Hinds Co. interim sheriff wants ‘dirty guns’ off streets; Jackson councilmember says that’s the feds’ job

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 8:17 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While Hinds County leadership hopes a new initiative proposed by the interim sheriff will take guns out of the hands of criminals and help curb crime throughout the county, one Jackson councilman says the county could be using those resources elsewhere because federal agents already do this.

“We’re now sending a message to the criminal element that we’re going to be very vigilant on getting these dirty guns off the street,” Interim Sheriff Marshand Crisler said.

Crisler wants to establish a street crimes and gun suppression unit and reach out to Hinds County’s eight municipalities to be a part of it.

“When we say ‘dirty gun,’ we’re talking about convict plus gun equals dirty gun,” Crisler said. “If you are a convicted felon, you cannot possess a firearm. It is a federal offense.”

Jackson City Councilman Aaron Banks said that’s all the more reason to let the feds handle it.

“The U.S. Attorney already has a program, that’s what they do. They particularly have jurisdiction to deal with felons and to make sure they don’t have weapons,” Banks said. “I don’t think- I think we need to focus our attention on preventing crime, being visible to deter crime.”

At least two elected leaders also believe someone’s civil rights could be violated as a result of the initiative.

Hinds County Supervisor David Archie brought those concerns up this week, even though he voted to give the interim sheriff the authority to put together a memorandum of understanding with the other cities and towns.

“We’re going to be working within the confines of the Constitution and ensure that we’re not violating anybody’s civil rights,” Crisler said.

Crisler said they’ll be setting up checkpoints and asking if they can search people’s vehicles.

By law, unless you give them permission, an officer must have a warrant to search your vehicle unless they have probable cause.

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