DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - The debate over guns in parks in DeSoto County continues. A new proposed ordinance requires a gun owner to have a permit to pack heat in a park. Now the NRA has joined the discussion.
"I'm a firm supporter of gun rights, the second amendment," says Bud Cummings. He'd strongly oppose any law taking away those rights.
As a member of the NRA and a gun owner, he supports DeSoto County's latest proposal. "Those people against it, I don't think they've read the ordinance."
It says gun owners must have a conceal carry permit in DeSoto parks. "What they're passing is a law that's already on the books. It's not a big deal really," Cummings says.
Desoto supervisors wanted a local ordinance to back up the state law.
"We're really trying to develop our parks and greenways now in the county," says supervisor Mark Gardner.
As it stands now Mississippians can keep a gun in their homes or cars without a permit. One is only required if a gun owner takes their weapon anywhere else.
"It's not anything that's being changed by DeSoto County," says Cummings. "That's just something being brought to the public because of the parks."
"As we put these walking trails in we want responsible people carrying firearms there," Gardner says. "If there is a need to discharge, we want to make sure people know what they're doing."
It would also strengthen local law enforcement's authority.
"Our sheriff came to us as well and asked us if he has officers out there checking people they want to be able to make sure they're properly certified," and have undergone the safety training required of permit holders.
Cummings thinks eventually all Mississippi gun owners will be required to have an extra safety enhancement on their permits.
"In the near future," he says. "It's probably going to be mandatory where you have to do that in state of Mississippi where we haven't."