GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's new open carry law was supposed to go into effect July 1, but that will not happen. On Friday, a judge issued an injunction that will prevent this bill from becoming law, at least for now.
Critics of the law are concerned about a number of things. They maintain that lawmakers did not give enough thought and consideration to the legislation. They also maintain that Mississippi could resemble the Wild West of years ago.
Steven Kellum works at a gun shop and firing range in Pass Christian. The 28-year-old Army veteran, has been a gun enthusiast for most of his life. He says those who fear what this law will do to our state, don't really understand the law.
Kellum says he has read the new law several times and is very familiar with it. The reason he says this is much ado about nothing, is because this is essentially the same law now in effect in a lot of other states.
"Twenty-eight other states are open carry now and a lot of them have been for a long time, not one of those states has had an issue," Kellum said.
One of those states is Georgia, where Dave Longacre lives. He had stopped by the Pass Christian range to do some practicing.
"A lot of people think if people are carrying guns, it will lead to more violence. I think the reverse is actually true," Longacre said.
While plenty of people might agree with that statement, a lot of others would not. There is also concern among the law enforcement community that with all this publicity about the new law, some people might become trigger happy.
They also worry about people who will now carry guns on their person, and may not be properly trained in how to handle and shoot one. One thing is for sure, there are strong feelings on both side of this debate. Those in favor of open carry, say it is all about protecting yourself. A court hearing will be held on the injunction on July 8.