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Thread: when did arkansas loose this right

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    i grew up in arkansas and open carried alot and never had a problem. as i remember back then is was illegal to conceil a handgun. even in your vehicle it had to be in open veiw.

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    From what I have read and heard by natives, the right was penciled out about 20 years ago when the concealed carry laws where written in. I have only been here for about <10 years. I have read most all of Arkansas law but haven’t found much on the “transition.”

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    Arkansas concealed carry came in 1995

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    Chickenwang wrote:
    From what I have read and heard by natives, the right was penciled out about 20 years ago when the concealed carry laws where written in. I have only been here for about <10 years. I have read most all of Arkansas law but haven’t found much on the “transition.”
    Sounbds like what happenned in Florida

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    dirtrooster wrote:
    Igrew up in Arkansas and open carried and never had a problem. asI remember back then is was illegal to conceal a handgun. Even in your vehicle it had to be in open view.
    It was never let loose.

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    You guys let me know...qoute the text in existing Arkansas law, and I'll be the first to test it. Mind you...I've been way too deep into Arkansas laws and I find nothing. The state constitution as well. If I get real hard facts, I'll be one. I'm serious. From what I've seen, some of you don't even live in Arkansas.

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    Ram Rod wrote:
    You guys let me know...qoute the text in existing Arkansas law, and I'll be the first to test it. Mind you...I've been way too deep into Arkansas laws and I find nothing. The state constitution as well. If I get real hard facts, I'll be one. I'm serious. From what I've seen, some of you don't even live in Arkansas.
    Would be nice to see on your profile where you live - just saying.
    It helps others when reading or responding to your posts and it benefits the moderators.

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    My bad...not sure how to do that yet. But just to inform the forum....I live in Arkansas! Aint that strange? Crawford county to be more exact. I noticed some in this thread appear to live out of state.

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    Ram Rod wrote:
    My bad...not sure how to do that yet. But just to inform the forum....I live in Arkansas! Aint that strange? Crawford county to be more exact. I noticed some in this thread appear to live out of state.
    Not bad - new, that's good as you aren't tainted yet
    Profile edit info PMd to you.

    Lots of people read and post to different state forums - this gives flavor and benefit of other's experience. Insider's view is invaluable though.

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

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    Ram Rod wrote:
    You guys let me know...qoute the text in existing Arkansas law, and I'll be the first to test it. Mind you...I've been way too deep into Arkansas laws and I find nothing. The state constitution as well. If I get real hard facts, I'll be one. I'm serious. From what I've seen, some of you don't even live in Arkansas.
    Yes, I live in Texas but my parents and other family live in AR and I just got back from there after spending Christmas with them. I do not claim to be an expert on AR law and I'm not a lawyer, but since I'm there frequently I have tried to understand the state of the law regarding carrying.

    Here's the law the prohibits carrying a handgun generally.

    =======================

    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.

    (b)As used in this section:

    (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;

    (2)“Handgun” means any firearm with a barrel length of less than twelve inches (12″) that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one (1) hand; and

    (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.



    (c)It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that at the time of the act of carrying a weapon:

    (1)The person is in his or her own dwelling, place of business, or on property in which he or she has a possessory or proprietary interest;

    (2)The person is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or member of the armed forces acting in the course and scope of his or her official duties;

    (3)The person is assisting a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or member of the armed forces acting in the course and scope of his or her official duties pursuant to the direction or request of the law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or member of the armed forces;

    (4)The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person's checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon;

    (5)The person is a licensed security guard acting in the course and scope of his or her duties;

    (6)The person is hunting game with a handgun that may be hunted with a handgun under rules and regulations of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission or is en route to or from a hunting area for the purpose of hunting game with a handgun;

    (7)The person is a certified law enforcement officer; or

    (8)The person is in a motor vehicle and the person has a license to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to § 5-73-301 et seq.

    (d)(1)Any person who carries a weapon into an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) or imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both.

    (2)Otherwise, carrying a weapon is a Class A misdemeanor.

    ===============================

    Here's why Arkansas law is so horrible:

    1) "with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person." What does this mean? Certainly one who must defend themselves does have the "purpose to employ the handgun ... as a weapon against a person" or does it mean you must have a CRIMINAL purpose?

