Mississippi Mayor Suspends Open Carry During Coronavirus Crisis

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Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) of Jackson, Mississippi, issued an order over the weekend temporarily prohibiting law-abiding citizens from openly carrying handguns during the coronavirus crisis. The Clarion-Ledger reports that Mississippi adopted open carry in 2013 and Y’all Politics quotes Lumumba claiming that “child deaths by firearms in the South have increased 72 percent.” In issuing the order, Lumumba said: The Open Carry law interferes with law enforcement’s ability to take illegal guns off of the streets. Prior to the Open Carry law, when Jackson police officers saw a gun in plain view, it gave them the probable cause to seize the weapon and determine whether it was an illegal weapon or not. The Open Carry law not only provides protection for individuals who are armed with illegal weapons; it creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the community. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that the Open Carry law has led to an increase in gun violence in our communities. He said, “Sending thoughts and prayers to the families who have lost loved one to senseless gun violence is not enough.” He stressed that “action” is required. Lumumba then signed an executive order suspending open carry “during the [coronavirus] civil emergency.”