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Law enforcement prepares for new open carry law

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In less than a month, Mississippians will be able to openly carry a gun in public places in our state. In less than a month, Mississippians will be able to openly carry a gun in public places in our state.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In less than a month, any Mississippian, who is not otherwise disqualified, will be able to openly carry a gun in public places with or without a permit. A permit is still required if the weapon is concealed.

Wednesday, Mississippi law enforcement agencies gathered for a seminar to ask questions and prepare for House Bill 2, which takes effect July 1.

Our cameras were not allowed inside the meeting, but one retired law enforcement officer who was in the meeting said many questions were answered.

Rick Ward, who is an enhanced concealed carry instructor, attended the meeting. He said speakers from the Attorney General's Office outlined what law enforcement agencies can and can't do under the new law.

"I think a lot of cases they are not pleased with some of the answers because generally speaking what they've been told is just because someone is carrying a gun doesn't mean you can go up to them and confront them and demand to see their gun and so forth," Ward said. "You could ask questions, but a person isn't under any obligation to comply unless an officer believes a crime is being committed."

Many agencies across the state attended the seminar, including the Capitol Police.

"Just a lot of unanswered question we had about it and some gray areas that the representative presented to us and cleared up some of the issues that were at hand," said Director of the Capitol Police Don Byington.

While no one would speak on the issues or the resolutions, Byington said his team left with a better understanding.

"Well, it's pretty clear as to exactly what we can do and what we can't do. Of course the seminar was very beneficial and now we have a better understanding of this bill that goes into affect July 1st," Byington said.

The meeting was held at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson.

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