    2) "(8)The person is in a motor vehicle and the person has a license to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to § 5-73-301 et seq". What does "in a motor vehicle" mean? Your license isn't good if traveling on foot? It isn't good when you step out of your car and into a restaurant? Certainly that's not what the Legislature intended as demonstrated by the sections in the Concealed Handgun License section discussed below. This is what you get with sloppy lawmaking where there is a prohibition/restriction put into one section that isn't fully erased when an exemption is created in another (Texas is very bad about this too).

    3) Notice the alcohol beverage part of (d)(1) doesn't distinguish between on premises vs. package stores. However, the Concealed Handgun License section (5-73-306) does:

    "(12)Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant as defined in § 3-9-402, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises;

    (13)Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant as defined in § 3-9-402, where beer or light wine is consumed on the premises;"

    4) Finally, regarding open carry, having a CHL seems to exempt you from the crime of carrying a weapon (at least while you are ina motor vehicle) but there is no crime for failing to conceal your weapon (unlike Texas).Nor is itlisted as a reason for revocation. Does this mean that, while violating the spirit of the CHL law, you would NOT be violating the letter? Such a technical argument might work in court but no police officer will debate it with you if you are arrested for open carry.

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    all of Arkansas gun laws are confusing to say the least. Unfortunately there isn't any organization in Arkansas that seems interested in Actively pursuing and change in the laws. ARCCA hasn't done anything really to help restore any rights as far as I have seen. What is needed is and group like Georgiacarry.org. I'm a member of that organization right now and they have done outstanding things here. When I return to Arkansas I hope to start something similar if I can generate enough interest. The main purpose of it would be to change Arkansas laws.

    "when upon a journey.." what does that even mean? I can carry it in my car? What about on my person if I'm on a journey? what constitutes a journey? If I am on a journey can I carry just like I had a permit? These are just a few examples of how confusing these laws are.

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    Here are some things I have going. More to come.



    In my research of Arkansas right to openly carry firearms I contacted the Library of Congress. I asked their librarian for assistance, here’s the correspondence.






    Patron: I am doing research on Arkansas right to openly carry firearms. What I'm trying to find currently is when and how Arkansas lost that right.

    Librarian 1: Thank you for your question.

    Much of Arkansas law governing weapons and firearms is found in sections 5-73-101 through 5-73-133 of the Arkansas Code. See <http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Search...01.Definitions. > for 5-73-101. You can use the "Prev Doc" and "Next Doc" to navigate between sections or use the table of contents on the screen on the left.

    To find out when the firearms laws were changed, you may have to perform a legislative history of the laws. This is best performed at a law library that has session laws, the text of laws as they were passed by the legislature and approved by the governor, and/or superseded state codes (to see what the law looked like before and after the law changed). Unfortunately, the closest law libraries, the Arkansas Supreme Court Law Library <http://courts.arkansas.gov/library/index.cfm > and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock / Pulaski County Law Library <http://lawlibrary.ualr.edu/ >are in Little Rock. You might contact the Arkansas State University law library to see if they have the materials to conduct state legislative research. See <http://www.library.astate.edu/ >

    I hope this answer has been helpful to your research.

    Public Services Division
    Law Library of Congress





    So my question for you is, “Do you have the materials to conduct state legislative research?” I am familiar with section 5-73-101 through 5-73-133 of the Arkansas Code, but it doesn’t provide the information I need regarding past laws and the transition to the current law. Any direction, information or assistance would be greatly appreciated.



    Brian Martin


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    sorry repost.... i double clicked

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    Chickenwang wrote:

    So my question for you is, “Do you have the materials to conduct state legislative research?” I am familiar with section 5-73-101 through 5-73-133 of the Arkansas Code, but it doesn’t provide the information I need regarding past laws and the transition to the current law. Any direction, information or assistance would be greatly appreciated.



