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Thread: Constitutional Carry for Arkansas

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    Constitutional Carry for Arkansas

    Act 746 mirrors Vermont carry law; Arkansas will have Constitutional Carry in July!

    http://www.thearkansasproject.com/th...sas+Project%29

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    Woo pig suie!

    This was completely out of left field and applaud our legislators for doing this! Here is the text of the article from the Arkansas Project:

    The Greatest Untold Story of the 89th General Assembly
    April 23, 2013 Nic Horton 3 Comments

    You haven’t read about this story in the mainstream media. It wasn’t reported during the legislative session, and perhaps it would never have been reported if it weren’t for The Arkansas Project and the folks at Arkansas Carry. But what you are about to read is the story of what may be the most significant (pro-liberty) accomplishment of the 89th General Assembly.

    In late February, the legislature considered HB1408, a bill that would have legalized carrying a firearm openly in Arkansas. The bill was defeated after spokesmen for the state police testified against the bill (I chronicled these events here, in our most-read story of the session). Lovers of liberty were dismayed to see the first Republican majority in 138 years balk at upholding constitutional rights. A Twitter war ensued between the Speaker of the House and gun rights advocates; Second Amendment advocates began muttering about primaries against those who defeated the bill. But while all of that was going on, legislators were working behind the scenes to push through a bill that would accomplish essentially the same purpose — legalized unlicensed carry in Arkansas.

    The bill, HB1700, actually made it out of committee, through both chambers, and was signed by the governor. It is now Act 746. Perhaps some legislators did not know what they were voting on; perhaps many of them will not know until they read this article.

    Act 746 makes two significant changes to gun laws in Arkansas. The first is perhaps the most significant. Under Arkansas law, Arkansans are allowed to carry a firearm unobstructed, without a license, while on a “journey.” Some gun advocates have long said that because of this law, open, unlicensed carry has always been legal in Arkansas. I know folks who have carried a firearm — concealed — without a license under this statute. Since a “journey” was never defined in the law, you could travel wherever you liked and if you were stopped by law enforcement, you could always say, “Well, I’m on a journey.” Other laws, such as the concealed carry statute, suggested that this interpretation of the journey law is incomplete at best. However, Act 746 puts that argument to rest by defining, for the first time, what a journey actually is. Under this act, the scope of a journey is defined as extending “beyond the county in which the person lives.” If you travel outside of your county of residence in Arkansas, you can now legally carry a firearm without a license. Needless to say, this is big news.

    The second big change brought about by Act 746 is in regard to criminal intent. Under previous Arkansas law, prosecutors who wanted to prove criminal possession only had to meet a minimal requirement: they were only required to demonstrate that a person in possession of a gun intended to use it against a person. The revision in Act 746 requires that prosecutors demonstrate a gun owner intended to use their firearm against a person “unlawfully.” This clarification is important because it appears to give immunity to those who would use their firearm against a person in self-defense. Previously, this kind of gun possessor would remain vulnerable to prosecution under the law.

    Nicholas Stehle of Arkansas Carry said his group was surprised by the bill:

    We were caught by surprise with HB1700. We understand that it was fully vetted by the Arkansas State Police and the sheriffs and prosecutors in Arkansas. Though it doesn’t take effect until sometime in July, we believe it will have the practical effect of legalizing the carry of firearms for self-defense purposes in Arkansas.

    The bill also contains a definition of the word “journey”, which is now defined as leaving your county. Therefore, a person would be able to carry under this law, in plain view or concealed, if they leave their home county.

    Additionally, Stehle reminded Arkansans that there are still places in the state where it is illegal to carry a firearm:

    There are some prohibited places under this law. While it isn’t attached to the concealed handgun license prohibited places, there are other places in state law where carrying a firearm is prohibited. Such places include posted places (places with signs), federal gun free school zones, other school campuses, the State Capitol grounds, airports, school bus stops, and possibly others.

    We encourage people to consult with their attorneys before carrying a firearm openly or concealed under this law. It is brand new, and to our knowledge it hasn’t been tested. Again – it doesn’t take effect until this summer. We will watch closely for violations of citizens’ rights under this Act.

