Gun-related bills in abundance at state Capitol

djournal-state-news-mississippiBy Errol Castens

Daily Journal

JACKSON – Bills recognizing military training for enhanced carry, allowing gun-industry employees to carry concealed weapons and prohibiting tax-funded weapon buybacks are among several dozen gun-related bills filed in the 2014 Legislature.

Many such bills may be considered gun-owner-friendly. Some aim to lower the cost of concealed firearms permits for seniors, military retirees or the general public. Others would exempt retired military law enforcement or active military from training for enhanced firearms permits.

Some would add new prohibitions against seizure of weapons in emergencies and levy penalties against county or municipal officials that enact or enforce firearms restrictions not authorized by state law.

House Bill 64 would authorize superintendents to appoint trained and licensed school employees to carry weapons for security purposes.

HB 167 would extend to parole and probation officers the tradition of retiring law enforcement officers’ keeping their duty firearm, and SB 2712 would allow other next of kin, in the absence of a surviving spouse, to acquire the duty weapon of an officer killed in the line of duty.

Several bills aim to counter perceived encroachment of gun rights – one by prohibiting enforcement of federal laws on firearms made and sold within the state, with others prohibiting enforcement of particular gun bans, registrations or confiscations.

HB 610 would enhance penalties for hunting on public roads, HB 667 would encode the legality of carrying weapons at highway rest stops and HB 1019 would prohibit housing authorities from banning tenants from owning firearms.

Some bills would clarify the definition of violent crimes, including both armed and unarmed acts.

One bill aims to remove knives from the regulations that now cover both them and concealed weapons, while another would make ineligible for parole the possession of a firearm by a felon.

SB 2425 would exempt guns and other hunting and fishing merchandise from sales tax one weekend per year, while SB 2657 would authorize the creation of trusts to own firearms.

Two bills aim at new restrictions on ammunition. HB 231 would require dealers selling pistol or rifle cartridges to record the buyer’s personal information and type and quantity for each sale and make it publicly available information. SB 2030 would require a unique identifying mark on every centerfire pistol and rifle cartridge sold.