    Brian Martin
    At the bottom of the statute, there is a reference and a date. I believe that this is when that particular section was last modified. I only briefly looked at the sections that I posted above but I remember 1975 and also some references from the 1940s. You might want to check your local library. They might have microfishe of statues from years past. You also might want to check eBay for someone selling on old Game & Fish hunters guide or, if you are really lucky, gun law book. Good luck! I'll bet that it was lost relatively recently, unlike Texas where the violence after reconstruction prompted the change.

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    I know one part of the Arkansas law has changed concerning knives. There was some court action in 2007 that disputed knives used for work purposes and the allowed length carried, and due to this court action there is NO current law in Arkansas dealing with knives, whether carried on the side or concealed. Also, the concealed carry section of Arkansas law has changed where it deals with carrying a concealed weapon into a building where a state office is located. The law used to say you couldn't carry into that building; now it says you can't carry into the state OFFICE, but you can carry in the building if not prohibited by other sections of the concealed carry law. I can't quote these changes in law, but my concealed carry class instructor informed us of these changes.

    I am VERY interested in knowing how Arkansas law covers open carry. I can't find where it specifically says I can't carry on my hip. I live on the outskirts of Fort Smith, and wonder if I could walk to Fort Chaffee with a handgun on me in the open. I am taking a JOURNEY when I do that, and I don't believe any city regulations cover it.

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    Arkyhog wrote:
    I know one part of the Arkansas law has changed concerning knives. There was some court action in 2007 that disputed knives used for work purposes and the allowed length carried, and due to this court action there is NO current law in Arkansas dealing with knives, whether carried on the side or concealed. Also, the concealed carry section of Arkansas law has changed where it deals with carrying a concealed weapon into a building where a state office is located. The law used to say you couldn't carry into that building; now it says you can't carry into the state OFFICE, but you can carry in the building if not prohibited by other sections of the concealed carry law. I can't quote these changes in law, but my concealed carry class instructor informed us of these changes.

    I am VERY interested in knowing how Arkansas law covers open carry. I can't find where it specifically says I can't carry on my hip. I live on the outskirts of Fort Smith, and wonder if I could walk to Fort Chaffee with a handgun on me in the open. I am taking a JOURNEY when I do that, and I don't believe any city regulations cover it.
    The problem with "a journey" and "traveling" is that there is so much discretion to the LEO and the courts. You could have to problem at all even if an LEO sees you. You could also be arrested, have your gun seized, lose your CHL, pay attorneys fees and MAYBE have the court agree with you that you were on a journey. Given the experience with "traveling" in Texas, a walking trip of limited distance would likely NOT be given such a status.

    Good luck!

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    The travel law and a "journey". The Journey has been defined to me several times, and it is in writing somewhere....is any time the person leaves their circle of friends, community, or family and one way distance is 20+ miles. The restaurant/alcohol issues have been amended and I believe they used to state if....50% or more of the sales are alcohol, then........ but restaurant carry is now okay.
    There are also things called the latter of the law, and the intent of the law, and you'll run into the same thing everywhere you go. Lately I've been hashing over the posted signs like this

    Which in effect do not follow the state's criteria of a written posting and do not follow the letter of the law, but the intent is rather obvious. I'll continue to carry into these establishments while following the law so far as I'm concerned.
    http://www.asp.state.ar.us/divisions/rs/rs_chl_law.html

    Okay then...as for the weapon in vehicle being employed as a weapon in definition actually means that you have the weapon with you in the vehicle with the intent of committing a crime. That is actually the only time a pistol is considered a 'weapon'....with intent to commit a crime. Placed there as a self defense tool....it is not a weapon by the letter of the law......intent is needed to determine the status. We shouldn't make things more complicated than they already are.


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    I was taught in my concealed carry class that the gun with a circle through it sign is not a legal sign. Cox Communications has it in their front window, and I would ignore it if I went in there (I wish I didn't have to do business with them, period!).

    I agree with you on all of the above, except the 20 mile one-way thing. That is not defined anywhere in Arkansas law that I can find. The definition of leaving your circle of friends and neighborhood is included in the definition, however. Also... when you are going on a journey, and you have reached your destination, do you immediately become a gun-carrying criminal when you have reached the end of your journey? But it seems you could use the "journey" section of the state law to beat any gun charges made against you, as long as you had a good lawyer, lots of money and time to appeal every conviction.

