By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
GUNTOWN – Following the lead of several other Mississippi cities, Guntown on Monday banned saggy pants as part of an overall ordinance on indecency.
The ban, approved unanimously by the Board of Aldermen, takes effect Aug. 1. It prohibits anyone from wearing pants or skirts that ride more than three inches below the top of the hips and expose skin or underwear.
Violators can be fined $50 the first time and up to $200 each additional time and be subject to complete up to 40 hours of community service.
Saltillo passed a near-identical ordinance in June; Tupelo passed one in February.
Other cities in Mississippi implementing bans this year include Columbus and Philadelphia.
Hinds County is considering one.
“The board and I decided that we needed to pass one because we seem to have the same problem here that all the other towns have,” said Guntown Mayor Robert Herring. “It doesn’t look good for people walking around with their underwear showing – the ones that have on underwear.”
Herring said the city’s police officers won’t roam the streets in search of violators of the law but will respond to complaints by residents and businesses.
“We’ve already had complaints from store owners about them coming in, and it was lewd and indecent and they don’t like it,” Herring said. “We’ll more or less depend on the store owners for their complaints.”