Mississippi Abolished Pre-Arming Jury Instructions

In the case of Dante Taylor v. State of Mississippi, NO. 2017-CT-01596-SCT, the Mississippi Supreme Court abolished "pre-arming" jury instructions.

Read for yourself here: https://courts.ms.gov/Images/Opinions/CO143121.pdf

What does this mean? A pre-arming instruction is an instruction to the jury that " one cannot arm himself in advance when he is not in any physical danger, go forth and provoke a confrontation or difficulty with to hide behind a smoke screen of self-defense." In other words, you cannot go get a gun, start a fight, and then claim self-defense.

Noting that legal concealed carry of a firearm for self-defense has increased of late, the Mississippi Supreme Court noted that juries can best resolve specious claims of self-defense and "There is no legitimate rationale to continue estopping self-defense claims by giving pre-arming instructions. … Instead, we instruct the trial court—as well as any trial court faced with similar circumstances—to follow the old, safe path of instructing the jury on self-defense when the evidence supports it and let the chips fall where they may.

Lawful concealed carriers should rejoice that in an already difficult self-defense situation the prosecution can no longer argue that carrying a firearm for protection was indicia of looking for a fight.