    Arkansas's state gun laws need re-written! This "journey" word is confusing, and as stated above can be left up to LEOs and judges to read however they want. The constitution needs to have their "right to bear arms" article written to protect gun-owners of all kinds. I would like to see the law include open carry, concealed carry without a permit in vehicles and concealed carry with permit. I kind of like New Mexico's gun laws altogether.

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    I went to the Jonesboro Library today to check out a book. It was the Encyclopedia of Gun Control and Gun Rights by Glenn H. Utter. It didn’t turn up any good leads in the hour I spent with it. It was a reference book so I couldn’t check it out. The closest thing I found to my research was that Arkansas transitioned to a shall–issue state in ’95, along with several others, including Texas and Oklahoma to name a couple.

    In my research I have ran across a gentleman by the name of Don Hamrick. I have just sent a letter to him to ask for his insight on Arkansas gun laws. I will report back any good leads I get, but I get the feeling that if anyone would know Don would be among the first to ask.




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    Chickenwang wrote:
    ...I will report back any good leads I get...


    "....answers to this particular question, "When and how did Arkansas lose her right to openly carry firearms?" If you could shed some light on this I would greatly appreciate it."



    Don Hamrick

    My focus on the Second Amendment as been at the federal level, i.e., National Open Carry Handgun. I have very little Arkansas-specific information. You will have to download my court documents from my blog to find the info you want.

    http://americancommondefencereview.wordpress.com/is the address to his blog. I have read some of his stuff, mainly looking for answers. I hate it but his reply makes total since his stuff is federal. Now all we can do issearch his blog for info. I'll read when I can, tell me what you find.


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    I'm going to have to be honest here, I don't really care when we lost the right to OC. I am concerned with getting that right back though. We are one of the few states that doesn't allow OC of a firearm without a permit. That needs to be changed.

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    gruntpain1775 wrote:
    I'm going to have to be honest here, I don't really care when we lost the right to OC. I am concerned with getting that right back though. We are one of the few states that doesn't allow OC of a firearm without a permit. That needs to be changed.



    Grunt it’s kind of like losing your car keys. What is the first thing you do, you try to remember the last place you had them right. I’m not saying you couldn’t find them without doing this but it certainly helps speed up the process. This information could help us structure our argument and give us direction in getting them back. It’s not useless work but if you feel your efforts would be better suited in other areas of research or publicity, well then by all means tackle another aspect of this.

    In addition to this information it may be worthwhile to compose a complete list of all the unclear and undefined portions of the laws. I think this would be a good little list to have for an interview. This list should make it easy for others to see the train wreck that is Arkansas gun laws. SA-TX has made a good start of this earlier in this thread. Lets make sure we have ALL the errors, then work on cleaning them up for presentation.

    I also noticed you didn't make any suggestions as to some other avenues we could take. I am anxious to hear those as well. Thanks for showing an interest.


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    Train wreck of laws is being to nice.

    Makeing a list of laws that needs to be changed is a great idea, but I think when it gets presented to the legislators it would be best to do it in small bites first. Otherwise they would probably try to ignore us a little more.

    You want my suggestion as to an avenue that can be taken, her it is. I'm currently trying to find a good hosting site and start a website for Arkansas gun owners. A place where the laws can be found, bills in General Assembly seen, a forum for the members to discuss things and keep conected. I'm wanting to start an orginization that will represent ALL Arkansas gun owners and go to the Capitol and tell our Senators and Represntatives that this is what the current law is, this is confusing, this needs to be changed to allow this. And if they don't listen that same orginization will challenge the laws of the State in court. I'm a member of a group like that right now in Georgia and they are awsome, and have done a lot to fix georgias laws. I'm moving back home to Arkansas soon and I want Arkansas to have a group that stands up for us Arkansas Gun owners. If we can organize something like that then it will give us more weight in the Capitol to change things.

    As for what the laws are that I think are confusing:

    1. The "upon a journey". Does that mean if I'm going 200 miles away I can carry just like a person who has their permit? Does it apply only if I'm driving?