    It is remarkable that this bill made it all the way through the legislature without any serious opposition or media attention. It got 28 out of 35 votes in the Senate and did not garner a single dissenting vote. In the House, it earned over 80% support with only one dissenting vote. Now that the bill has become law — and now that we’re openly describing the fundamental changes it creates — it will surely receive more media attention. Legislators may even come under public pressure to repeal the law when they reconvene briefly in May. But perhaps we’ve gotten a rare, candid look at the new conservative policies we might see coming through the legislature without undue pressure from the governor, the mainstream media, and outside interest groups (Arkansas Carry, a pro-gun rights advocacy group, wasn’t even involved in its passage). Perhaps this entire saga could serve as a case study for what types of pro-liberty policies we could see in a world where legislators’ primary interest is passing good legislation that upholds our Constitution, independent of outside influence.

    In addition, I hope this story in particular serves as a reminder to each one of you reading that The Arkansas Project is a must-read policy blog (if I do say so myself). You’ve gotten (and will continue to get) news and analysis here that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Thank you all for your continued readership and support. We have a lot of work left to do for liberty in Arkansas.

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    Shot off an email to Stephen Meeks who was one of the sponsors of the Bill to ask him if this Bill will actually let Arkansans Openly Carry without a CCL outside of their county of residence. I'm still in shock over this...

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    De Facto Legal?

    Since there is no mention whatsoever in HB 1700 about prohibiting Open Carry or Open Carry being illegal, would that no make Open Carry de facto legal?

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    The bill gives Arkansas Constitutional carry. I'm assuming it happened because the Arkansas police and prosecutors don't know how to think/read. Cops aren't generally the brightest but top cops have an insatiable universal lust to disarm the chattel. Prosecutors even more so. If this were Florida, the law would be repealed after the predictable media conniption fit.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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    meet and great

    Arkyhog where do you want to meet once this law takes affect?

    I'll meet you when you take your annual fishing trip so we can both let our guns hang out!
    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    If I understand this all correctly, if you wake up in the morning and do NOT leave your county of residence, then you CANNOT Constituional Carry. Is that about right?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    If I understand this all correctly, if you wake up in the morning and do NOT leave your county of residence, then you CANNOT Constituional Carry. Is that about right?
    Only if you talk and tell them that you are not leaving the county during your "journey."

    Once again, it is a law that will only really work for those who first know the law, and second, know how to handle police.

    But for that minority, I guess it's a win; but with lots of hassles, I predict.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    If I understand this all correctly, if you wake up in the morning and do NOT leave your county of residence, then you CANNOT Constituional Carry. Is that about right?
    If we are consistent in interpretation of all tools mentioned in this law it is clearly constitutional carry. (But INAL)

    Under curant law

    5-73-120. Carrying a weapon.

    (a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.

    1)This law is a prohibition for carrying a knife of any type; yet, people carry knives.

    http://www.akti.org/news/arkansas-re...-knife-statute

    (3) (A) "Knife" means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious physical injury or death by cutting or stabbing.
    (B) "Knife" includes a dirk, sword or spear in a cane, razor, ice pick, throwing star, switchblade, and butterfly knife.


    2)Under this law a person can be charged with carrying a club because, again if we are consistent, this law is a prohibition in even carrying a club.

    (1) "Club" means any instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious physical injury or death by striking, including a blackjack, billie, and sap;


    What I am saying is if I can carry a knife under this law I can carry a gun as long as my intent is not to use on another person.What the new Act 746 attempts to do is clarify the original intent of 5-73-120 and that is prohibit the unlawful use of such tools. IMHO

    Again, not a lawyer but that's how I see it.

    I've been carrying a 4" fixed blade knife in Arkansas for years.
    Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my emotions!

    I guess that's the difference between no crime and "stopping" a crime in progress. I prefer no crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    If I understand this all correctly, if you wake up in the morning and do NOT leave your county of residence, then you CANNOT Constituional Carry. Is that about right?
    The journey section is only part of the change.

