Mississippi Open Carry Laws Prevented The Police From Arresting A Man Who Intimidated Walmart Shoppers And Staff
Police Chief Leonard Papania, of Gulfport Mississippi, has openly criticized the state’s open carry laws after an incident on Sunday 21st of June. A man was walking through Walmart while loading and racking shells into his shotgun. The police dispatched a SWAT team and evacuated the store.
The chief expressed concern that many other violent acts were preceded by such a display. He further added that while actions of this man and his companion are legal within the state they negatively affected the local community. Two man, had they been apprehended would have been arrested for stretching police forces thin, said Chief Papania.
The police sources say they also received calls about men doing the same at a local Winn-Dixie, which forced the police to use police officers to form a perimeter around the Walmart while SWAT searched the premises. By the time the LEOs arrived, the two men were already gone.
Surveillance footage allowed the police to track down the men and, but due open carry laws in Mississippi, their hands were tied.
Police chief stated that actions of those two men could have easily led to a “very violent misunderstanding” possibly alluding to the shooting of John Crawford in Ohio, who was holding a toy rifle in the local Walmart.
Papania added that if there was anything he could have arrested those people for, he would have. He concluded with: “Gun laws should be such that it provides us security. As we look at this fact pattern, do you feel safer?”
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