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Lt. Gov. travels to Natchez talks to state constables

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves speaks to a gathering Constables at the Adams County Sheriff's Office shooting range on Thursday morning.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves speaks to a gathering Constables at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office shooting range on Thursday morning.

NATCHEZ — “Government does not create jobs,” Reeves said. “Government creates the environment that encourages the private sector to create jobs.”

The past legislative year has been one of the most pro-business years in the state, Reeves said, with the passage of tax cuts for small businesses and legislators working to keep the state regulatory environment from placing an undue burden on the private sector.

“I always ask, ‘Is this bill going to create that environment in our state that encourages the private sector to invest money and create jobs in our state,’” he said.

The way to do that is working in a bi-partisan matter, with all parties being involved in the process, Reeves said.

“I believe that at the end of the day, the best legislation to come out of Jackson is that which allows each member to have an opportunity to have their opinion heard,” he said.

Further educational reform will also play a key in the future state economy, Reeves said.

“We need more students graduating high school, more students going to junior college and more students going to senior college,” he said. “If we are going to grow our economy, we need more workers with more skills, and they are going to need more training.”

The lieutenant governor’s comments were made at the Southwest Mississippi Training Facility, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office’s shooting range, where the Mississippi Constables Association was having educational and training sessions for the state’s constables.

During the sessions, the constables will complete their annual firearms qualifications and learn about new laws going into effect.

As Reeves addressed the constables, he spoke about several new firearms-related laws, including House Bill 2, which will clarify state law open carry of firearms July 1.

“One could argue that our state constitution gives each individual the same right to open carry,” Reeves said. “But we wanted to ensure that someone who had a concealed-carry permit and was wearing a jacket, who raises their arms up and accidentally exposes that gun wasn’t violating that law.”

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, the state also passed laws that ensure that once someone is declared mentally incompetent, their information is entered into the appropriate databases to ensure they cannot buy a gun, as well as legislation that creates grants for school districts to place trained law enforcement officers in every school, Reeves said.

“When we don’t have a system in place to protect our young people while they are at school, we need to do something about it,” he said.