Jackson Mayor Uses COVID-19 to Ban Open Carry, Calls For Its Full Repeal in Mississippi

Never let a crisis go to waste.

In this vein, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, has banned open carry in his city during an emergency order that is set to expire April 30th.  

The ban on open carry was largely a flex of authority as it was only instituted four days ago on April 26th, but Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is hoping to leverage this stunt into a statewide prohibition. 

“It is this call to action that has led to my decision to issue an Executive Order suspending Open Carry law during the Covid-19 civil emergency. Under State Statutes 45-17-7(e), I am given the discretion in the interest of public safety and welfare to issue such orders that are necessary for the protection of life and property,” he said in a statement published to Youtube (see video above). 

“While this order will only be in effect for a short period of time, I am calling on all Jackson residents, and all state and local leaders to act in the interest of our innocent children,” he continued. “Repeal the Open Carry law which makes it impossible for law enforcement to root out illegal firearms on our streets.”

It didn’t take long for state officials to dash his hopes. In a strongly-worded letter sent on Sunday, State Attorney General Lynn Fitch called for him to “immediately” pull the ban. 

“Mississippians enjoy the right to lawfully open carry in all of Mississippi’s 82 counties and in every municipality within the State.  The City of Jackson is no exception.  The City lacks statutory authority to suspend a state statute or constitutional provision.  Accordingly, I ask that you rescind the Order immediately,” wrote Fitch.  

“I take seriously my obligation to protect Mississippians’ constitutional rights, and I will take every action available to my office to ensure these rights are not infringed upon,” Fitch added.  

Making matters worse for Mayor Lumumba, he is now facing a lawsuit filed in federal court that accuses him of exploiting “the present health crisis” to infringe on the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens. 

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The complaint was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi by the Mississippi Justice Institute on behalf of state Rep. Dana Criswell (R-Olive Branch).  

Rep. Dana Criswell said he was “shocked” by the mayor’s swipe at one’s right to openly bear arms.  

“As a citizen of the great state of Mississippi who has regular business in our capital city of Jackson, I was shocked by the recent announcement by Mayor Lumumba,” Criswell said in a press release.

“I take the protection of myself and my family very seriously and believe deeply in the constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” he continued. “The mayor’s attempt to disarm me and deny me the ability of self-defense puts me and my family in danger any time we are in Jackson.”

While the temporary ban is set to expire (or has already expired by the time you read this), that’s really not the point. What’s distressing is that politicians continue to use this crisis to attack 2A rights.

Between the forced closure of gun shops and the suspension of pistol permitting in recent weeks, it’s clear that certain lawmakers have taken that quote to heart — “never let a crisis go to waste” — and will use this pandemic to push their anti-gun agenda.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Phil October 15, 2021, 5:56 am

    Had the same situation in Melbourne Beach,FL, it was Ch. 16.3 of Town Ordinance banning all weapons. Thanks to State passage of Senate Bill 1884, it was rescinded. The former mayor wondered why the state was involved and labeled residents vigilantes for having firearms.

  • J Tonto Obryan May 4, 2020, 9:48 pm

    He’s nothing more than a bloomberg H.A.C.K!

  • Christopher Sourp May 4, 2020, 8:06 am

    I think we need to pass a law stating that you must pass a general IQ test to vote in this country. With so much at stake it only makes sense. You have to be as dumb as dirt to vote for some of these idiots.

  • CAPT ALOHA May 1, 2020, 7:12 pm

    Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Chokwe Antar Lumumba … attorney, activist, and left-wing politician???

    Do we mean the esteemed son of “Chokwe Lumumba” — also a Mayor of Jackson, MS ???? The “activist” who was born Edwin Finley Taliaferro in Detroit, MI??

    The “defense” rests ….

  • Brandon Johns May 1, 2020, 6:55 pm

    Jackson, Miss. is in decline like Detroit. Luckily, Mississippi is a deep red state and won’t allow for this nutjob’s nonsense.

  • Bad Penguin May 1, 2020, 6:33 pm

    This guy is a real idiot. The people doing all of the shooting of children are not open carrying. I’d like to see someone challenge the constitutionality of his edict.

    Bet all of the police officers guarding him are open carrying.

  • BobbyO May 1, 2020, 6:14 pm

    Remember, Jackson is a sanctuary city. Half the residents are below the poverty level.Over Half are below the average IQ. Over half are Demoncrats. Crime rate is high, murder rate is high. When I have to pass thru on interstate I won’t even stop there for gas. About like New Orleans, only smaller. Oh yeah, The same racial make up too. That guy will probably get re-elected.

