Originally Posted by orangello
what am I required by law to do as far as providing ID or answering questions?
What you are required to do is, IF ASKED, identify yourself. You are NOT legally required to provide proof that you are who you say you are, unless the officer detains you and informs you that you are suspected of having committed a crime. You do not have to answer any questions other than providing your name.
That's the legal requirement. In the real world, many police officers would interpret your following the law and asking that your rights be recognized as "having an attitude."
Remember, your question was about open carry, which is legal without a permit (in MS). Since open carry is legal without a permit, an officer has no valid basis on which to ask to see your permit. He also has no valid basis on which to detain you for suspicion of committing a crime, unless there are other circumstances (such as maybe you match the description of the guy who stuck up a 7-11 three blocks away ten minutes ago).
Google "Terry stop" and "Terry frisk" for more background. But IMHO each incident has to be played by ear.