City Council hires lawyer, hopes to shut down mayor’s order suspending open carry law

Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 10:17 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The City Council of Jackson has retained an attorney to defend a lawsuit from Mississippi Justice Institute.

MJI filed a lawsuit against mayor of Jackson over the suspension of open carry law after Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued an executive order this weekend that suspends the open carry law in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MJI argues the executive order is unconstitutional.

Attorney Deshun T. Martin is representing the City Council alongside MJI in the lawsuit. The council voted against the mayor’s order.

Martin says the city supports the second amendment and any similar laws. The city council says they want different avenues to stop gun violence rather than violate the constitution.

“This is not a debate on whether the open carry law is beneficial to some citizens or the other,” Councilman Aaron Banks said.

He says they must look for other options to end gun violence in the city, such as the number of guns Jackson Police Department is confiscating. He says they’ve confiscated 23 guns in the last week.

They say the clear position of city council is while the city faces a problem with gun violence, this is not an excuse to not obey the constitution.

Martin says he hopes to get the executive order shut down with the least expense possible toward the city.

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