Locals React to Extension of Open Carry Block

Meridian, Mississippi There is plenty of reaction when it comes to news that a Circuit Judge has extended his block on Mississippi's open carry law.

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd has extended his block on the open carry law. The law was intended to clarify that people can carry a gun with or without a permit, as long as their weapon is visible. It would have gone into effect July 1st. Judge Kidd has ruled that the law's wording is too vague though and it must be stopped to avoid irreparable harm.

"I just think that is so dangerous," Kristal Mosley from Meridian says. "I just think they should change that law because it is not right. All of a sudden somebody might just walk up to you and say, 'Hey give me your tennis shoes or something like that.'"

However, defenders of the law say this isn't new information. Technically, this law doesn't change any existing legislation. It's main purpose is to better clarify laws that are already in place. Judge Kidd says it's having the exact opposite effect.

Kidd is worried law enforcement will have a more difficult time identifying threats and that citizens will become more fearful to see people publicly brandishing their weapons. Governor Phil Bryant and other supporters are confident this block will be struck down and the law will eventually pass.

"It overwhelmingly passed both the House and Senate here in the Mississippi legislature," Modern Outfitters Training Coordinator Ron Payton says. "So it had just very few people that voted against the legislature. I would think that would be the wishes of the people of Mississippi."

Some say Mississippi can learn from legislation from other states.

"I do believe that people should have the right to because I know other states have it, and they've had zero problems," Dr. Joe Jacobs from Meridian says.

Jacobs says its the people who wish to do harm that are the ones who follow the law anyway. The president of Modern Outfitters says he understands the judge is looking out for the public's safety, but openly carrying may not be the best decision whether or not it's legal.

"What we tell our students and customers that come in the store is that we don't recommend that they open carry anyway," Eric Stubbs says. "We do recommend that they go through the legal channels of obtaining a firearms permit, and getting proper training, or just getting it where you can hold concealed."

The open carry law was initially blocked on June 28th, just three days before it was set to take effect.