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Thread: Arkansas Travelers Online: Legislator presents state bill allowing open carry of handguns

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    http://www.thetraveleronline.com/med...-3685207.shtml





    Media Credit: Craig Hacker - Wichita Eagle/MCT
    A bill has been introduced in the Arkansas Legislature to legalize the open carry of handguns. Arkansas is currently one of six states in the nation that does not allow open carry.
    With the controversial petition garnering 1,830 signatures, a bill has been filed in the Arkansas Legislature to legalize the open carry of handguns throughout the state.

    House Bill 2184, introduced by Rep. Mark Martin of Prairie Grove, would allow a person to carry a handgun in plain sight on his or her person or in his or her vehicle for the purpose of self defense. The bill would make carrying a weapon an offense only if the person's purpose were to use it against another in situations not in self-defense.

    Arkansas is one of few states that does not allow the open carry of handguns, Martin said. Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina and New York are the only states that prohibit the open carry of firearms, though California and Illinois allow open carry in rural areas, according to OpenCarry.org.

    Many Southern states prohibit the open carry of handguns because of laws passed after the Civil War that were meant to keep guns out of the hands of African Americans, Martin said. The Legal Center Against Gun Violence has found that 19 states, including Arkansas, have at least some restrictions on the open carrying of handguns, said Laura Cutilletta, staff attorney for the center.

    "The Constitution states that we have the right to keep and bare arms," said Brian Martin, who began the petition for open carry in Arkansas. "Also, it is a crime deterrent."

    The bill should get quite a bit of support in the Legislature, Mark Martin said. A poll taken last year found that about 60 percent of Arkansans would support the law, Brian Martin said. Those interested in Brian Martin's organization, Arkansas Open Carry, may visit its Web site at Arkansascarry.com.

    Lindsley Smith, state representative from Fayetteville and UA professor, said she doesn't think the bill has much support in the Legislature. Smith, a member of the Judiciary Committee, will vote against the bill and said she thinks most members of the panel will, as well.

    "I expect it will die in committee," Smith said.

    When the bill was presented to the Judiciary Committee, the panel had concerns about liability, Smith said. If someone has a gun in a holster, then another person or a child could pull the gun out and start firing it, and the owner would be liable in such a situation, Smith said.

    Also, the bill seemed to have no age limit, and some questioned that it would allow people to openly carry machine guns, she said. Smith in particular feared that the language of the bill would allow citizens to carry a handgun anywhere on their person, not just in a holster, she said.

    Mark Martin has pulled the bill down to amend it by adding an age limit, he said. Under the new bill, open carry would be limited to those above the age of 21, Mark Martin said. The suggestion that the bill would allow the open carry of machine guns is "ridiculous," he said.

    "That's been made illegal," he said.

    The legislative session ends April 9, and the Judiciary Committee meets only Tuesdays and Thursdays, so time is running out for Mark Martin to present his bill, Smith said. Martin doubts he will file the bill in time, but he is optimistic that it will eventually become law, he said.

    Smith doubts that possibility.

    "I don't think Arkansans want this law," Smith said. "We have not seen much support for it."

    Last fall, law enforcement officials expressed skepticism at the idea that openly carrying handguns would deter criminals. Though citizens have the right to defend themselves, having the proper training is more important than reaction time in dangerous situations, said Greg Tabor, Fayetteville police chief.

    Also, visible handguns may lead to gunfire in road rage situations where otherwise only words would be exchanged, Tabor said.

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

    "Everyone is not going to be carrying like the old West," Mark Martin said. "It doesn't seem to be an issue in places like Vermont."

    There are still restrictions on where Arkansans could take weapons, he said. There are 50,000 concealed gun licenses in the state, so people are already carrying guns, Brian Martin said.

    "The guns are already here," he said. "Whether or not they are visible is not relevant."

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    Wow, 1,830 signatures and they got a rep to introduce the bill. We had 60,000 signatures in Texas and our bill did not get filed. I am veryglad for Arkansas. Happy to share a border. Just wishmy state could get on board. Good luck Arkansas! I will be praying that you get your Open Carry bill passed this year.

