Some City of Oxford employees now allowed to carry gun while working

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved allowing some employees with an enhanced concealed carry permit to have their gun on them during work hours.

Last month, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, at the request of Oxford city attorneys, issued an opinion that said cities could “prohibit the carrying of firearms, concealed or open, by employees while such employees are on duty, both on and off of municipal property.”

The city was revising its Employee Handbook and sought the opinion to find out what municipalities can and can’t regulate in regards to employees and guns.

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Human Resource Manager Braxton Tullos presented the Employee Handbook for approval Tuesday at the Board of Aldermen’s regular meeting that included two options concerning carrying guns by employees. One option only allowed law enforcement officers to carry weapons and the other allowed some employees who possess a concealed carry permit, who are registered with the city and approved by department heads to possess a gun during work hours.

Alderman Jason Bailey said he was OK with the second option; however, he’d prefer requiring an enhanced concealed carry permit.

“I’d think we’d want enhanced concealed because that has another level of training,” Bailey said.

Mississippi enhanced permit holders are allowed to carry in some locations in Mississippi that regular permit holders are not. Examples include polling places, public portions of state government buildings, courthouses, public schools including colleges and universities, athletic events not related to firearms, bars and restaurants and more. Those carrying an enhance carry permit must comply with all regulations associated with obtaining a concealed carry permit, plus take an 8-hour course by a licensed instructor.

The aldermen agreed to add the word, “enhanced” and unanimously approved the Employee Handbook.

The decision only affects city employees and not the Oxford School District, which governs its policies in regards to employees and handguns.