  • Mark W Burks May 1, 2020, 5:47 pm

    How did this ignorant, low-IQ type get elected as a mayor in MS? Oh that’s right, stupid, uneducated, low-IQ types just like him, voted him in.

  • Rick S May 1, 2020, 4:22 pm

    I can’t stand when a dumb ass has to use babies or babies lives to try and lie to my face telling me that open carry is how the criminal gets away with things. If I see someone who is carrying…. I feel a little safer just being in his or her presence. When he said this action stops at his nose. The next place he’s gonna find himself is on his ass out of office. Because anyone who want to hide behind taking away a god gives en right should be the first to take and suffer the consequences. Hope all of Jackson sends this guy packing. Put someone who doesn’t want to get rich but serve his community instead, to make it a better place instead of taking away.

  • unclejerr May 1, 2020, 4:18 pm

    I’m sorry this man is so intent to push his communist agenda on innocent people during a national crisis in the
    name of safety. People are smarter than that and he will NOT be in his position very long. He is an elected official and makes the town look very badly stupid in his speeches.

  • Kenneth Hoffman May 1, 2020, 3:51 pm

    I see a few problems here with the mayor of Jackson. OK, several problems!!! One — an emergency does NOT (pardon the pun) trump the Bill of Rights; Two — if open carry instills fear in his city, there should be a program to educate the people; Three — the sayiing “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” should be drilled into this moron’s head. Work on ridding your city of the people committing crimes instead of ridding law-abiding citizens of their LEGAL weapons. Your STATE, not your little city, passed the open carry law. I, personally, would rather have a concealed weapon in a concealed state than an open carry; that keeps the ‘bad guys’ wondering who is and who isn’t armed Four — the mayor should have started his campaign when he was elected instead of waiting for an emergency; it just makes him look like another idiot using a often quoted line, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Good luck next election, Mayor!”

  • Thomas Orlando May 1, 2020, 12:31 pm

    Wow, Chokwe, you really are stupider than you look! And I didn’t think it was possible, but, there you are.

  • Mort May 1, 2020, 10:59 am

    SMH,, ANOTHER clueless liberal who thinks that Criminals who already ignore laws regarding Rape, Murder, etc,,,
    will magically obey their silly gun laws ? ? ?
    The ONLY people that would be safer would be the CRIMINALS

    • Stuart May 2, 2020, 12:11 am

      You mean, the demotarts voting base?

  • Jerry May 1, 2020, 10:57 am

    Let me make a wild guess … this moronic mayor is a Democrat!!

  • DHL May 1, 2020, 10:35 am

    Mississippi has permitless concealed carry and open carry. So what does it matter anyway?

    • Erwin Lang May 1, 2020, 11:18 am

      Just some liberal trying to wield powerless authority.

    • Anthony C. May 1, 2020, 12:10 pm

      I think why it matters, is that the point of this was that this mayor wanted to use this CoViD19 panic as an excuse to infringe upon the American Citizen’s right to KEEP and BARE ARMS. It may be lawful for citizens to do so in both a concealed and open carry fashion, but he wanted to fundamentally change the state laws so that they compel law-abiding citizens to give up their fundamental rights as free people as a condition of living in Jackson Mississippi. Of course, this won’t have ANY effect upon the citizens of his city or state who chose to be non-law-abiding (criminals) who would just carry and use guns as they do now. All this does is dis-arm the law-abiding citizens, making them easier victims. As for protecting children? Why would children be in grave danger if they see firearms properly holstered? Do children stand a greater risk of harm whenever a uniformed police officer is in their presence? The cop is wearing a firearm in a holster (open carry). Why would a child be at greater risk if other adults (not just cops) were wearing holstered firearms? Doesn’t this mayor have enough sense to realize that law-abiding adults who choose to open carry their firearms do so with caution and situational awareness to not allow children or others from grabbing their firearms and pulling them from the holster? The children argument, then, is weak.

      • Mike C May 1, 2020, 12:46 pm

        So, what I gather from your comment is that his executive order will do nothing to protect the general population, but will make it easier for criminals to slip thru the cracks. This can only lead to one conclusion; where are his loyalties? Where the citizens of Jackson got duped, is they elected someone who stomps on their constitutionally protected rights, while supporting criminal activity. That pretty much sums up gun control, which in itself, is illegal.

  • Janet Tomkins May 1, 2020, 10:34 am

    It is totally obvious that the media and other Democrats have used this China virus crisis to scare the common folk into submission. At first they said we must stay home “to flatten the curve.” That was to save the hospitals from being overwhelmed with virus patients. Never happened except in a few hospitals in and around NYC. The rest of the country is way past that phase. Yet they keep forcing more and more rules and regulations on us, destroying businesses and destroying peoples finances and eliminating our God given rights while ignoring our constitution. Remember Patrick Henry.

