Lauderdale County Sheriff Restricts Open Carry

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Lauderdale County, Miss. Although Mississippi citizens may not be openly carrying firearms just yet, that day is most likely coming soon, and Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie wanted to have policies regarding whether weapons would be allowed in some government buildings in place before the law took effect. By law, the County Sheriff is responsible for securing the courthouse, and Sollie believes the best way to secure his courthouse is by his deputies.

"It was my belief that we were better served by removing the guns because those are such volatile areas, be it our Circuit Court, Chancery Court, or Youth Court."

Just as any decision by law enforcement can be challenged, this one may be as well, but Sollie has taken some precautionary measures by getting an official opinion from Mississippi's Attorney General that supports his decision.

"Based on the Attorney General's opinion, we felt that we were standing upon firm ground because of the sensitivity and the potential volatile locations in the courthouse and youth court, that I took the steps that I took."

Sollie feels that his stepped up security in all buildings he is responsible for is sufficient for the safety of people conducting business there, and firearms would just complicate matters.

"We have taken some security measures in both the courthouse, and the courthouse annex by putting panic alarms, putting magnetometers, and by putting armed personnel. We believe that this is just another chapter in that process of securing the courthouse, the courthouse annex, and the youth court."