An article published in Mississippi Watchdog last week found a number of parks in the Pascagoula River Basin prohibit firearms altogether.
“Right now, it’s policy that weapons aren’t allowed in the parks,” said Steven Wright, director of the Pat Harrison Waterway District, a state organization that runs the parks. “To allow someone to carry one on their hip and walk around the park with it, no, that’s just a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.”
SB 2862, which passed in 2010, specifically allows gun owners to carry in state parks. State Rep. Andy Gipson said parks that continue to ban guns are in violation of this law.
“A concealed carry license holder should be able to have their firearm concealed, open or however they want to carry it in a public park,” Gipson told Mississippi Watchdog. “With all of those statutes, I don’t see any authority for any state board or district to ban the carrying of firearms for people to protect themselves and their families.”
State parks may be safer than a city street, but they are often hideouts for criminals and other unsavory types, making it all the more necessary that they remain gun-friendly.
“If you’re going to a state park, criminals like to use parks and there all kinds of case where fugitives were arrested at parks on the run because they don’t want to be at a hotel with surveillance cameras, use a credit card and be tracked,” gun rights advocate Rick Ward told Watchdog. ” You’re there with your family and there’s a pervert who’s a fugitive on the run next to you. You should be able to have your gun.”