Gun Scare at Gulfport Businesses

The Gulfport Police Department is saying a man who walked into three Gulfport stores carrying a gun Sunday night did not break the law.
News 25’s Katarina Luketich takes a look at Mississippi’s open carry law and the scare this gave the community last night.
Two men created mass panic last night at Wal-Mart after walking around the store with a large gun in plain sight, purchasing ammunition, loading and racking the gun, prompting employees and shoppers to call police. Police Chief Leonard Papania tells News 25 that the man and his friend also visited a Krispy Kreme and a nearby Winn-Dixie. No shots were fired, no threats were made and no one was injured. Authorities say they were exercising their right to open carry.
Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania says, “I looked very hard at the laws. If there’s something I could have charged these people with, I would.” He also says “Gun laws should be such that it provides us security. And as we look at this fact pattern, do you feel safer?”
Recently amended law allows Mississippians to openly carry a firearm without a permit.
Kevin Riley, the owner of Dad’s Super Pawn in Gulfport says although open carry is legal, it’s something you don’t see very often: “We have a policy where you’re allowed to open carry inside our premises and we still don’t see it. Since they came out with that new law, we very seldom see anybody doing an open carry.”
Businesses can post signs banning weapons from their properties, but none of the businesses these men walked into have one. Chief Papania says regardless if it was legal or not, these men certainly gave the community a good scare.
And while the men were within their rights to openly carry, Chief Papania says the situation could have easily led to a violent misunderstanding.

Categories: Local News, News

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