The SEC v The People Of Mississippi

First blog post in nearly 3 years! Hopefully the first of many…well, maybe a couple.

I’m an every-day gun carrier. It’s part of my lifestyle, and it’s not that big of a deal unless and until it becomes necessary to draw it, which becomes the definition of a big deal. My home state, Mississippi, affords its citizens a greater measure of freedom than most states in its gun laws. Here, open and concealed carry is legal without a permit (with limitations; see note 1). The state offers permits to assist with reciprocity with other states requiring permits, but the door really opens with what is called an enhanced concealed carry permit, which eliminates the majority of prohibited areas (see note 2).

Some argue (correctly in my view) that requiring a permit at all violates 2nd and 14th amendment application of the law, but I support the law as it stands because it provides a bridge to that magical land of “shall not be infringed” through gradual legislation. What we couldn’t get all at once can be attained by piece-meal. Plus, it gives the gun-skittish more peace of mind knowing that those carrying enhanced permits have had mandatory safety training and a background check, and nothing’s worse than a hysterical hoplophobe.

Except, perhaps, muscle-flexing by self-important outsiders.

The state legislature has been debating a law, HB1083, that provides an avenue for enhanced permit holders to legally challenge agencies who prohibit gun possession in certain locales where it is already legal, one of those places being sporting events. This has come to the forefront because, during this process, a letter (posted below) was sent to the two largest universities in the state, Mississippi State University and That School Up North, by the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. By way of this letter the SEC is attempting to sway the legislature in the same way the NCAA strong-armed North Carolina over their HB2 bathroom bill that insisted that people use the proper restrooms by threatening them with the loss of championship tournament games (in case you forget what happened, NC caved).

I have a few responses, but they basically boil down to my opinion that the SEC needs to stick to promoting sports and get their nose out of other people’s business.

First, the letter is factually incorrect in asserting that HB1083 legalizes carry at university sports venues. The truth is that it became legal to do so in 2011, and since then there has been no adverse occurrence attributable to any holder of an enhanced concealed carry permit in said venues. So they are not only ignorant but irrelevant as well.

Second, related to the first: there has been no problem getting other teams to visit Starkvegas, Ox Ford, or any other non-SEC school in the state over that 2011 law. Again, no incidents by enhanced permit holders has been detected in the nearly SEVEN YEARS since. So, in the wonderful, immortal words of Clara Peller:

Third, what they’re asking for is an exemption. This is odious: such a carve-out says that fans of the Bulldogs and the Bearsharks are worse than those for other schools in the state, so their member schools must be treated differently. The SEC is pretty much asking for the creation of a politically-protected class. But protected from whom? The very people they intend to harm if the law is passed. It’s called extortion, and they should be ashamed.

Finally…now, let’s get very real-world for a moment and recognize the following. People will carry if they want to, and no law can stop it. The state can discourage it by legally asking them not to and threatening penalties for doing so, but they can’t actively stop it. However, one way they can further discourage such is by encouraging law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. One big way was through legalizing open-carry, and the enhanced concealed carry permit was developed as a means of legally recognizing the right of said citizens to carry even in sensitive places and further discouraging lawbreakers from unlawfully using firearms therein.

Who is the SEC to speak against it? Our state’s gun law protects them and everyone else. And they’re either too short-sighted or too politically-blighted to understand that. I don’t care which. They can pound sand.

The SEC v The People Of Mississippi

The SEC v The People Of Mississippi

NOTE 1 – Locations where permitless carry is prohibited by law:

  • Places prohibited by federal law (i.e., post offices, federal courthouses, military bases, airport terminals)
  • Law enforcement offices and jails Schools and associated sporting events (unless officially firearm-related)
  • Courthouses
  • Places of nuisance (i.e., crackhouses, brothels, and other places housing illegal activity)
  • Polling places
  • Meetings of governing bodies
  • Areas of establishments primarily serving alcohol
  • Houses of worship
  • A private business or property with legal prohibiting signage (clearly readable within 10 feet of entrances that say, “carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited”)

NOTE 2 – Locations where enhanced concealed carry is prohibited by law:

  • Places prohibited by federal law (i.e., post offices, federal courthouses, military bases, airport terminals)
  • Places of nuisance (i.e., crackhouses, brothels, and other places housing illegal activity)
  • Law enforcement offices and jails
  • Active courtrooms
  • *carrying with an enhanced carry permit in private prohibited places won’t result in an illegal weapons charge, but it will likely result in a trespassing charge*

About Scott

This on-again, off-again, would-be commentator proves that attitudes are contagious, and that some can even kill. To this end, every written word is weighed carefully to ensure the precise delivery of the author's intent while inflicting blunt force trauma to the psyche of the reader.