House Bill 1261 makes me wish they had stopped at HB 1260. But I'm not a lawyer. And this one is a gold mine for attorneys.
A wise man once told me if you want to get ahead in politics, never talk about wives or dogs. The best thing I can say about HB 1261 is no one's wife is mentioned.
But I knew this measure was trouble when I saw it had a 25-line title. Two lines in it talks about dogs and on line four "dangerous dogs." At that point the lawyers howled with delight.
For starters, it defines "dangerous dogs." it takes 57 lines and almost three double-spaced pages. Have a shorter one: The other guy's mutt.
Never miss a local story.
It also defines "domestic animal," "owner," "law enforcement officer" and "restraint." Don't know what "restraint" is? Neither do the bill authors; at least they weren't inclined to show any.
Definitions aside, the bill really leaves the rails at line 186:
"In order to determine if there is a violation of this section, a law enforcement officer, at any time, may enter the premises where a dangerous dog is kept, or is believed to be kept, for an on-site inspection of the premises."
Goodbye, 4th Amendment.
The bill has many more gems. Read it here
Afterwards if you'd like to chat with the authors, here are their numbers: Randy Boyd, 662-359-2435; Larry Byrd, 601-359-3352; Lester Carpenter, 601-359-2425; and Tommy Taylor, 662-719-1249.