HB 786 Would Allow People to Carry Concealed Handguns in Public with No Permit Including Some Violent Criminals, People with Dangerous Mental Illness
83 Percent of Mississippians—Including 89 Percent of Mississippi Gun Owners—Support Requiring a Permit Before You Carry a Concealed Handgun in Public
JACKSON, Miss. — Lucy McBath, whose son Jordan Davis was shot and killed at a Jacksonville, FL gas station in 2012 over loud music, today joined with the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, gun violence survivors and faith leaders to call on lawmakers to reject HB 786, which would dismantle Mississippi’s concealed carry permitting system. The bill would allow people to carry concealed handguns in public with no permit, including some violent criminals and people with dangerous mental illness.
Mississippi law enforcement has spoken out against the bill. Last month, Ken Winter, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police said “This bill would put law enforcement officers and all Mississippians directly in harm’s way.”
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my son Jordan’s death and how we can stop the gun violence that kills 91 Americans every day,” said Lucy McBath, Everytown Faith and Outreach Leader. “Passing HB 786 would be a step in the wrong direction – it would allow some violent criminals to carry concealed handguns without a permit and put Mississippi lives in danger.”
“As a mother and a grandmother, I am concerned about dangerous people carrying hidden, loaded handguns in the public places that I frequent with my family,” said Shirley Hopkins Davis, volunteer Chapter Leader of the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s just common sense that if a person wants to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public, particularly if they are in a place with children, they need to demonstrate they have a clean criminal record.
“I have dedicated over twenty years to ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and my faith is one of the reasons I’m motivated to speak out against this dangerous bill,” said Lorenzo Neal, New Bethel AME Church and gun violence survivor. “With rights come responsibilities, and eliminating the requirement to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public is just irresponsible. This bill would lower the bar who can carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public to include some violent criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, and even chronic alcoholics and dismantle a critical public safety system that we’ve had for years.”