SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) -- At the Whitetail Ridge Shooting Center, news that a new law will effectively allow Mississippians to carry guns at their side came as a pleasant surprise.
It's a law that many feel should clear up the concealed weapons law in Mississippi.
"The concealed carry law has been kind of a vague deal in Mississippi for a long time. And it was considered years ago, I think, by the Supreme Court, that [a gun that] was carried out in the open was partially concealed," owner Dick Hollaway said. "I think what this law did was rectify that situation and say that anyone can carry a gun in a holster, on their belt, unconcealed and be legal in Mississippi to carry it."
According to the legislative supporters who wrote House Bill 2, that's exactly what the open carry law does.
Gun enthusiasts here say that the new law should work well here in Mississippi, adding that responsible gun owners should not have a problem.
Ken Soderstram says he has been a gun owner and supporter for many years.
He applauds lawmakers for the new law but says he still will use his concealed weapon permit.
"I personally will still go the concealed route, the main reason being I don't want to stand out. I don't think there's going to be any issues with it. I believe an armed society is a polite society," Soderstram said. "Maybe [it will] even act as a detterent for something that may have happened had they not been there."
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says he believes in the Second Amendment and vows to uphold the new law.
However, he admits it might lead to confusion about what laws apply when.
For instance, there is a gun permit in Missississippi that addresses who can carry a gun openly, and that permit excludes twelve or thirteen places unless you have an enhanced permit, according to the sheriff.
The enhanced permit allows to carry the weapon even in those places such as businesses and courthouses.
On top of all that now comes the open carry law.
"Now you've thrown that into the mix; the gun is not concealed if it's in a scalbert and you don't even have to have a permit to carry it," Johnson said. "It's pretty difficult to figure out exactly what their purpose was in addressing the concealed part. But they left out the part that even if you're going to carry it in a scalbert, you're going to have to have a gun permit."
Johnson says the new law could lead to some difficult situations for law enforcement.