USM president concerned over possibility of MS gun bill - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

USM president concerned over possibility of MS gun bill

HB1083 would void rules at public places, like universities and courthouses, that limit where permit holders can carry. (Photo source: WDAM) HB1083 would void rules at public places, like universities and courthouses, that limit where permit holders can carry. (Photo source: WDAM)
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The debate over who can carry a gun in Mississippi and where continues in Jackson. Some university officials and security experts are concerned over the impact of one proposed bill.

House Bill 1083 would allow people to sue over gun-carry bans on public property, specifically enhanced concealed carry permit holders. The bill passed in the house last week and has moved to the senate for consideration. 

"I think it's worrisome," said Dr. Lou Marciani, Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety & Security at The University of Southern Mississippi.

NCS4 is the nation's only research center devoted to the study and practice of safety and security in spectator sports. The organization has worked with large venues, the Super Bowl and even the Olympics.

"We have enough problems, as I would say, in the area of safety and security. I'd say we are very concerned," Marciani said.

HB1083 would void rules at public places, like universities and courthouses, that limit where permit holders can carry. Marciani said that could raise a number of questions. 

Lawmaker holds up gun during debate on gun laws

"Do we register the guns? How do we tag the guns? What responsibility do these people have to the environment? What are their restrictions as a gun-carrying person in the stadium?" Marciani asked.

In a statement, USM President Dr. Rodney Bennett said he traveled to Jackson to express his concern over the policy change.

On February 7, 2018, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed House Bill 1083, which, if signed into law, would authorize any person who has an enhanced firearms license to carry such firearm on public property. This would result in a policy change, which would disallow public agencies from maintaining any policies that designate spaces where firearms are prohibited. Earlier this week, I traveled to Jackson to speak with members of the legislature to share my concerns about this type of policy change.

As a public institution, The University of Southern Mississippi remains committed to providing a safe, productive, and inclusive learning environment for each member of our community, and we will continue to do all that we can, within the law, to advocate for and ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Rodney D. Bennett, President

"It's going to create, in the college and pros and the high schools, an issue we'll have to address, if that's what it is," said Marciani. 

Copyright 2018 WDAM. All Rights Reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Police dispute accuracy of viral post about possible sex traffickers

    Police dispute accuracy of viral post about possible sex traffickers

    Thursday, July 19 2018 6:54 PM EDT2018-07-19 22:54:46 GMT
    Hattiesburg police dispute the accuracy of this Facebook post (Photo source: Facebook)Hattiesburg police dispute the accuracy of this Facebook post (Photo source: Facebook)

    A Facebook post claiming possible sex traffickers are lurking in the Hub City has been shared thousands of times and raised safety concerns in the community.

    More >>

    A Facebook post claiming possible sex traffickers are lurking in the Hub City has been shared thousands of times and raised safety concerns in the community.

    More >>
  • First Alert: Heat advisories issued for Simpson, Lawrence counties

    First Alert: Heat advisories issued for Simpson, Lawrence counties

    Thursday, July 19 2018 4:58 PM EDT2018-07-19 20:58:00 GMT
    The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)
    The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)

    There is a heat advisory for two counties in the WDAM viewing area. They are Simpson and Lawrence counties. The advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday.

    More >>

    There is a heat advisory for two counties in the WDAM viewing area. They are Simpson and Lawrence counties. The advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday.

    More >>
  • Mississippi K-9 officer dies of heat stroke inside deputy car

    Mississippi K-9 officer dies of heat stroke inside deputy car

    Thursday, July 19 2018 4:49 PM EDT2018-07-19 20:49:34 GMT
    Dog dies in car; Source: Hinds Co. SODog dies in car; Source: Hinds Co. SO

    A Hinds County K-9 officer died of a heat stroke inside a deputy car.  Hinds County Sheriff is now taking safety precautions to protect his team of Drug and Bomb Detection K9’s

    More >>

    A Hinds County K-9 officer died of a heat stroke inside a deputy car.  Hinds County Sheriff is now taking safety precautions to protect his team of Drug and Bomb Detection K9’s

    More >>
Powered by Frankly