Last week, Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced that he had signed an order banning the open carry of firearms in the city, despite the fact that such an action violates multiple state laws, the Mississippi constitution, and the Second Amendment.
Lumumba doubled down on April 27 in another press release announcing a reward for the information in the two child murders which he had used as justification for his unlawful order. No publicly available information suggests that lawful open carry was at all involved in either killing.
On the evening of April 28, the Mississippi Justice Institute, part of Mississippi Center for Public Policy, on behalf of state Rep. Dana Criswell of Olive Branch, Mississippi, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi challenging the order. It can be read here.
“A serious pandemic is not an opportunity for unconstitutional virtue signaling by grandstanding politicians,” said Aaron Rice, the Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute.
Rep. Criswell said . . .
“When I first learned of this executive order by Mayor Lumumba, I was shocked at the attempt to use a health crisis to further his anti-gun agenda and limit my rights. Disarming law-abiding citizens does nothing to address the crime wave taking place in the city of Jackson and only puts me and my family in danger. I am thankful for organizations like the Mississippi Justice Institute and their willingness to help me fight for our rights and our freedoms.”
Mayor Lumumba has not responded to repeated requests for comment on his alleged authority to ban open carry, whether lawful open carry was a factor in the two shootings deaths of minors he cited as justification, whether anyone lawfully open carrying has committed any unlawful shooting in Jackson, or his reaction to the Criswell lawsuit.
Despite two official videos announcing the order, and a new mention of it in a press release, the order does not yet appear on the city web site.