A new law which clarifies openly carrying a weapon beginning July 1 has raised concerns with law enforcement.

The law clarifies that Mississippi is an open carry state, giving citizens the right to openly carry a weapon without a permit because the state Constitution already says so.

The state Constitution says the state can regulate concealed weapons.

Mississippi residents don't need a concealed-carry permit to possess a firearm in their home, car or place of business.

There is no Mississippi gun registration requirement, - other than for concealed carry permits in order to leave a home or car with a gun - although gun owners can register their firearms voluntarily when purchased.

Concealed-carry permits allow residents to carry a pistol or revolver out of their home, car or business, but the number of places that are banned is greater than the places where it's legal.

And, there are levels of concealed-carry based on training.

Philadelphia Police Chief Bill Cox said business and private property owners have the right to deny entry to anyone carrying a firearm. The only stipulation is that a sign must be posted with 10-foot visibility at the entrance.

If the subject refuses to leave, Cox said, they could be arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing if they are still on the premises when police arrive. This rule also includes parking lots.

In the case of municipal buildings, the Board of Aldermen could pass a resolution prohibiting entry with a firearm, Cox said.

Open carry is already prohibited in buildings such as police stations and schools, he said.

"All education facilities are off limits," Cox said.

The chief also noted that the Board of Aldermen could pass a resolution against openly carrying a firearm within the city limits. However, this method is "untested" and could be shot down by the Supreme Court, he said.

Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell said no one is allowed to carry a firearm into the county courthouse unless they are members of law enforcement.

"This is because of all the business in the courthouse," he said. "At all times there's some kind of court going on."

Waddell said it has always been the sheriff's policy that weapons weren't allowed in the courthouse.

Parish Williamson, of Brett's Gun and Pawn, said he isn't too worried about the new law.

Owners will have a choice on whether people can carry inside, he said.

"It'll mostly be criminals causing problems," he said.

Williamson also doesn't expect the law to affect his business.

"We'll have to wait and see," he said.

One of the main concerns the new bill clarifies is what concealed carry actually means.

A gun in an uncovered holster is allowed under the new law. This also applies to rifles and shotguns, which can be carried over the shoulder.

Cox said the new law does not allow someone to walk down the street with a gun in hand. This is considered brandishing a weapon, which is still a crime, he said.

Whether the gun is loaded or not does not matter but someone walking down the street loading a magazine will raise a lot of red flags with police, Chief Cox said.

Felons are already not allowed to own a firearm.

If anyone is caught concealing a firearm without a permit, they could face a $100-$500 fine and 30 days to six months jail time.

With the law going into effect in less than a week, Cox is worried it could affect the safety of his officers and the general public as well.

He noted that anyone seen openly carrying a weapon could be stopped and questioned by police. However, they are under no obligation to answer any questions.

Citizens are already allowed to carry a weapon in their vehicles.

"If they haven't committed a crime then we have no real reason to detain them," Cox said.

"This ties our hands. If someone is an out-of-town felon, we'd never know. We're worried about the unknowns. People are coming into town all day long."

While he is not concerned about law-abiding citizens, he is worried about incidences occurring in the "heat of the moment."

Cox laid out a scenario where two people meet on the street and get into an argument.

"Two people with issues get into an argument," he said. "In the heat of the moment that gun can be pulled. It's not unlikely. When people get upset and angry, those inhibitions go away, clear judgment goes away."

In the county, Waddell also has concerns over whether the law will cause an increase in violent crimes.

"We've just got to hope for the best and prepare for the worst," he said. "I feel the majority of people will not want to carry [a firearm]."

The police chief hopes people will not elect to carry a firearm.

"I hope clear heads prevail," he said. "I hope people think twice about carrying their firearms. I hope they will consider the consequences. With one pull of the trigger they are responsible for the consequences down range."

Other gun laws will remain in effect:

No brandishing a weapon or rifle; rifles and shotguns cannot have a barrel length of less than 16 and 18 inches, respectively; and guns cannot be illegally modified (like to fully automatic), etc.