By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – A panel discussion in Corinth on Thursday on gun control and the Second Amendment drew a standing-room crowd of more than 100 people.
“Now is the time for you to get involved and support the (Second) Amendment and our right to bear arms,” read the meeting invitation from the Alcorn County Republican Party, with support of the National Rifle Association.
Panelists predominantly focused on sharing information in their initial presentations, and audience questions that followed got into specific concerns.
Panelists included American history teacher Becky Whittemore, who spoke on the history of the Second Amendment; NRA certified instructor Heidi Hendrix, who talked about shooting training and shooting sports opportunities; teenage shooting sports competitor Wesley Brown Jr., on the impact of shooting sports in his life, and physician Dr. Bo Perry, a shooting enthusiast.
Additionally, public officials who completed the panel included Corinth Detective Capt. Ralph Dance and Alcorn County Sheriff Charles Rinehart.
The crowd clapped enthusiastically after comments from competitive shooter Brown. The teen gave his forceful perspective about government’s “infringing on Second Amendment rights” and the need to strongly counter “any further disarmament.”
Both Hendrix and Perry urged everyone interested in gun ownership to learn proper handling and how to secure any weapons in their possession.
Statements read on behalf of U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee and Sen. Roger Wicker repeated their longstanding positions opposing any legislation banning assault weapons.
Both Dance and Rinehart said that in their support of Second Amendment rights they would oppose any effort to further limit gun ownership by law-abiding citizens. Mississippi sheriffs have taken a position in line with Gov. Phil Bryant that says they will resist any effort by federal authorities to confiscate legally owned weapons of Mississippi residents.
Individuals had a number of questions about how much latitude people have who hold a concealed carry permit. The Mississippi concealed carry permit does not require any special training and limits places where a permit-holder can carry a weapon.
The Mississippi enhanced concealed carry permit requires the individual be trained by a state Department of Public Safety certified instructor. It gives greater latitude to the number of places where permit-holders may take their weapons.