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STATE OF MISSISSIPPI uM HOOD ATTORNEY GENERAL. State Government Division May 16, 2016 Lisa Younger Neese, Clerk Lowndes County Chancery Court Post Office Box 684 Columbus, Mississippi 39703 RE: BC-16-00005 Dear Ms. Necse: Please be advised that the Office of the Attorney General received a complaint against Lowndes County pursuant to Section 45-9-53(5)(a) of the Mississippi Code, as amended, relative to signage at the Lowndes County Courthouse Annex located at 220 Fifth Street, the Lowndes County Justice Court Building located at 309. 8, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the Lowndes County Library located at 314 7 Street, the Lowndes County Administrative Building located at 1121 Main Street, all of Columbus, Mississippi. In addition thereto, the complaint concerned the Lowndes County Fire Department's District One Station Three, District Three 182 Station, the Lowndes County Office of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Offices of the Lowndes County Circuit and Chancery Clerks, This complaint was assigned to an investigator with this office who verified the locations and content of signs at the above reference locations prohibiting firearms on the premises. Section 45-9-101(1)(a) of the Mississippi Code, as amended, authorized the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to issue licenses to certain qualified persons to carry concealed weupons. Even though properly licensed, Section 45-9-101(13) of the code restricts the carrying of a concealed ‘weapon in certain places. In addition to the places enumerated in Section 45-9-101(13), the statute also provides that the carrying of a concealed weapon may be disallowed in any place in the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over that location or place by the placing of a wwritien notice, clearly readable at a distance of not less than ten (10) feet, that the “carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited.” ‘The aforementioned Section 45-9-101 notwithstanding, Section 97-37-7(2) states that it shall not be a violation of any other statute (45-9-101(13)) for a person licensed under Section 45-9-101 to carry 50 HIGH STRISET: WALTER SULENS BUILDING FOST OFFICE BOX 220 JACKSON, MISSISSIP( 39205 TSLEPHONH (601) 3994210 FACSDAILS (61) 19471 Page 2 May 16, 2016 aconeealed pistol who has voluntarily completed an instructional course in firearms safety approved by the Department of Public Safety, io carry weapons in courthouses, except in courtrooms during Judicial proceedings, and any location listed in Section 45-9-101(13), with limited exceptions, Section 45-9-53(4) does allow a county or municipality to post a sign at a location listed in Section 45-9-101(13) indicating that a license issued under Section 45-9-101 does not authorize the holder to carry a firearm into that location, as long as the sign also indicates that carrying a firearm is “unauthorized only for license holders without a training endorsement or that it is a location included within Section 97-37-7(2) where carrying a firearm is unauthorized for all license holders. Further, Section 45-9-53(b) allows the posting of a sign at any location under the control of the county or municipality indicating that the possession ofa firearm is prohibited on the premises as long as tho sign also indicates that it does not apply to a person properly licenced under section 45-9-101 or Section 97-37-7(2) to carry a concealed firearm or to a person lawfully carrying a firearm that is not concealed, Based on the above and foregoing I am of the opinion, and you are hereby notified, that the signs prohibiting firearms located at the Lowndes County Courthouse Annex located at 220 Fifth Street, the Lowndes County Justice Court Building located at 309. S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the Lowndes County Library located at 314 7" Street, the Lowndes County Administrative Building located at 1121 Main Street, the Lowndes County Fire Department’s District One Station Three, District Three 182 Station, the Lowndes County Office of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Offices of the Lowndes County Circuit and Chancery Clerks are in violation of Section 45-9-53(4) because the signs do not contain the language required by 45-9-53(4)(a) or 45-9- 53(b), Itis noted that the offices of the Mississippi Department of Human Services are state offices to which Section 45-9-53 would not ordinarily apply. However, based upon the information provided, these offices are located in county owned or controlled buildings, rendering these offices subject to Section 45-9-53 of the Miss. Code, as amended, SjiGdely, metia 8, Whitley ‘Deputy Attomey General pe: Ricky Ward 590 HIGH STREET WALTER STLLERS BUILDING. POST OFFICE ROX 220-IACKSON, MISISSTP1 39705, "TRLADHONE (901) 3943)0 PACSDAIT (60) 359-4478