EDITORIALS/Any gun control is bad control
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:00 AM
Gun control in any form is not a "Second Amendment victory."
At the behest of Gov. Phil Bryant and apparently under the direction of the NRA, the state Legislature has, in effect, created a secret gun registry for concealed-carry permit holders.
If the government is going to insist on keeping any kinds of records on gun owners, - and we don't think it should - those records, at the very least, should be open to public inspection as a guard against abuse and fraud which government is so apt to fall into.
HB 485 seals records on concealed-carry permits and was signed into law on Monday, effective immediately.
Republicans are boasting a "Second Amendment victory," some even so brash as to say they expedited the bill to block DPS from fulfilling two pending public records requests.
So much for the rule of law.
Those requests, incidentally, were from a newspaper and conservative blogger who said they have no intention whatsoever of publishing names of gun owners.
When is the law the law? And does the Department of Public Safety - not to mention Gov. Bryant - have the authority to deliberately ignore the law because they don't like it?
As of Monday, it's no longer the law, so perhaps the point is moot.
But still, is this principled good government policy? Not at all.
The law is a knee-jerk reaction to a liberal New York newspaper which printed the names of gun owners as a policial statement in the wake of the Newtown school massacre.
Since most of the outrage in New York came from liberals embarrassed they'd been called out as gun owners, the Mississippi gun scare remains somewhat of a mystery, other than it's GOP politics as usual, part of what could drive the national party to go the way of the Whigs.
For a Republican administration to deny access to public records long enough to give the Legislature time to change the law is a startling and horrible precedent.