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STATE OF MISSISSIPPI JIM HOOD ATTORNEY GENERAL, State Government Division May 16, 2016 Monica Banks, Clerk Oktibbeha County Chancery Court, 101 East Main Street Starkville, Mississippi 39759 RE: EC-16-00004 Dear Ms. Banks: Please be advised that the Office of the Attomey General received a complaint against Oktibbeha County pursuant to Section 45-9-53(5)(a) of the Mississippi Code, as amended, relative to signage at the Oktibbeha County Administration Building, the “old Oktibbeha County Courthouse,” the Oktibbeha County Justice Court Building, the Oktibbeha County Health Department and tho Oktibbeha County office of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. 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 weapons. 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 # 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 written notice, clearly readable at a distance of not less than ten (10) feet, that the “canying of pistol or revolver is prohibited.” ‘The aforementioned Section 45-9-101 notwithstanding, Section 97-37-7(2) states that it shall not be violation of any other statute (45-9-101(13)) fora person licensed under Section 45-9-101 to carry concealed pistol who has voluntarily completed an instructional course in firearms safety approved by the Department of Public Safety, to carry weapons in courthouses, except in courtrooms during Judicial proceedings, and any location listed in Section 45-9-101 (13), with limited exceptions. 30 1GH STREET: WALTER SILLERS BULDING- POST OFFICE BOX720 JACKSON, MISSISSIPPL 39205 "TELEPHONE (01) 3994210 FACSIMILE (01) 350-4471 Page 2 May 16, 2016 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 10 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 its alocation included within Section 97-37-7(2) where carrying a Grearm 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 of a firearm is prohibited on the premises as long as the sign also indicates that it does not apply to a person properly licenced under section 45-9-101 or Section 97-37-7() 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 at the Oktibbeha County Administration Building, the “old Oktibbeha County Courthouse,” the Oktibbeha County Justice Court Building, the Oktibbeha County Health Department and the Oktibbeha County Office of the Mississippi Department of Human Services 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). It is 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. ‘ett S Whitley Deputy Attorney General po: Ricky Wand sO 1N0H STREET: WALTER SILLERS HUILDING--POST OFFICE BOX 200- JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 39205 TELEPHONE 601) 94010. FACSILA (01) 854071 STATE OF MISSISSIPPI JIM 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. Nese: 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. $. Martin Luther King Ir. 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 concemed 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 fo certain qualified persons to carry concealed weapons. Even though properly licensed, Section 45-9-101(13) of the code restricts the carrying of ¢ 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 written 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 590 HGH STREET: WALTER SILLERS BLILDING- POST OFFICE DOK 220 -JACKSON, MISISSIPI 29205 "TELEPHONE (C1) 538-4010 FACSTMALI (601) 3254471 Page 2 May 16, 2016 concealed pistol who has voluntarily completed an instructional course in firearms safety approved by the Department of Public Safety, to 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 ate 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 itis 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 of a firearm is prohibited on the premises as long as the sign also indicates that it does not apply to a person properly licenced under section 45-9-101 or Section 97-37-7(2) o 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. 8. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the Lowndes County Library located at 314 7* Street, the Lowndes County Administrative Building Jocated at 1121 Main Street, the Lowndes County Fire Depariment’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). It is 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 ot controlled buildings, rendering these offices subject to Section 45-9-53 of the Miss. Code, as amended. Snetta S. Whitley Deputy Attomey General pe: Rieky Ward 50 (UGH STREET: WALTER STLLERS HUNLDIN.- OST OFFICE OX 220-ACKSON, MISISSIPY 30205, LEVIN (01) 3984210 FACSIMILE (601) 3504471