    Also, I am getting sick of this "going back to the Wild West" phrase. It's such an uneducated statement. What would you call it when 44 out of 50 states have something?... A large majority. So, a large majority of this country has Open Carry and they do not have shoot-outs in the street because someone called someone else a liar (or some other typical scene from an old western movie). It's just plain stupid to say that that is what's going to happen in Arkansas, or in Texas, or in any of the other states trying torestore Open Carry. As far as Open Carry goes, we're just trying to catch up with the rest of the country.

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    And of course the actual, historical Old West was not the Wild West invented by dime novels and Hollywood. It would be a wonderful thing to return to the crime rates seen in the actual Old West.


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    88% of the country allows for open carry of some sort, and yet if we get the other 12% that must be the topple point where anarchy reigns, and "blood runs in the streets" of the "old West"......... And the hits just keep on coming.

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    jarodm20 wrote:
    Wow, 1,830 signatures and they got a rep to introduce the bill. We had 60,000 signatures in Texas and our bill did not get filed. I am veryglad for Arkansas. Happy to share a border. Just wishmy state could get on board. Good luck Arkansas! I will be praying that you get your Open Carry bill passed this year.
    That is what immediately jumped out in my mind, as well.

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    jarodm20 wrote:
    Also, I am getting sick of this "going back to the Wild West" phrase. It's such an uneducated statement. What would you call it when 44 out of 50 states have something?... A large majority. So, a large majority of this country has Open Carry and they do not have shoot-outs in the street because someone called someone else a liar (or some other typical scene from an old western movie). It's just plain stupid to say that that is what's going to happen in Arkansas, or in Texas, or in any of the other states trying torestore Open Carry. As far as Open Carry goes, we're just trying to catch up with the rest of the country.
    Yeah, we are getting the "Wild West" phrase a lot here in Arkansas. I attempt to call them out on it every time I hear it, especiallythe news media. Funny thing about the newspapers; they never fail to let the facts get in the way of a great story (I got that quote from a sports reporter)!

    Representative Mark Martin from Rogers, Arkansas is approaching the Open Carry Law legislation from the standpoint the southern states passed open carry bans in the 1870's to disarm blacks. I've been doing a lot of history reading lately, and I have found he is absolutely correct! Ever wonder why 5 of the 6 states which ban open carry are from the south? The laws backfired, however, and now all citizens of Arkansas, Texas,Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolinaare punished by these archaic laws.

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    rant by gun owners opposing open carry in Arkansas - http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/politic...itee-week.html- shows how gun owners are one of our biggest problems - seems to reason that OC will lead to gun carry restrictions in state.

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    This bill was poorly written and had no chance whatsoever of passing through commitee, much less being passed by the House, or by the Senate, or being signed into law by Governor Beebe. It answered none of the remaining voiced concerns of the commitee members, some of whom are gun owners and NRA members, and rather than Representative Martin seeking somecommon ground, he appears to have stubbornly taken an "all or nothing" approach to working on reasonable legislation which would have satisfied the vast majority of those of us who advocate for open carry in Arkansas.

    HB2184 did not fail because "gun owners are our biggest problem." In my view, it failed because the sponsor wasn't good at what he was elected to do and was too stubborn to work with rather than against his fellow colleagues in the House on our behalf. The commitee by majority did their job and made the right decision to wait for a better drafted bill on open carry rather than approve this one.

    Largely as a result of a childish"all or nothing" approach we are left with nothing and now face waiting for another,hopefullymore competent and less naiive sponsor to worktoward drafting an open carrybill which will pass into law and will then bring us in line with the 44 other states which accomodate lawful open carry within their borders.

    Thank you, Representative Martin. Great job.

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    "I don't think we need to go back to the old West where everyone has a gun at their side," Tabor said.
    Godiwn's law states:"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probabilty of a comparison involving Nazi's or Hitler approaches 1."

    I propose a new law: "As media interviews with gun control proponents increase in duration, the probability ofthe person being interviewed comparing exposed carry with the "Old West" approaches 1."

    Theofficer in mydetention broughtthe Old West comparisonup, and I slammed the door shut on him saying,"Crime is farworse now..." To which, they agreed.I doubt if this will be the last time we hear this analogy.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


    Support the 2A in California - Shop Amazon for any item and up to 15% of all purchases go back to the Calguns Foundation. Enter through either of the following links
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    Pass the ammo wrote:
    This bill was poorly written and had no chance whatsoever of passing through commitee, much less being passed by the House, or by the Senate, or being signed into law by Governor Beebe. It answered none of the remaining voiced concerns of the commitee members, some of whom are gun owners and NRA members, and rather than Representative Martin seeking somecommon ground, he appears to have stubbornly taken an "all or nothing" approach to working on reasonable legislation which would have satisfied the vast majority of those of us who advocate for open carry in Arkansas.

