughts on “Mississippi: Judges have No Power to Ban Concealed Guns in Courthouse

    1. In 2008 the Heller decision made clear what it meant to bear arms. Scalia quoted Justice Ginsburg’s writing in a previous case. From cornell.edu:

      Justice Ginsburg wrote that “[s]urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution’s Second Amendment … indicate[s]: ‘wear, bear, or carry … upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose … of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ”

      “..in the clothing or in a pocket” is carrying concealed.

      Yet it was stated that states can have restrictions:

      “Longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

      Yet, this doesn’t pertain to the carry of style, bearing of appropriation, or limitations supported by curtailment of classes or permits. And like in Heller, a firearm held in an inoperable fashion by state law is an Infringement and therefore Unconstitutional.

      So why are states still allowed to have felonious laws enacted against a citizens right to carry concealed without a permit?

    2. The Supreme Court ruled the judges of the lower courts exceeded their authority granted under the Mississippi Constitution.
      Way to go SCOTUS. Why can you not just rule that all laws against the 2nd Amendment are unconstitutional, and end this assault on our GOG GIVEN RIGHTS for good?

    3. I wish this would happen in Alabama. I’m tired of having to get undressed before going into the courthouse to renew car tags or pay my property taxes.

    4. Way to many judges want to act like politicians, they need to get B*tch slapped & put in their place. Their job is to uphold the laws and constitution NOT make them up as you go.

    5. There are getting to be so many of these mini tyrants in this country and I think it is born by the liberal movement. Of course, judges are afraid of someone coming in and blowing them off their pedestals so the say no guns. There is a criminal someplace that would listen and not bring his gun into court but the vast majority would not care what a judge declares. An armed citizen might save their sorry ass some day.

    6. We should share and affirm this decision with ALL judges everywhere….ya 9th district, I’m talking to you too!…..

    7. I think a Judge that goes against the Constitution should be removed from the bench. They are no longer serving their oath of Office.

      1. Not only judges but ALL politicians no matter what party they belong to and on all levels from federal down to local. It is time for US to drain the swamp. Why not Citizen’s Arrest as well? No law has been passed to nullify Citizen’s Arrests that I know of. We cannot depend on Trump to do what is necessary as his hands are tied. It’s time for patriotic citizens to stand up and strong instead of thinking others will do what is necessary. Politicians only represent themselves and not the people anymore.

      2. As should any person that has taken that same oath…to be removed, that is. Politics, including Judicial & Legislative, are a greedy bunch. Greedy for wealth…hence the 30+ year congressmen & judges, as well as greed for power. This even trickles down to local LEOs…maybe not so much on the wealth part but I’ve seen a lot of power-hungry law-dawgs. Respect to those that uphold their oath.

        1. I agree with all of the gentlemen supra. We the People need new and stronger controls over our governmental employees like judges, legislators and bureaucrats. We need the Right to recall any judge or justice, any bureaucrat, or any legislator, by national vote, called for the purpose of firing a misbehaving or misinterpreting government employee. If we can not fire them then we are not in charge … they are in charge. I see no particular benefit in choosing who the tyrant will be.

    8. Someone needs to explain to judges that they are not god and they cannot legislate from the bench, their job is to follow the constitution and apply the laws from that document no more no less.

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