Officials clear the air about DeSoto County gun ordinance

Officials clear the air about DeSoto County gun ordinance

(WMC-TV) - A newly proposed gun ordinance in DeSoto County has many citizens worried that their second amendment rights will be violated.

Under the proposal, only gun owners with an enhanced conceal and carry permit could bring firearms to DeSoto County parks and greenways.

Now, supervisors want to clear the air and let people know that the ordinance is already a state law that leaders simply want to better enforce.

"There have been some misconceptions from the public about what we are proposing, thinking perhaps we're trying to limit their second amendment rights, trying to take away their gun, nothing could be further from the truth," said DeSoto County Supervisor Mark Gardner.

State law already prohibits guns in public parks, unless owners have the proper permits. Enhanced holders undergo eight hours of special training.

But if the newly proposed ordinance is passed, enforcement of that law will get easier.

"If you're discharging a firearm and don't have a conceal carry permit and you're shooting a sign, local law enforcement can say, 'Hey, you're violating this ordinance,'" said Board Attorney Jody Neyman.

David Goode and Bud Cummings are members of the National Rifle Association. They had concerns about the proposal until the supervisors cleared the air.

"It just mirrors what's already on the books, it does not affect anyone's ability to carry with the proper permit," said Goode.

The Greenway system continues to expand to new areas of the county, and supervisors want to make sure hunters know the boundaries.

"People out enjoying the sport and hunting sometimes would stumble up on some of these greenways," said Board of Supervisors President Jessie Medlin.

The director of the county's greenways and parks says leaders are discussing whether to bring a firing range to DeSoto County.

That will be discussed at Monday's public hearing.

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