Other things, con’t

To the editor of my local weekly newspaper:

Unintended consequences.

Recently, a number of local businesses have posted “No Gun” signs at their entrances. I appreciate there is confusion and perhaps apprehension among store owners and managers over Mississippi’s so-called “Open Carry” law. I say, “so-called,” because that’s not what the legislation signed into law was about. Article 3, Section 12 of the Mississippi Constitution recognizes citizens’ right to bear arms. As I understand it, one of the objectives of the legislation was to clarify what “concealed” means in the term, “Concealed Carry.” (This is a gross over-simplification, and we have in our community those better able to discuss the law than I.)

More than 43,000 Mississippians have Firearms Permits issued by the Department of Public Safety permitting them to carry a concealed handgun. To obtain a Firearms Permit, one must be 21, apply in person, pay a fee, be fingerprinted, be screened by the county sheriff, and pass an FBI background check. A person who is issued a Firearms Permit has never been convicted of a felony, any drug or domestic violence offense, and has no history of mental illness. In short, Firearms Permit holders are among the most law-abiding, upstanding citizens in the state. In my experience, they are also among the most knowledgeable folks when it comes to states’ laws concerning the responsibilities of carrying a concealed firearm.

By posting “No Gun” signs, and threatening me with felony arrest if I enter your establishment with my legally concealed firearm– which I WILL NOT DO because I will not enter a posted establishment– you have unintentionally signaled to me that you no longer want my business. You were fine serving me, chatting with me, and collecting my $$ in June– while I was armed– but things apparently have changed

I would ask local business owners to reconsider posting those signs. This is Webster County, Mississippi. There are guns everywhere. I find it hard to believe your other customers are afraid of guns, even if they themselves choose to not exercise their right to bear. Signs are not going to stop bad guys. They’re just going to make me shop elsewhere.

Until those signs are removed, I’ll honor your requests to not enter your establishments.

2 Responses

  1. Interesting phenomenon.

    Do you see many going up? Sort of self identifies the voting preferences, doesn’t it!

    1. I did some research yesterday and drove around town looking. So far, I’ve seen two in town. One was inside a restaurant we were in Sunday, so I suppose there could be others inside entrances.

      There are a couple of Mississippi gun forums and the guys on them are all over it. The thing that bothered me the most about the situation is that it was some police chiefs fraternal organization who designed them, then gave them to police departments, and the police copy them and give them out. Now, who’s paying for those copies? And why aren’t they passing out signs that say, “Guns Welcome Here”?

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