The Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill 2, which allows any person in Mississippi who is legally allowed to carry a gun the right to openly carry the gun without a permit. The law goes into effect on 1 July 2013, but possessing a firearm on Corps of Engineers property is prohibited by federal regulation.
Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Chapter 3, Part 327, Section 327.13 states:
The possession of loaded firearms, ammunition, loaded projectile firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons is prohibited unless:
(1) In the possession of a federal, state or local law enforcement officer.
(2) Being used for hunting or fishing as permitted under 36 CFR 327.8, with devices being unloaded when transported to, from or between hunting and fishing sites;
(3) Being used at authorized shooting ranges; or
(4) Written permission has been received from the District Commander.
It is our desire to educate our visitors concerning this regulation and to help minimize the confusion associated with the new open carry law. A violation of CFR 36 327.13 could result in a mandatory appearance before a federal magistrate. Possible penalties could subject the violator to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or both.
Adding confusion to this issue is the 2009 federal law that allows guns in National Parks. Public Law 111-24, section 512 authorizes the possession of guns in the National Parks system, but parks governed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers were not included in this law.
As stewards of public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dedicated to providing a safe, quality recreational experience for all visitors.
Although the primary mission of Corps operated Mississippi lake is flood damage risk reduction, over 3 million individuals visit the 262,000-acre recreational areas annually to enjoy the camping, playgrounds, swimming areas, trails, fishing, boat ramps, marinas, and marina slips and brings approximately $125 million to the local economy and supports nearly 1700 jobs. Information on Corps lakes and recreational areas can be found on the Vicksburg District’s website at http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation.aspx.