DESOTO COUNTY, MS -- Should who owns a gun permit be public knowledge? Right now, Mississippi's conceal carry records are freely available, so are Tennessee's. But several Mississippi law makers are pushing to change that in the Magnolia State. A proposed new law would cut access to those records.
Mississippi Senator Will Longwitz's bill is in response to a New York paper that printed the names and addresses of local gun owners. He says that poses an unnecessary risk and he doesn't want it to happen in Mississippi. Most gun owners we talked with agree.
"I have it in my pocket right now, with a gun," says John Knight. Unless he's the one talking about it, Knight doesn't want that information made public. "It should be private," he says.
"It's not anybody's business if I do carry. I do conceal it," agrees Sam Q.
Mississippi's concealed weapons permit becomes public record 45 days after it's issued.
"I would like to have it private," Q tells abc24.com. "I don't want anyone knowing about my conceal permit carry."
Lawmakers are pushing to change that after hearing from several dissatisfied residents.
"For someone that wants to steal the guns, it gives them the address of where all of them are," Q says.
Others say it could work the opposite way.
"Why advertise that my neighbor doesn't have a gun when I do? They'll just go rob him," Knight explains.
Both agree no good can come from it and are hoping the bill becomes law.
"What's the purpose, other than to try to make it look like gun owners are doing something illegal when it's perfectly legal to carry," he adds.
There are two proposed bills -- one in the House and one in the Senate. They still have to go through committee, then be voted on before March.