    HB2184 did not fail because "gun owners are our biggest problem." In my view, it failed because the sponsor wasn't good at what he was elected to do and was too stubborn to work with rather than against his fellow colleagues in the House on our behalf. The commitee by majority did their job and made the right decision to wait for a better drafted bill on open carry rather than approve this one.

    Largely as a result of a childish"all or nothing" approach we are left with nothing and now face waiting for another,hopefullymore competent and less naiive sponsor to worktoward drafting an open carrybill which will pass into law and will then bring us in line with the 44 other states which accomodate lawful open carry within their borders.

    Thank you, Representative Martin. Great job.
    Sheesh, that's a lot of conclusory statements for a first time poster.

    Most of the 44 states allow open carry without any permit requirement. That's what Arkansas deserves as well.

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    Pass the ammo wrote:
    This bill was poorly written and had no chance whatsoever of passing through commitee, much less being passed by the House, or by the Senate, or being signed into law by Governor Beebe. It answered none of the remaining voiced concerns of the commitee members, some of whom are gun owners and NRA members, and rather than Representative Martin seeking somecommon ground, he appears to have stubbornly taken an "all or nothing" approach to working on reasonable legislation which would have satisfied the vast majority of those of us who advocate for open carry in Arkansas.

    HB2184 did not fail because "gun owners are our biggest problem." In my view, it failed because the sponsor wasn't good at what he was elected to do and was too stubborn to work with rather than against his fellow colleagues in the House on our behalf. The commitee by majority did their job and made the right decision to wait for a better drafted bill on open carry rather than approve this one.

    Largely as a result of a childish"all or nothing" approach we are left with nothing and now face waiting for another,hopefullymore competent and less naiive sponsor to worktoward drafting an open carrybill which will pass into law and will then bring us in line with the 44 other states which accomodate lawful open carry within their borders.

    Thank you, Representative Martin. Great job.
    And I would say you don't know what you are talking about. Representative Mark Martin did what he promised he would do; present a bill which could not be picked apart in House Judiciary Committee on legal questions. The committee did not present one objection concerning whether this bill would pass legal challenges. Read the bill. It started out with 75 pages. He made it lean and mean, and it would have restored ourSecond Amendment rights. Why should we grovel for anything less?

    The Second Amendment says nothing about permitsor political negotiations for our rights. Did blacks in America settle for anything less than being treated ashuman beingsunder the U.S. Constitution?

    I think you should re-think your priorities, convictions and principles.


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    Mike wrote:
    If someone has a gun in a holster, then another person or a child could pull the gun out and start firing it, and the owner would be liable in such a situation, Smith said.
    This person, by stating the above, just proves what an idiot they are and deserves to be slapped across the face.
    President/ Founding Member
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    Mike wrote:
    Pass the ammo wrote:
    This bill was poorly written and had no chance whatsoever of passing through commitee, much less being passed by the House, or by the Senate, or being signed into law by Governor Beebe. It answered none of the remaining voiced concerns of the commitee members, some of whom are gun owners and NRA members, and rather than Representative Martin seeking somecommon ground, he appears to have stubbornly taken an "all or nothing" approach to working on reasonable legislation which would have satisfied the vast majority of those of us who advocate for open carry in Arkansas.

    HB2184 did not fail because "gun owners are our biggest problem." In my view, it failed because the sponsor wasn't good at what he was elected to do and was too stubborn to work with rather than against his fellow colleagues in the House on our behalf. The commitee by majority did their job and made the right decision to wait for a better drafted bill on open carry rather than approve this one.

    Largely as a result of a childish"all or nothing" approach we are left with nothing and now face waiting for another,hopefullymore competent and less naiive sponsor to worktoward drafting an open carrybill which will pass into law and will then bring us in line with the 44 other states which accomodate lawful open carry within their borders.

    Thank you, Representative Martin. Great job.
    Sheesh, that's a lot of conclusory statements for a first time poster.

