Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) issued an executive order on Friday suspending the open carry of firearms law during the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
"Many of these killings could have been avoided if we had state law that enabled us to better control the presence of firearms on our streets. Prior to the open carry law when Jackson officers saw a gun in plain view it gave them the probable cause to cease the weapon and determine whether it was an illegal weapon or not. The open carry law not only provides protection to individuals who are armed with illegal weapons, it creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the community," Lumumba said.
"We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that the open carry law has led an increase in gun violence into our communities," he continued.
Lumumba said he does believe in the Second Amendment, but it should come with restrictions and while open carry in the city is on pause, he called for the state to repeal the open carry law.
"Repeal the open carry law, which makes it impossible for our police officers to root out illegal firearms in our streets. How many babies do we have to burry to appease someone's desire to open carry," he concluded.
After much criticism, Lumumba defended the order, saying it is "not aimed at those who have legal ownership [and] possession of firearms. It is intended to help remove the illegal weapons that harm our communities off the streets."
This measure is not aimed at those who have legal ownership & possession of firearms. It is intended to help remove the illegal weapons that harm our communities off the streets. We must be more concerned with the lives of our children than we are with the idea of carrying a gun. https://t.co/Usyf1ILOe6— Chokwe Antar Lumumba (@ChokweALumumba) April 27, 2020
WAPT reports Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch expressed her concern for the executive order and called for Lumumba to rescind it.
"Mississippians enjoy the right to lawfully open carry in all of Mississippi's 82 counties and in every municipality in the state. The city of Jackson is no exception," Fitch said. "The city lacks statutory authority to suspend a state statue or constitutional provision. Accordingly, I ask that you rescind the order immediately."
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