FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Jackson City Council Public Safety/Park and Environment Committee has proposed an ordinance that would punish and fine parents or guardians of minors who have committed crimes with or have been found in possession of a handgun. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi released the following statement:
"This is the second time the Jackson City Council has proposed an ordinance to jail and fine parents of children who have committed a crime with or been in possession of a handgun. In 2019, the ACLU of Mississippi raised concerns over the ordinance, which unfairly violates due process by holding a person liable for someone else's actions.
Parental accountability is important. But only properly drafted child access prevention laws have shown to prevent guns from falling into young hands. Furthermore, Mississippi already has a child access prevention law (Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-15), which holds parents accountable for knowingly permitting a child under the age of 18 to own or carry a concealed weapon. Additionally, the proposed ordinance does not align with state law, which specifies that the fine should not be more than $1,000.
The ACLU of Mississippi has again raised concerns with the Jackson city attorney's office. We hope the Council will consider due process and current state law before moving this ordinance forward."