    Most of the 44 states allow open carry without any permit requirement. That's what Arkansas deserves as well.
    I may be a "first time poster," but I've also been walking this earth for 57+ years, so I think I have enough road beneath my feet to allow me to express my opinions. Thanks. Also, your signature says you live in VA, so how does AR law even concern you?

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    yale wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    If someone has a gun in a holster, then another person or a child could pull the gun out and start firing it, and the owner would be liable in such a situation, Smith said.
    This person, by stating the above, just proves what an idiot they are and deserves to be slapped across the face.
    Your calling someone an idiot and suggesting thatthey should be "slapped across the face" for voicing an opinion is ONE reason that a bill for open carry should include proper instruction, background checks, and licensing to screen out people who would act so childishly emotional and without thought of consequence. It's also ONE reason many of the general public view those of us who enjoy guns as "gun nuts." Grow up.

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    I may be a "first time poster," but I've also been walking this earth for 57+ years, so I think I have enough road beneath my feet to allow me to express my opinions. Thanks. Also, your signature says you live in VA, so how does AR law even concern you?
    Ammo, maybe you should start with this page if you want to know who Mike is...

    http://opencarry.org/press.html

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    Arkyhog wrote:
    Pass the ammo wrote:
    This bill was poorly written and had no chance whatsoever of passing through commitee, much less being passed by the House, or by the Senate, or being signed into law by Governor Beebe. It answered none of the remaining voiced concerns of the commitee members, some of whom are gun owners and NRA members, and rather than Representative Martin seeking somecommon ground, he appears to have stubbornly taken an "all or nothing" approach to working on reasonable legislation which would have satisfied the vast majority of those of us who advocate for open carry in Arkansas.

    HB2184 did not fail because "gun owners are our biggest problem." In my view, it failed because the sponsor wasn't good at what he was elected to do and was too stubborn to work with rather than against his fellow colleagues in the House on our behalf. The commitee by majority did their job and made the right decision to wait for a better drafted bill on open carry rather than approve this one.

    Largely as a result of a childish"all or nothing" approach we are left with nothing and now face waiting for another,hopefullymore competent and less naiive sponsor to worktoward drafting an open carrybill which will pass into law and will then bring us in line with the 44 other states which accomodate lawful open carry within their borders.

    Thank you, Representative Martin. Great job.
    I think you should re-think your priorities, convictions and principles.
    Thanks for your suggestion. I did so, and I wouldn't change a thing. Perhaps you might take your own suggestion, and we might have a bill that would pass scrutiny.


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    Ammo, think about this for a second. Let's say Mark Martin caved and said we should allow only CHCL holders to be able to open carry. I believe they STILL would have voted him out of that committee room. What would you be left with? Myself, I believe the Second Amendment says I don't need a permit to carry a handgun in the open. If I lost the committee battle and didn't back down on my principles, I am still left with my principles. You, however,apparently would bargain away what the good Lord granted you at birth just to get some electors (who we can get rid of) to listen to you, then vote you out.

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    Arkyhog wrote:
    Ammo, think about this for a second. Let's say Mark Martin caved and said we should allow only CHCL holders to be able to open carry. I believe they STILL would have voted him out of that committee room. What would you be left with? Myself, I believe the Second Amendment says I don't need a permit to carry a handgun in the open. If I lost the committee battle and didn't back down on my principles, I am still left with my principles. You, however,apparently would bargain away what the good Lord granted you at birth just to get some electors (who we can get rid of) to listen to you, then vote you out.
    This would amend a state law under Art 2, Sec5 of the AR constitution, not a federal law, so the second amendment doesn't apply in this case, but I know what you mean.

    Working cooperatively with legistators to get a law passed that is acceptable to the perception of the majority of Arkansans (and not just gun owners) and which would have stood a chance of being passed as a first step to acceptance and recognition of rights for even further legislation would not have been "rolling over." It's called compromise and cooperation, and it's the way thingswork in government and in life- like it or not.

    Attaching a requirement for CHL to the bill would not have affected any of the approximately 50,000 persons in the state who already have CHL's, and I personally would be scared to death of some of the people out there who would simply strap on a handgun without knowing or caring about the responsibilities of wearing a gun or the grave consequences of using it. The other poster who suggested someone should be slapped for voicing an opinion is one example of that type of individual. I wouldn't want to be near someone like that armed or otherwise.

