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Thread: Next step(s) in getting illegal signs removed from county library

  1. #1
    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Next step(s) in getting illegal signs removed from county library

    Recently a raft of "no firearms/weapons allowed" signs have been appearing around Hattiesburg, especially on city and county buildings. The one that really pissed me off is on the Hattiesburg/Petal/Forrest County library (because I like to get books from there occasionally). In a reply from the Library's Director (more on that in a minute), I find that the Library is a Forrest County facility.

    After digging around in the MS code, it appears to me that 45-9-51 bans counties and municipalities from passing ordinances restricting the possession of firearms, subject to the exceptions in 45-9-53. (There's more text below these quotes, so don't quit reading yet!)

    45-9-51. Prohibition against adoption of certain ordinances
    Subject to the provisions of Section 45-9-53, no county or municipality may adopt any ordinance that restricts or requires the possession, transportation, sale, transfer or ownership of firearms or ammunition or their components.
    45-9-53. Exceptions
    (1) This section and Section 45-9-51 do not affect the authority that a county or municipality may have under another law:

    (a) To require citizens or public employees to be armed for personal or national defense, law enforcement, or another lawful purpose;

    (b) To regulate the discharge of firearms within the limits of the county or municipality. A county or municipality may not apply a regulation relating to the discharge of firearms or other weapons in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the county or municipality or in an area annexed by the county or municipality after September 1, 1981, if the firearm or other weapon is:

    (i) A shotgun, air rifle or air pistol, BB gun or bow and arrow discharged:

    1. On a tract of land of ten (10) acres or more and more than one hundred fifty (150) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and

    2. In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract; or

    (ii) A center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol or a muzzle-loading rifle or pistol of any caliber discharged:

    1. On a tract of land of fifty (50) acres or more and more than three hundred (300) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and

    2. In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of tract;

    (c) To regulate the use of property or location of businesses for uses therein pursuant to fire code, zoning ordinances, or land-use regulations, so long as such codes, ordinances and regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of Section 45-9-51 or subparagraph (e) of this section;

    (d) To regulate the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots and natural disasters in which the city finds such regulation necessary to protect the health and safety of the public. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to the lawful possession of firearms in the home, place of business or in transit to and from the home or place of business;

    (e) To regulate the storage or transportation of explosives in order to protect the health and safety of the public, with the exception of black powder which is exempt up to twenty-five (25) pounds per private residence and fifty (50) pounds per retail dealer;

    (f) To regulate the carrying of a firearm at: (i) a public park or at a public meeting of a county, municipality or other governmental body; (ii) a political rally, parade or official political meeting; or (iii) a nonfirearm-related school, college or professional athletic event; or

    (g) To regulate the receipt of firearms by pawnshops.

    (2) The exception provided by subsection (1)(f) of this section does not apply if the firearm was in or carried to and from an area designated for use in a lawful hunting, fishing or other sporting event and the firearm is of the type commonly used in the activity.
    I don't see any exception in -53 that allows the county to ban the possession of firearms in a library.

    I emailed the Library Director referencing those statutes, and requesting that the Library remove the illegal signs. Email is saved in Google Drive here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Her response came via snail mail, and contained a resolution by the Board of Trustees of the Library, banning firearms and other weapons. I scanned her letter and attached pages into a PDF on Google Drive here. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8jU...it?usp=sharing

    My question is, what is my next step now? Do I email the attorney for the Board of Trustees? Do I contact the Board directly? Something else entirely?

  2. #2
    Regular Member FedFirefighter's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about what to do next, I'll havevto read that law that was refrenced in their response. Maybe get a lawyer to read it and explan it to you, they may be correct or trying to work a loophole thnking no one will challenge them on it. I also live in Hattiesburg. You should check out "Mississippi Gun Friendly and Gun Unfriendly Business' " on Facebook if you have an account. They are building quite a list of places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FedFirefighter View Post
    I'm not sure about what to do next, I'll havevto read that law that was refrenced in their response. Maybe get a lawyer to read it and explan it to you, they may be correct or trying to work a loophole thnking no one will challenge them on it. I also live in Hattiesburg. You should check out "Mississippi Gun Friendly and Gun Unfriendly Business' " on Facebook if you have an account. They are building quite a list of places.
    They are not correct. The next step would be to contact their attorney. If they won't budge then the next step is a lawsuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    They are not correct. The next step would be to contact their attorney. If they won't budge then the next step is a lawsuit.
    Is it unlawful to remove an unlawful sign?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Is it unlawful to remove an unlawful sign?
    Yes, David, destruction of public property is illegal. I bet even Mississippi has a law against it. I'll go so far as to bet they also have a law against defacing public property.

    your game of "wondering if" doing something is unlawful as opposed to coming out and advocating that someone to actually do something is juvenile and purile. We all know you are really suggesting that someone do "something", just as we all know you really are aware that doing that "something" is illegal.

    Seriously, what enjoyment do you get trying to see just how close you can come to the line of violating a particular OCDO rule without atually crossing over it? Little kids do that in order to get attention. You could actually get people to pay attention to you and take seriously what you post, but you seem instead bound and determined to demonstrate how much of a ******* you can be.

    Just like with a little kid, folks are going to get tired of your behavior.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Yes, David, destruction of public property is illegal. I bet even Mississippi has a law against it. I'll go so far as to bet they also have a law against defacing public property.

    your game of "wondering if" doing something is unlawful as opposed to coming out and advocating that someone to actually do something is juvenile and purile. We all know you are really suggesting that someone do "something", just as we all know you really are aware that doing that "something" is illegal.

