City officials in Jackson, Mississippi approved an ordinance in April that gives all gas stations and convenience stores 120 days to install surveillance systems and connect them to the city. This new ordinance is turning Jackson into a police state—giving the city unlimited access to surveil establishments and their customers, all without needing to obtain a warrant.

Despite most gas stations and convenience stores already having cameras, Jackson is requiring these small businesses spend their hard-earned dollars to install or change their systems to comply with the city’s various technical and location requirements. The ordinance also requires businesses to pay a $950 fee to Jackson to have their cameras connected to the police department’s surveillance system. Failure to comply could result in penalties, which can include fines.

Jackson’s ordinance is a gross violation of Americans’ constitutional rights. That’s why the Institute for Justice sent a letter to city leaders in Jackson, calling on them to repeal their Orwellian ordinance. The government’s desire for more surveillance shouldn’t come at the expense of people’s constitutional rights.





Related Letters and Statements