http://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=138447 w/ video
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Gov. Mike Beebe says he's opposed to allowing Arkansans to openly carry handguns but is stopping short of threatening to veto legislation allowing it.
Currently, Arkansans have the right to carry a concealed handgun. However, one lawmaker wants to expand concealed carry to open carry.
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HB1051 is presently in the Judiciary Comittee for discussion, but the sponsor has requested that the bill should be deferred. I seriously doubt that HB1051 will make it out of comittee to the house for a vote, and if it does make it to the house, it will fail by vote, and if it passes by vote, the governor will veto it (regardless of what he publically says about it). It would have stood a far better chance of passage if provisions had been incorporated into the bill to have the same requirements for open carry as there now are for concealed carry, i.e. course of instruction, proof of proficiency, background check, and permit. While there will always be those who will demand an "all or nothing" approach to this issue, the political reality is that unrestricted open carry is a long shot (no pun intended) at best.
I'm hoping that at some point in the not-too-distant future, a politically savvy legislator will recognize that some compromise will be needed in order to pass an open carry law, and he/she will write a bill which will pass muster.
Also, you seem to be pretty sure that the bill is DOA. We'd like to give it a chance before killing it. Also, if the committee rejects unlicensed open carry there is nothing stopping Mr. Altes from introducing another amendment essentially turning the concealed carry license into a "license to carry"... thereby allowing open or concealed. We're shooting for the stars but are certainly willing to compromise should that be necessary.
Arkansas Carry is certainly not an "all or nothing" organization and we recognize the political reality especially in a Democratic state.
I'd rather it be just flat out open carry, but if we have to start with "with a permit" open carry I'll still support it. Once it's law we can work on fixing it just like we did with concealed carry.
It's refreshing to see that Arkansas Carry is a 2nd amendment/article 5 promoting organization which is reasonable in its expectations and goals. There are (as you are no doubt aware) many pro-gun orgs which take the "all the way or none of the way" approach. I personally feel this hard line alienates some of the voting public who would otherwise support open carry and responsible gun ownership and self defense.
There is an old story about an old bull and a young bull standing at the top of a hill overlooking a herd of good looking cows. The young bulls says to the old bull, "Let's RUN down there and "take us" a couple cows. The old bull replies, "Why not WALK down and "take" all of them?"