On Sunday morning Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree (D) suggested Mississippi’s allowance of open carry without a permit contributed to the deaths of Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate on May 10.
During an interview on Fox and Friends, Dupree suggested there is no longer any such thing as a routine traffic stop because of how easy it is for law-abiding citizens to carry a gun.
Mississippi just passed, last year or a couple of years ago, a concealed weapons law where you can carry your gun outside without a license. And now, this past year, they passed one where you can have it concealed in your purse or your briefcase [without a permit]. You know, people just have to be, police officers have to be real vigilant now.
Dupree referenced concealed carry again later in the interview, saying: “For whatever reason we’re passing some kind of laws I don’t think are good for our country.”
Dupree is right on two things: 1. In 2013 Mississippi lawmakers passed legislation allowing open carry without a permit and Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed it into law. 2. In 2015 Mississippi lawmakers passed legislation for permitless concealed carry in bags, brief cases, etc, and Governor Bryant signed it into law.
But Dupree is exceedingly wrong in politicizing the deaths of officers Deen and Tate by suggesting these laws had anything to do with the deaths of officers Deen and Tate. Two suspects arrested in the officers’ deaths–Marvin and Curtis Banks–are felons and therefore barred from gun possession, period. They cannot possess or carry in any way.
The concealed carry laws in Mississippi apply to law-abiding citizens and were relaxed to help Mississippians more easily carry for self-defense because criminals–including felons–continue to possess and carry guns, laws be damned.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.