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Mississippi Mayor Uses Coronavirus to Suspend Citizens’ Open Carry Rights

This isn’t likely to go over well.

In times of crisis, we are often reminded that there are some among us who will take advantage of any situation, no matter how grim, in order to push their political ethos.

Way down south in Jackson, Mississippi, the coronavirus crisis appears to have become a conduit for the mayor to push his anti-gun agenda.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba on Friday said he signed an executive order to temporarily ban open carry of firearms in the city, so long as there’s a civil emergency related to the COVID-19 crisis.

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The order remains in effect through Thursday. It is possible it will be extended, according to the city’s existing stay-at-home orders.

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City officials said the civil emergency declaration allows the mayor to institute the open carry ban.

Lumumba has previously said Gov. Tate Reeves’ orders are the “minimal standard” for what city leaders are allowed to enforce during a public health endemic.

“The city of Jackson faces a significant challenge with illegal guns. The open carry law interferes with law enforcement’s ability to take illegal guns off of the streets,” Lumumba said.

The order itself appears to have been cleverly insulated from legal challenges.

The executive order, signed Wednesday, according to the city’s communication’s director, is in defiance of state law, but ensconced in the municipal authority of leaders during a public health crisis.

It reads:

“…as the novel coronavirus spreads illness and fear, citizens are prone to amassing guns and ammunition; and such acquisition of guns is usually accompanied by increased likelihood of unintentional shootings, intimate partner violence, and gun suicide.”

It has been said often that Americans will not soon forget the behavior of their elected officials during this time of crisis, and Mayor Lumumba’s actions here certainly fit the bill.

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