Open carry delay worth the wait?

Published 12:07am Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mississippi’s system of government often moves slowly, but it usually stays on mission.

Approximately two months after the so-called “open carry law” was to go into effect July 1, the Mississippi Supreme Court made it so last week after weeks of legal wrangling and fussing.

A lower court stalled the law, which simply restates and clarifies the right to keep and openly carry arms, putting the brakes on its implementation.

We’ve long believed the rights of a citizen to keep and bear arms is a constitutional one so House Bill 2’s passage into law doesn’t bother us.

Opponents of the measure raised public fears by suggesting the law would result in thousands of citizens roaming the streets with all sorts of firearms strapped to their sides.

Clearly, that’s not likely to happen. But so what if it did? Are Mississippians really terrified of their fellow citizens, particularly the law-abiding kind?

As most law enforcement officers will attest, they don’t worry all that much about the weapons they can see in plain sight. The ones they worry about are the ones that criminals hide until they’re ready to use it.

At the end of the day, perhaps the long delay may be worth it. Since the highest court in the state has signed off on the law now, perhaps few critics will continue to argue the law should be abolished.