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Thread: Arkansas Traveler: "Gun enthusiast attempts to repeal open-carry ban"

  1. #1
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    May 2006
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA

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    Hit this poll here first at

    Do you support an open-carry gun law in Arkansas?


    Gun enthusiast attempts to repeal open-carry ban

    Jack Willems
    Issue date: 10/20/08

    While never being a victim of gun violence, Brian Martin of Jonesboro said he hears about it getting closer to his home every day.

    "If I can't live, what can I do?" Martin asked rhetorically.

    What Martin is doing is attempting to change state law to make it legal for him and others to openly carry guns. Arkansas law specifically prohibits the carrying of handguns outside a person's home or car unless that person has a concealed weapons permit, is hunting using a handgun permitted by the State Game and Fish Commission, or is acting in the capacity of a law enforcement official, security guard, correctional officer or member of the armed forces. The law does not allow the open carry of handguns for those not in law enforcement.

    Martin is the founder of a movement to change that law.

    "I believe something can be done," Martin said. "This is the voice of the people."

    Martin said he believes that the open carry of handguns should be allowed because it is a crime deterrent. If given the choice between attacking an armed or unarmed individual, criminals would choose to attack the unarmed individual, Martin said. Concealing firearms impedes the ability of the person carrying the gun to use it in self defense, he said.

    "If you are stalled even for a second, you are losing seconds that could possibly cost you a life," Martin said.

    While people have the right to defend themselves, defense in such a situation has more to do with training than it does with reaction time, said Greg Tabor, chief of the Fayetteville Police Department. Open carry of hand guns would make it more likely that a gun fight would break out during an incident of road rage, Tabor said. The state of Arkansas has significant laws that work quite well, he said.

    "I don't think we need to go back to the old West where everyone has a gun at their side," Tabor said.

    Repealing the open-carry ban would not add to safety, said Gary Crain, public information officer at the UA Police Department. There was a time in this country's history when the open carry of handguns was common, but that has changed and for good reason, Crain said.

    Crain also does not believe in the self-defense argument, he said.

    "It could lead to who has the biggest gun and the fastest hand," Crain said.

    Firing at other people is not something gun owners do lightly because the penalties for murder would dissuade them, Martin said. Furthermore, the state already allows people to carry concealed weapons, and how the gun is carried will not affect how the person carrying it behaves, Martin said.

    "Concealed carry is half of my rights," Martin said. "I want all of my rights."

    Gun enthusiasts at regional shooting ranges and gun shops have a variety of different views on the issue. While open carry would mean that criminals would know if their target had a weapon, it would also make it easier to take a gun from someone, said Will Clipps, who works at Ozark Sportsman Supplies.

    The open carry of guns seems reasonable because it is no less dangerous than the concealed carry of guns, said Jon Hodoway, an area man who regularly participates in shooting competitions.

    Jeff Meckley, another gun enthusiast, believes open carry should be allowed anywhere except schools, bars and airports, though he also thinks that there should be a background check on anyone who wants to buy a gun, he said.

    "There are a lot of crazies out there," Meckley said.

    Martin's petition needs signatures to succeed, and so far he has 482. Martin is not looking to get the petition on any ballot; rather he is hoping it will attract the attention of the state legislature, he said.

    Arkansas is one of six states with a complete ban on the open carry of handguns.

    "Originally, I assumed that only about six states would allow the open carry of handguns, and that we would be one of them," Martin said. "To the contrary, it was the other way around."

    Those interested in signing Martin's petition can find it online at

  2. #2
    Regular Member
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    Mar 2008
    North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

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    An opinion piece by The Traveler Editorial Board stating the current laws should be left alone...
    Chris Matthews
    Executive Director | Arkansas Carry
    p: 501-291-4839

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Southeast, Missouri, USA

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    80/20 in favor of OC
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  4. #4
    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Prescott, Arizona, USA

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    Hit it, it's still 80/20 pro

  5. #5
    Regular Member MetalChris's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    SW Ohio

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    I just hit's now 75-25, still in favor.

  6. #6
    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Navasota, Texas, USA

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    76% yes 24% no YEEEEEHAAAAW
    The thing about common sense ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

  7. #7
    Regular Member
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    Jun 2008
    Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA

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    The poll has ended at 74%-26% in favor of open carry.

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