    • Mason May 1, 2020, 10:59 pm

      These democrats are working in concert together to overthrow our country…we all need to go back to our activities now… if we all go back at once… they can’t stop us..they do not Rule us… they work at our pleasure..it all ends here today!!!!

  • Wiley Burt May 1, 2020, 10:12 am

    Listening to the mayor’s comments the other day, I asked the question “ What is an illegal gun.” I am still in the dark. Can anyone tell me?

    • Keble May 1, 2020, 11:34 am

      “What is an illegal gun?” I ask the same question. It doesn’t apply in Mississippi since everyone has the right to carry gun without permit. However, in some states like NY where a permit is required, having a gun without said permit makes that gun illegal.

      • Brian May 1, 2020, 5:43 pm

        The gun is not illegal, the person carrying it concealed without a permit may be, but constitutional carry should cover all non-criminal U.S. citizens.

      • Stuart May 2, 2020, 12:14 am

        Which, in reality, is illegal.

  • Mr. Sparkles May 1, 2020, 10:10 am

    Lets ignore Mayor “What’s his name” and give a shout out to State Attorney General Lynn Fitch. Although I am not from Jackson or even Mississippi, I want to say thank you for addressing this action quickly as it is only through quick legal response that what are in fact illegal acts Can be spotlighted and stopped.

  • Stor Neal May 1, 2020, 9:45 am

    Lets see, everyone is wearing a mask. So if we dis-arm the law abiding citizens, the sheep will be easy picken’s
    for the poor under privileged hommies. we got’s to make it fair.

  • joefoam May 1, 2020, 9:09 am

    If they have that many people carrying they must have a crime situation to begin with. How about cleaning up the criminals first?

  • BarrybinInhalin May 1, 2020, 8:09 am

    Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    Rahm ‘Deadfish’ Emmanuel

    • D.J. May 1, 2020, 12:06 pm

      Was that not a quote of the communist Saul D. Alinsky ?
      True , Emmanuel is a communist – I was under the impression
      that Alinsky wrote this in one of his ” odes to Stalin ” .

  • Element82ForU May 1, 2020, 7:48 am

    No doubt this guy is a D-Rat and an angry black man. If I were a resident of Jackson then I would openly defy this S.O.B. The dumbass should go to a country where his last name doesn’t sound so foreign. Oh, was that racist? Probably!

    Any local police officer who would enforce this illegal order doesn’t deserve to wear a badge and would deserve to be injured or worse if he tried to disarm a law-abiding firearm owner. And yeah, under the First Amendment I can make that statement.

    • Kenneth Hoffman May 1, 2020, 4:13 pm

      I live in Ft Lauderdale, FL and our mayors (67 of them in two adjacent counties) have closed all the SE Florida beaches and have used their Emergency Orders to TELL the people that anyone who defies their ORDERS will face fines and/or imprisionment. That is tantamount to saying, “the hell with the public’s rights — do as we say or else.” I don’t know who will be running for these assholes’ seat next election but I sure know who i WON’T vote for.

  • Mike the limey May 1, 2020, 6:59 am

    Lumumba is nothing less than a Nazi.

    The law needs changed so that those politicians who abuse their powers to introduce egregiously unconstitutional regulations face severe penalties, beginning with immediate removal from office & ending with them in prison.

  • The SGM May 1, 2020, 6:49 am

    “It is this call to action that has led to my decision to issue an Executive Order suspending Open Carry law during the Covid-19 civil emergency. Under State Statutes 45-17-7(e), I am given the discretion in the interest of public safety and welfare to issue such orders that are necessary for the protection of life and property,” he said in a statement published to Youtube

    I hope you will notice in the last sentence he left out the word “Liberty”. One may have the authority to act but the application of “authority” is not to be accomplished on a whim for political reasons or personal beliefs but only in the application of ones Elected Duties and Responsibilities.

  • Larry DeSantis May 1, 2020, 6:40 am

    So now that these states are releasing criminals and creating new criminals through unemployment, government over reach and Covid 19 precieved fear, Don’t forget all the suicides, domestic violence beat downs and murders and child abuse that is occurring due to these lock downs. People fearing open carry guns, should actually feel safer because the gun owners are going to be the ones who protect you when you can’t protect yourself. The Police…The Police have every right to stop ask for gun registration from any open carry person, but guess what, criminals don’t open carry, because the don’t want you to know they have a gun until they’re READY TO USE IT. Wise up America,,,Dumb decision on the part of this mayor

    • Jeffrey Wayne Crawford May 1, 2020, 7:15 am

      The open carry let’s (anyone) that can’t pass a ccw to carry an old piece of junk gun in public. It doesn’t bother the honest people. Helps keep idiots from strutting their stuff.

