DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Talk about gun control in Mississippi and sparks will fly. They're fired up in DeSoto County after supervisors announced a proposed new gun ordinance last week. Supervisors are getting an earful from gun owners concerned about their second amendment rights.
In Mississippi you can own a gun and keep it in your car without a permit. DeSoto County's proposed law would require a conceal carry permit for all gun owners if they're in the county's parks. Supervisors say it's about safety, not restrictions.
"All the supervisors are strong proponents of gun rights. This is strictly about the safety of our parks and our children," says Supervisor Mark Gardner. He and other county leaders have been reassuring the public of that since last week.
"Some people are under the misconception that we are trying to control possession of firearms and that is so far from the truth."
The proposed law would require gun owners to have a permit if carrying in the county's parks. That permit means they'd have gone through training and a safety class.
"With people on our walking trails and greenways, you don't want someone over there that's not safe with firearms discharging them or acting in an unsafe manner," says Gardner.
Many gun owners who are upset carry their weapon for protection.
"Especially if I'm at a park and there's no protection like cops driving by," says Paulette Gipson. "But you definitely need that training if you carry a gun because some people might be trigger happy."
Gardner says it comes down to what's safe for everyone, and requiring a permit won't take second amendment rights away.
"There are parks where people have been robbed and accosted. I understand that," he says. "We just want to make sure people have the proper credentials."
Supervisors are also meeting with the National Rifle Association Tuesday morning to get their input on the law.
The county is holding a public hearing at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 15 for anyone who has questions. It will be held in the board room of the county administration building.