Nearly two weeks ago, Ariel Draper started a petition to push Governor Phillip Bryant to veto Mississippi House Bill 786. The goal of the petition was to get 1,000 signatures in support. The petition had three signatures when the bill was signed into law today. (Presumably, one of those was the petition’s author.) The petition used rather incendiary language. . .
Mississippi House Bill 786 introduces legislation that would grant the following :
To provide that killing a person while acting as a participant of a church or place of worship security team is JUSTIFIABLE homicide ; and for related purposes.
Literally making a “Church Police” legal, allowing a church’s “security team” to take it upon themselves to decide whether others live or die, and have legal protection!
The reality is quite a bit less dramatic. The bill enables churches to appoint volunteers for church security who must be appointed in writing, and receive relevant training. The law gives them the same legal protections that private security guards enjoy. That’s considerably different than granting a church security team the power to execute people at will.
If you parse the petition carefully, you may note that everyone in society “take(s) it upon themselves to decide whether others live or die, and have legal protection!” That is precisely what the use of deadly force in justifiable defense of self and others is. From the bill:
A church or place of worship may establish a security program that meets the requirements of subsection (2)(b) of this section, and a member of the security program shall be immune from civil liability for any action taken by a member of the security program if the action in question occurs during the reasonable exercise of and within the course and scope of the member’s official duties as a member of the security program for the church or place of worship.
The bill contained two other major changes. It made Mississippi a “Constitutional” or permitless carry state by adding belt holsters, sheaths, and shoulder holsters to already generous methods of concealed carry that do not require a permit. From HB 786, as it was sent to Governor Bryant:
(24) * * * A license * * * under this section is not required for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver to be carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster or in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case if the person is not engaged in criminal activity other than a misdemeanor traffic offense, is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a pistol or revolver under state or federal law, and is not in a location prohibited under subsection (13) of this section.
The other major effect of the bill is to provide a mechanism to prevent state resources from being used to enforce any future federal regulation or executive order that infringes on the Second Amendment or the Mississippi Constitution of 1890:
SECTION 5. No federal executive order, agency order, law not enrolled by the United States Congress and signed by the President of the United States, rule, regulation or administrative interpretation of a law or statute issued, enacted or promulgated after July 1, 2016, that violates the United States Constitution or the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 shall be enforced or ordered to be enforced by any official, agent or employee of this state or a political subdivision thereof.
Mississippi now joins nine other “Constitutional” carry states to make 10 total. That is 20 percent of all the states in the Union.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.