    Seriously, what enjoyment do you get trying to see just how close you can come to the line of violating a particular OCDO rule without atually crossing over it? Little kids do that in order to get attention. You could actually get people to pay attention to you and take seriously what you post, but you seem instead bound and determined to demonstrate how much of a ******* you can be.

    Just like with a little kid, folks are going to get tired of your behavior.

    stay safe.
    hey, watch the language ... dweeb ... I asked a question ... I did not ask if you could destroy the signs, just take them down....

    You need to take your medication immediately.

    99% of these signs are just attached to windows with 810 tape .... taking it down and returning it to the clerk ... show me a case showing that this is "destruction of property" big mouth or move on.
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 09-05-2013 at 09:43 PM.

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    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FedFirefighter View Post
    I'm not sure about what to do next, I'll havevto read that law that was refrenced in their response. Maybe get a lawyer to read it and explan it to you, they may be correct or trying to work a loophole thnking no one will challenge them on it. I also live in Hattiesburg. You should check out "Mississippi Gun Friendly and Gun Unfriendly Business' " on Facebook if you have an account. They are building quite a list of places.
    The Board is quite wrong. There is a prohibition on local ordinances restricting possession (etc.), and then -53 lists the exceptions. A library is nowhere in the list of exceptions. In fact there are a lot of other city/county buildings in downtown Hattiesburg that have the "no weapons" signs up as well, and I suspect that the majority of them don't qualify for the exceptions either...

    I just joined the FB group, thanks for the tip. I also use http://friendorfoe.us/ to mark gun-friendly/unfriendly places.

    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    They are not correct. The next step would be to contact their attorney. If they won't budge then the next step is a lawsuit.
    Thanks georg, that's what my plan was, just wanted to check whether anyone had a reason to do something different.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    hey, watch the language ... dweeb ... I asked a question ... I did not ask if you could destroy the signs, just take them down....

    You need to take your medication immediately.

    99% of these signs are just attached to windows with 810 tape .... taking it down and returning it to the clerk ... show me a case showing that this is "destruction of property" big mouth or move on.
    I fail to see what your hypothetical actions would solve. Even if I did remove them, and walked away without being hassled/arrested/whatever, the library would just put them right back up, and I'd be right back where I started. I asked a serious question about how to pursue a legal challenge to the illegal signs (and the ordinance behind them, ultimately). Your suggestion provided no value whatsoever...

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    There may be another way, but I don't know Ms. law that well. When a public official is not doing their job or doing something that is not their job, one can file for a writ of Mandamus in the court with appropriate jurisdiction.

    Here's a quick and dirty layperson's explanation at wiki... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandamus

    If you don't get anywhere with the board or attorneys, I can give you a hand with this after the first of the year.

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Yes, David, destruction of public property is illegal. I bet even Mississippi has a law against it. I'll go so far as to bet they also have a law against defacing public property.

    your game of "wondering if" doing something is unlawful as opposed to coming out and advocating that someone to actually do something is juvenile and purile. We all know you are really suggesting that someone do "something", just as we all know you really are aware that doing that "something" is illegal.

    Seriously, what enjoyment do you get trying to see just how close you can come to the line of violating a particular OCDO rule without atually crossing over it? Little kids do that in order to get attention. You could actually get people to pay attention to you and take seriously what you post, but you seem instead bound and determined to demonstrate how much of a ******* you can be.

    Just like with a little kid, folks are going to get tired of your behavior.

    stay safe.
    Too late, Skid. There are many of us on OCDO who are wondering where the limits are for such non-productive, puerile and inane postings. Consider his response to your posting:

    "hey, watch the language ... dweeb ... I asked a question ... I did not ask if you could destroy the signs, just take them down....

    You need to take your medication immediately.

    99% of these signs are just attached to windows with 810 tape .... taking it down and returning it to the clerk ... show me a case showing that this is "destruction of property" big mouth or move on."

    I'm not one to favor censorship, but this troll's postings are simply a waste of bandwidth, IMHO.
    Last edited by JamesCanby; 09-06-2013 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Typo correction

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Too late, Skid. There are many of us on OCDO who are wondering where the limits are for such non-productive, puerile and inane postings. Consider his response to your posting:

    "hey, watch the language ... dweeb ... I asked a question ... I did not ask if you could destroy the signs, just take them down....

    You need to take your medication immediately.

    99% of these signs are just attached to windows with 810 tape .... taking it down and returning it to the clerk ... show me a case showing that this is "destruction of property" big mouth or move on."

    I'm not one to favor censorship, but this troll's postings are simply a waste of bandwidth, IMHO.
    And yet still no actual response on how just taking down such an illegal sign w/o damaging anything is associated with a civil or criminal offense.

    So, its still a question. If anyone has anything constructive to add please do so.

    I think we all agree that the sign should be taken down; the question is in what manner can it be done.

    Clearly, just taking it down and returning it to a clerk is the easiest manner. If there is no issue with doing that is being explored ... I don't think its destruction of property. Cite?
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 09-06-2013 at 01:00 PM.

  11. #11
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    And yet still no actual response on how just taking down such an illegal sign w/o damaging anything is associated with a civil or criminal offense.

    So, its still a question. If anyone has anything constructive to add please do so.

    I think we all agree that the sign should be taken down; the question is in what manner can it be done.

    Clearly, just taking it down and returning it to a clerk is the easiest manner. If there is no issue with doing that is being explored ... I don't think its destruction of property. Cite?
    At the risk of feeding the troll, the response should be obvious:

    It's not your sign. It's not your property. You have no right to touch that sign. If you believe that the sign is posted in error, go through the proper administrative or legal channels to voice your complaint.

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