    As a result ofnot working cooperatively and with a sensitivity to the concerns of the general population other tan us gn owners, we now have to wait even longer for someone to sponsor a bill who might be more mature and less naiive about how things get done.

    Face it. This particular football was handed to someone who didn't have thelegs or the moves to get to the goal line. We need a better receiver if we want to win this game, or we need to get the current receiver in better shape.



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    Pass the ammo wrote:
    I personally would be scared to death of some of the people out there who would simply strap on a handgun without knowing or caring about the responsibilities of wearing a gun or the grave consequences of using it.
    Are you saying non-permit holders who open carry are scary to you?

    So do you refuse to travel to/thu the majorioty of states which allow unlicensed open carry??

    If the answer to #2 is no, then you actions belie your fears stated above.

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    Mike wrote:
    Pass the ammo wrote:
    I personally would be scared to death of some of the people out there who would simply strap on a handgun without knowing or caring about the responsibilities of wearing a gun or the grave consequences of using it.
    Are you saying non-permit holders who open carry are scary to you?

    So do you refuse to travel to/thu the majorioty of states which allow unlicensed open carry??

    If the answer to #2 is no, then you actions belie your fears stated above.
    1. Not all gun toters scare me by carrying. Some do so even when unarmed.

    2. I travel often on business throughout the country and through many of the states you mention. Almost all of my activities are in areas where handguns are prohibited or where they are not seen at all, so I rarely see anyone carrying openly. If I do, then they get my attention.

    3. I disagree, and if you spend time on the gun boards and pay attention, you will notice there are always those few who seem to actually look forward to an incident where they would have to use their gun against a bad guy.

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    Maybe, just maybe , it's because we want to let the public see that gun toters aren't just the bad guys!! Before my personal experience with a BG, the wife of one of my employees said she would rather be raped and let her children be killed before she would touch a gun, after said incident she bought one for herself. As you yourself have said garnering public support and acceptance is the key to our gun owning(and carrying) future.

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    Tex4OC wrote:
    Maybe, just maybe , it's because we want to let the public see that gun toters aren't just the bad guys!! Before my personal experience with a BG, the wife of one of my employees said she would rather be raped and let her children be killed before she would touch a gun, after said incident she bought one for herself. As you yourself have said garnering public support and acceptance is the key to our gun owning(and carrying) future.
    Yes, but not just BG's are responsible for this negative view by the general public. Those who aren't emotionally mature or are careless in handling weapons are as well, and that's why I believe we should work toward enacting an open carry law in stages and initially press for allowing CHL holders to do so and not simply open it as an unrestricted "right." The AR public simply will not accept passage of a law for unrestricted open carry at this time, so why even waste efforts toward that? Why not take a more calibrated and systematic approach in steps rather than try and fell this tree with one swing of the ax?

    A reasonable first step, in my opinion, would be a broadening of the existing CHL law to allow those who have gone through the CHL process and who maintain a valid license to carry holstered handguns openly.I think few would argue that CHL holders are far less likely to break any laws which would deprive them of that hard earned license, so the public would be aware - with tme- that someone showing a holstered weapon is even less likely to do them harm, since that person is probably a CHL holder and hasa clear record of law violations.

    Once the poublic gets used to that and sees thathandgun "toters" are law abiders and not a threat to their safety, THEN perhaps we can move a little further down the line toward less restricted open carryand the general public will be accepting of passing such a law.

    Frankly, I also think that many CHL holders would be happy to see something which says they won't have their licenses pulled if they print or accidently/unintentionally expose their concealed weapons. I know I would. Carrying in the summer is a PITA.

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    Pass the ammo wrote:
    The AR public simply will not accept passage of a law for unrestricted open carry at this time, so why even waste efforts toward that?
    The public has very little to do with public policy my friend.

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    Mike wrote:
    Pass the ammo wrote:
    The AR public simply will not accept passage of a law for unrestricted open carry at this time, so why even waste efforts toward that?
    The public has very little to do with public policy my friend.
    Not if you hold a referendum on a general ballot, my friend!

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    Pass the ammo wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    Pass the ammo wrote:
    The AR public simply will not accept passage of a law for unrestricted open carry at this time, so why even waste efforts toward that?
    The public has very little to do with public policy my friend.
    Not if you hold a referendum on a general ballot, my friend!
    Does AR constitution allow this?

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