    2. Where is the law that defines a "certified firearms instructor". I havn't found it yet. Who certifies them? what is the criteria for being a certified firearms instructor? I could call the ASP but I have found that when it comes to laws the last people I would ask are the police.

    Laws that need to be changed:

    1. Training requirement gone completly. (This will be the hardest fight I think)

    2. Since training is a requirment then retired and former military should be able to use their DD214 as proof of training. (This one is currently being looked at by several Reps. I contacted them and they are willing to work on it. I started with this one just to get a "feeler" for who would be more Pro-gun and who would be anti/gun)

    3. Price of a CHCL needs to be reduced. By making it a little more cheaper it will increase the amount of people who want one. We get cheaper permits and the State will make more revenue off of it. I would love to see the permit gone period, but again probably not going to happen. But I would fight for it.

    4. Churches, sports events, and Publicly owned buildings and transportation need to be removed from the areas that I'm not allowed to carry at.

    5. School/college carry. School teachers should be allowed to carry as well as college students and teachers.

    6. Open Carry (preferably without a permit)

    7. Strike the law allowing Counties and cities to ban carry in their parks. Arkansas has pre-empted all gun laws except that one. It needs to be pre-empted as well.

    8. A Law limiting the ASP to no more than 30 days to issue a CHCL.



    Anyone else want to add to that list?

    Does that answer your question chickenwang? Organizing is the key to our success. We need to form a group. ARCCA is there but they have done nothing. We need to organize and be pro-active.

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    gruntpain1775 wrote:
    ...but I think when itgets presented to the legislators it would be best to do it in small bites first...

    ...I'm currently trying to find a good hosting site and start a website for Arkansas gun owners. A place where the laws can be found, bills in General Assembly seen, a forum for the members to discuss things and keep conected. I'm wanting to start an orginization that will represent ALL Arkansas gun owners...


    This petition was not created to be physically submitted to the Governor and Legislature. It was designed to act as a barometer gauging Arkansans support of open carry. When a state generates as much publicity on an issue as Texas has you don’t really have to physically submit your petition, as the key players will have already heard the voice of the people.

    I think an organization for Arkansas would be an invaluable asset. If you need any help in that venture please let me know and I will do what I can to help. I have been watching Arkansas threads to get a feel for who I might ask to assist me in creating such an organization. I am glad to see your willingness to head such an organization. I’m sure you will encounter many others here that will be glad to help as well.

    I agree that many laws need to be changed. I’m not as certain as to whether it’s a good idea or not to take on all these changes at once. I began with open carry and I personally would like to concentrate my efforts there before trying to change the cost of acquiring a CHL. Kind of going back to your "small bites" approach.

    So when are you moving back Grunt?



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    I'm moving back in November. That is when my Service to the Army is up. This year makes 10 years I have been doing it. But yea, November. I am still writing the Arkansas State Legislators and things of that nature while I am here. I'm going to send a letter to former Gov. Huckabee and see if he would be willing to help change the laws as well. I'm sure he could provide a "insider" view on how to do it. I have exchanged e-mails with him before, great guy.

    I agree, Open Carry should be on the top of the list. Do that then it would allow more people eyes on and see that guns are not bad. Would open the door so to speak. It can be done, we just have to work on it.

    Well, if you are willing to help I could sure use it! I'm not very tech savy so I'm trying to find someone who could help set up a website first. I think a forum is the key to getting the word spread. Spread the word=increase membership=more people to help get laws changed. After the website all would be left to do is set up the Orginization portion. Find some, or at least 1, good lawyer who is pro-gun and willing to represent the group and it's members should the need to fight a law in court arises. As far as membership for the group goes I'm thinking a small fee, like 10-15 bucks (after everything is up and running). that money would be used soely for legal action and advertisment for the group. no members or "leaders" of the group make a profit. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Like I said earlier, I'm in Georgia right now. I'm a member of their gun rights group. If we can establish a group in Arkansas like they have hear in Georgia the things we could get changed would be great. georgiacarry.org is the group. you can go to their website and see what they are all about. We need this in Arkansas, and I'm willing to get something started if people are willing to help start it and get it going. I thin kif we do something like this we can be successful.

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