    The far more important change, which creates constitutional carry, changes the current "possessing a weapon" standard (possessing a handgun without a license is prime facie evidence of guilt). The new version makes it so that it's only a crime to carry a handgun intending to use it unlawfully, and the burden is on the state to prove intent at trial.

    That applies at all times and places (except those places firearms are prohibited by law), open or concealed, licensed or not.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 04-26-2013 at 11:43 PM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    The journey section is only part of the change.

    The far more important change, which creates constitutional carry, changes the current "possessing a weapon" standard (possessing a handgun without a license is prime facie evidence of guilt). The new version makes it so that it's only a crime to carry a handgun intending to use it unlawfully, and the burden is on the state to prove intent at trial.

    That applies at all times and places (except those places firearms are prohibited by law), open or concealed, licensed or not.
    Got it! Intent = intent
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Any news?

    Anybody heard anything other than what was already on the news? I would love to know what Beebe is doing/thinking and how he is going to try and spin this to his advantage. Would love to see him fire Stan dimWitt over this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Packer fan View Post
    If we are consistent in interpretation of all tools mentioned in this law it is clearly constitutional carry. (But INAL)

    Under curant law

    5-73-120. Carrying a weapon.

    (a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.

    1)This law is a prohibition for carrying a knife of any type; yet, people carry knives.

    http://www.akti.org/news/arkansas-re...-knife-statute

    (3) (A) "Knife" means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious physical injury or death by cutting or stabbing.
    (B) "Knife" includes a dirk, sword or spear in a cane, razor, ice pick, throwing star, switchblade, and butterfly knife.


    2)Under this law a person can be charged with carrying a club because, again if we are consistent, this law is a prohibition in even carrying a club.

    (1) "Club" means any instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious physical injury or death by striking, including a blackjack, billie, and sap;


    What I am saying is if I can carry a knife under this law I can carry a gun as long as my intent is not to use on another person.What the new Act 746 attempts to do is clarify the original intent of 5-73-120 and that is prohibit the unlawful use of such tools. IMHO

    Again, not a lawyer but that's how I see it.

    I've been carrying a 4" fixed blade knife in Arkansas for years.
    While I am no longer an Arkansas resident, I lived in Hot Springs from 1977 through 2005. For many years I carried a hog-leg in my vehicle, along with some bulls-eye targets, extra ammo and eye and ear protection. Got my Arkansas CCW in 1998. I am extremely happy Arkansas has moved to constitutional carry. We frequently return to Arkansas as our oldest son still lives there and is, BTW, a Arkansas CCW instructor.

    An Honorary Arkie

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    Quote Originally Posted by sopranos27 View Post
    Since there is no mention whatsoever in HB 1700 about prohibiting Open Carry or Open Carry being illegal, would that no make Open Carry de facto legal?
    Hello sopranos27:

    I am sorry for your loss. James was an enjoyable actor to watch on TV and the big screen.

    First off, IANL!!!

    The various courts throughout the country have ruled that a person can only violate a law, when that law specifically makes something illegal.

    If OC or Constitutional Carry is not specifically codified as illegal, then it is legal. There is nothing de facto about this law.

    markm

    Qualifier: I have only read AC section 5-73-119 and AC section 5-73-120; therefore, my opinion is invalidated if this subject is codified in other AC sections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Got it! Intent = intent
    Hey Grapeshot,

    It has been a long time!

    I am going iterate KBCraig's opinin in a different way--hopefully, my point gets across.

    Please read AC section 5-73-119(e). It gives examples of what is legal--it does not make anything illegal--it does not mention any penalty, or crime. It is purely advisary.

    IMHO, KBCraig has it right-on. The MONEY PHRASE of Arkansas Code section 5-7-120 is "...for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the hangun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person."

    Self defense is legal!

    Question: Does this law make it illegal to attempt to shoot, or club, or knife, a dog or coyote unlawfully? I don't think so. This law only refers to "people" as attempted victims. I am sure AF&G has regulations for that, but this law doesn't.

