Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law two bills designed to protect the rights of gun owners.
House Bill 485 protects personal information collected from applicants for concealed carry permits. It removes personal information from public record requirements. Applicant and permit holder information is still available if ordered by a court. It takes effect immediately.
House Bill 2, effective July 1, clarifies the legal definition of carrying a concealed weapon.
"Sensitive gun owner information is entitled to privacy protections, just like medical records, tax documents and personnel files," said Bryant.
"Law-abiding citizens should not feel like they are doing something wrong by having a concealed carry permit," said House Speaker Philip Gunn. "This law exempts their names and addresses from being a matter of public record, which we feel will protect their rights and identities."
Under the new law, a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon will not be penalized if part of his or her weapon is visible. Case law has established that if any part of a weapon is obscured from view, including by a holster, it is considered concealed.
House Bill 2 also permits active duty military personnel or veterans who are at least 18 years of age to apply for a concealed carry permit. Civilian citizens must be at least 21 years of age to apply.
The National Rifle Association supported both measures.