Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Writes That Open Carry Is The Law In Arkansas

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 3 weeks ago

But wait, that’s not the whole story.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has informed the Arkansas State Police that he believes a 2013 law made open carry of hand guns the law of the land in Arkansas and they should act accordingly.

There is, as yet, no definitive court case that substantiates this view of the law. Ever since its passage, a debate has raged over the law’s meaning. Some contended it was merely meant to be a technical correction to Arkansas law that long had allowed the carrying of weapons on a “journey,” but not in all circumstances. Gun advocates argued that the wording validated open carry. Critics argue that such an expansive view might override some of the restrictions in law on where concealed weapons may be taken.

The governor’s letter comes as he faces a challenge in the Republican primary from Jan Morgan, a gun range owner who’s depicted Hutchinson (a former spokesman for the NRA) as somehow soft on guns (she was critical of some limitations added to the campus carry legislation, among others). His opinion carries no force of law, but the directive to an executive agency will have the effect of guiding state troopers, as indicated by a notice sent yesterday to troopers by Col. Bill Bryant, director of the State Police.

Context: An off-duty trooper in 2014 arrested a man who was carrying a weapon in a Searcy Walmart. He was acquitted of an obstruction of governmental operations misdemeanor charge, but lost a lawsuit at the circuit court level in which he sought to have his concealed carry permit restored. Judge Wendell Griffen rejected James Tanner’s argument that the 2013 law allowed open carry so long as no unlawful intent was present. The judge called that interpretation “senseless.” The judge ruled Tanner wasn’t entitled to get his license back because he openly carried a concealed weapon as a permit holder and refused to provide identification to an officer who asked for it. That case has not been appealed, court records indicate.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued an official opinion in 2015 that indicated open carry was legal in Arkansas, but she also commented that confusion about the 2013 law suggested clarification would be useful. Her predecessor, Dustin McDaniel, had opined the law was only a technical correction, not legalization of unlimited open carry.

Rutledge also enumerated these caveats about open carry:

* Law officers can freely question anyone openly carrying a weapon about their purpose.

* Other statutes prohibit open carry in certain circumstances — in government buildings such as the Capitol, for example.

* Private property owners are entitled to keep firearms off their property, and armed people who refuse to leave can be prosecuted for trespass.

* The law doesn’t affect concealed carry statutes. All carrying concealed weapons still must comply with permitting and other requirements.

By “soft on guns,” Morgan means that Asa isn’t the gun rights supporter he purports to be.

Hutchinson hasn’t been hard enough on the gays and the transgenders; he once took a meeting with gun control advocates; he wouldn’t sign a meaningless anti-Sharia law bill; he’s supported the continuation of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Arkansas is in fact a stop and identify state, but only for loitering.  The judge that decided the case against the open carrier, Wendell Griffen, is clearly an idiot and communist.  Expect the police to ignore the governor’s edict and work towards their communist ends.

As for the governor’s race, I don’t know what will happen.  But Arkansas is as much a mess as every other state.


Comments

  1. On January 1, 2018 at 10:35 am, Sean said:

    “”The judge ruled Tanner wasn’t entitled to get his license back because he openly carried a concealed weapon….” Typical example of judges wanting things both ways….

  2. On January 1, 2018 at 5:47 pm, Mr. Gray said:

    The most ignored word in the 2nd Amendment is “infringed”.
    If this word was taken seriously in courts there would be no questions or confusion.

  3. On January 2, 2018 at 10:32 am, Randolph Scott said:

    Everything in our country would improve and the legal citizens would be safer if we deposed of 99% of all the judicial officers.

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You are currently reading "Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Writes That Open Carry Is The Law In Arkansas", entry #18334 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published December 31st, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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