      • Randy D May 1, 2020, 7:23 am

        Yea – just to let you brain dead libs know – IT IS ALREADY ILLEGAL TO HAVE A WEAPON IF YOU CAN NOT PASS A BACKGROUND CHECK. ARREST THOSE THAT HAVE ILLEGAL GUNS. LETS START THERE.

  • Richard Long May 1, 2020, 6:10 am

    Why do all these people have strange names? If they don’t like things here why are they here? Is there something stopping them from going back their craphole countries?

    • Patrice Lumumba May 1, 2020, 6:49 am

      Oh, c’mon buddy. That “leave the country” nonsense harkens back to Slavery and post-Civil War when freed slaves were supposed to head to Africa from whence they or their parents/grandparents were stolen. Speaking of strange names, how about your obscene name, Dick Long?

      • Trevor_Phillips May 1, 2020, 7:07 am

        Spoken like a true braindead libtard.

      • hippybiker May 1, 2020, 9:21 am

        Like the Russian soldiers comment in Red Dawn and I quote.
        Afrikansky Baboonsky.
        Sarcasm off. If he doesn’t understand American liberty, he should leave America!

      • Alej Marcos May 1, 2020, 11:07 am

        We should have picked our own damned cotton.

      • DaveGinOly May 1, 2020, 5:39 pm

        That claim is utter nonsense.
        Even if true, that’s not a valid argument against “if you don’t like it, leave.”
        You progs try to dominate the intellectual battlespace by controlling the language (with labels like “hate speech” and “racist speech”), denying your opponents the weapons they would choose to fight the fight. You don’t have the intellectual weaponry (ideas) to win the battle, so you attempt to limit the effectiveness of your opponents’ weapons by controlling his language.
        But I’m calling you on it – it’s not only not a valid argument, it’s not an argument at all.

    • Bobby May 1, 2020, 9:15 am

      Large swaths of minorities choose those different names to symbolize their rejection of main stream society.

      • Tomlightfield May 1, 2020, 11:15 am

        Haha- Thank god we don’t name hurricanes after them!! Just think about that!!!

  • ron May 1, 2020, 6:00 am

    How in the world did Jackson elect a dim mayor?

    • Paleface McGee May 1, 2020, 9:19 am

      White flight of the 80s and 90s has left the city decidedly one-sided in regards to demographics.

      • Alej Marcos May 1, 2020, 11:10 am

        Same thing happened in Shreveport. Bossier City, across the Red River is now a thriving, pleasant white city, where the children can actually attend public schools in a decent environment.

  • Andrew N. May 1, 2020, 3:13 am

    What an idiot! Is he trying to become Biden’s VP pick? I can think of no other reason to try something this stupid. Mr. Mayor, let me help you out; criminals won’t be the ones practicing open carry, since most criminals are well known to local L.E. Officials. Also, to help you with your other problem, the answer to “what does 2 plus 2 equal?” The answer is 4, not “Squirrel!” Libtards! God help us!

    • Jeffrey Crawford May 1, 2020, 7:19 am

      Hes talking about open carry ; not CCW. Lots of idiots out there with old junk guns & low IQ’s.

      • Dr Motown May 1, 2020, 7:49 am

        Repeal open-carry and those “idiots out there with old junk guns and low IQs” will carry them concealed, without a permit, as they probably have been doing anyways for years….LOL! If you think laws actually stop people from doing stupid things, I’ve got some beachfront property in Arizona to sell you

      • maduece50 May 1, 2020, 10:41 am

        I didn’t know that a constitutional right was based on how expensive one property is (ie. Junk guns) or how high your IQ is. Sounds like the old Jim Crow laws that kept 1/2 the southern population from voting for many years. ( like African Americans passing a test prior to voting.

        • Alej Marcos May 1, 2020, 11:14 am

          Those laws kept idiots like “Lumumba” away from places where they could destroy cities and cultures.

    • srsquidizen May 1, 2020, 8:40 am

      Lamumba will need to do the transgender thing if he wants to become Biden’s running mate since Sleepy Joe has indicated he will pick a woman. But then maybe the Mayor expects Biden will forget he ever said that and with a name like Chokwe Antar it’s not likely Joe could remember what sex he is.

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