    D. Altes, Files, et allia are the epitome of old and cunning, beats young and dumb, almost everytime.

    markm

    Qualifier: I am assuming that their are no other AC sections that codify as illegal open carry, possesion, or transport of a firearm in Arkansas.
    Last edited by MarkBofRAdvocate; 06-27-2013 at 05:40 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBofRAdvocate View Post
    Qualifier: I am assuming that their are no other AC sections that codify as illegal open carry, possesion, or transport of a firearm in Arkansas.
    There are places that are off limits to carry, and this doesn't negate those restrictions. So, don't go open carrying at the capitol building!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    There are places that are off limits to carry, and this doesn't negate those restrictions. So, don't go open carrying at the capitol building!
    Hello KBCraig:

    Yeah, I read those sections; however, thanks for claifying that.

    Are you from Arkansas? Have you heard anything lately about this law?

    markm

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBofRAdvocate View Post
    Hello KBCraig:

    Yeah, I read those sections; however, thanks for claifying that.

    Are you from Arkansas? Have you heard anything lately about this law?

    markm
    I am from Arkansas, temporarily displaced just west of the line in Texarkana (for the last 24 years), and eagerly awaiting the move to my adopted home in New Hampshire.

    All the best information about the law, including arguments on both sides, is at arkansascarry.com.

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    I just talked to a friend of mine who is a crittenden county sheriff for many years and a strong 2nd supporter. He said he would wait till there is a "test" case and trial. I wear a suit everyday and drive a company car that gets replaced every year and ive gotten all but violated by our local police so i can imagine the field day they would have with OC.

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    Dont know why this is being called constitutional carry. You have to be out of your own county. Still would be awesome though.

    Anyway anyone try it yet. I am sure many people will be arrested and spend 10s of thousands of dollars on court costs over the next few years fighting their arrest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdjames View Post
    Dont know why this is being called constitutional carry. You have to be out of your own county.
    That's incorrect. The law changes the definition of "carrying a weapon", so that it only applies when carrying a handgun, knife, or club with an intent to use it illegally as a weapon against another person.

    County lines are irrelevant, since there is no offense committed outside the new definition.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 07-03-2013 at 06:40 PM.

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    'Journey'? This isn't Constitutional Carry... it's gobbledegook clutter. Ummm... this 'intent' thing is an open door to whatever the cops say it is. I'll stay clear of Arkansas 'til y'all get it sorted out.

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    seems to me that if you are going to push the open carry angle (which the State AG believes the law does not allow for OC) then you guys in Ark should get a group of 15 to 20 open carriers at a time, the Gov is less interested in harassing groups then individuals.
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    'Journey'? This isn't Constitutional Carry... it's gobbledegook clutter. Ummm... this 'intent' thing is an open door to whatever the cops say it is. I'll stay clear of Arkansas 'til y'all get it sorted out.
    The "journey" definition is a distraction in this case. The word has been undefined in Arkansas law, and we needed a definition.

    The meat here is the addition of the requirement to show intent to employ the weapon unlawfully. That's the clarification that Denny Altes, the bill's author, was making.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    seems to me that if you are going to push the open carry angle (which the State AG believes the law does not allow for OC) then you guys in Ark should get a group of 15 to 20 open carriers at a time, the Gov is less interested in harassing groups then individuals.
    I'm from Arkansas originally, but moved to Virginia about 2 months ago. I was in the state for a funeral earlier this week, and OC'd briefly around my hometown of Harrison. No one seemed to notice. I also "concealed" my sidearm very poorly for a trip to Walmart and several stops for fuel and food between Harrison and Little Rock - I'm certain at least twice I was "made", but as far as I know nothing came of it.

    I was also unfortunately unable to corral my county's sheriff at church last Sunday, as I was going to ask him what he'd heard about Act 746. I did call the county dispatcher, and they said that they were unaware of any specific training re: Act 746, and that the person to call would be the county prosecuting attorney. I called her and got her voicemail, and didn't receive a call back.

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