A Mississippi resident who receives a concealed carry permit and takes an eight-hour course can now carry a gun on college campuses, in bars, and in courthouses, says USA Today. Wyoming residents need no permits for concealed weapons. In Indiana, private businesses must allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles on company property. Those and other recent changes on the state level represent a growing shift toward loosening state gun regulations, says University of Chicago Prof. Jens Ludwig.
Supporters of the trend see it as a boost for gun rights. “Somebody who’s disturbed or a crook — they’re not going to care (if it’s illegal to carry a gun in certain locations),” says Mississippi state Rep. Greg Snowden, a Republican who was one of three authors of an amendment that paved the way for the new policy. Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont, like Wyoming, do not require permits for concealed guns, says the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. University of Mississippi Police Chief Calvin Sellers says he supports the right to own firearms, but he still thinks Mississippi’s newest policy could be a “bad law.” “I just don’t like the idea of people having firearms in a classroom,” he says.