Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Arkansas CopWatch Gets Detained For Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Arkansas CopWatch gets stopped for open carry.  I thought this was a settled issue in Arkansas?  Anyway, it’s good to see folks conducting 2A audits, and more specifically, open carry audits.

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

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 11 months 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.

Arkansas Gun Owners Divided On Constitutional Carry?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

This one is a real zinger, folks.

A proposed bill in the Arkansas State Legislature with the potential to allow the concealed and open carry of a handgun without a permit is a more divisive issue for gun owners than most might think. The bill is scheduled for discussion during the senate judiciary committee on Tuesday, March 7.

El Dorado native and freshman State Senator Trent Garner (R-27th District) spearheaded Senate Bill 444 supporting what people know as constitutional carry, a movement sweeping the nation for non-permit open and concealed carry of a handgun as suggested by the second amendment: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

In addition to the discrepancy mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, proponents of non-permit carry argued that there are too many confusing laws and registration paperwork for gun-carrying citizens, and if criminals and reckless people are already in possession of a handgun in public, then law-abiding citizens should be able to as well, Garner said.

Some argue that Arkansas is already somewhat of a constitutional carry state.

In 2015, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge interpreted Act 746, passed in 2013, to allow people in Arkansas to openly carry a handgun with a few caveats: law officers can ask the user’s intent of the weapon, carrying a weapon is not allowed in restricted areas — government building, public university, etc., private property owners have authority over whether people can openly carry a weapon and the law doesn’t affect concealed carry statutes.

Arkansas isn’t the only state considering the move for constitutional carry. Other similar bills are being considered in 14 other states including: Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, to name a few.

As of late, Garner’s proposal is empty, but the idea of what it could lead to has been polarizing for gun-owning citizens of El Dorado spanning from law-enforcement and gun shop employees to average gun-owners and the rest of the state. But, each stance agreed that a knowledge of gun safety and the state law is required for every gun-owner, even if it’s not mandatory.

“I have a real problem with people carrying guns without proper training,” said Larry Combs, local gun instructor and former mayor of El Dorado. “There’s enough gun accidents already.”

Combs teaches classes for people interested in obtaining a concealed carry license, and has seen some local gun-owners who have carried a handgun without a license or permit.

“This is the state of Arkansas, I’ve seen people who carry a gun concealed and say ‘I don’t need a permit, I’ve handled a gun my whole life’ and they can — unless they get stopped by the police, then they’re in trouble,” Combs said.

Danny Farley, lead court security officer for the El Dorado Federal Court building, is also a concealed carry instructor and does not favor non-permit concealed or open carry.

“It’s a bad idea,” Farley said. “The major problem is people need to know when it’s not okay to carry a weapon. I have no problem with people carrying a weapon, but they need to be educated, which a license guarantees.”

For concealed-carry certification in the state of Arkansas a person is required to take a 5-hour class where the instructor must stress liability and safety, show how to load and discharge a gun, read the state and federal gun laws in a coherent manner, and make sure the person is competent in handling a gun through a “live-fire” test.

Once training is completed, a questionnaire covering a person’s mental health, drug, alcohol, and criminal history is filled and submitted to the Arkansas State Police, at which point officials can grant or repeal a person from obtaining a license to carry a concealed handgun.

Open carry has no strings attached.

“To me, I don’t like open carry because there’s no regulations or class required,” said Ricky Roberts, Union County Sheriff. “With concealed carry, dispatch can run your name through the system and know whether you have a license to be carrying a weapon or not.”

Also, law enforcement officers are restricted to a certain extent when confronting people who openly carry a handgun, for instance: the officer can ask for that person’s intent and if the officer believes it’s for self-defense and hasn’t seen any suspicious activity, the officers move on. This can be a slippery slope, Farley said.

“If you carry openly, an officer has the right to ask if it’s for self defense use, and once that’s done he walks away, that’s all that police can do,” he said.

A large concern for gun-owners is that laws aren’t strict enough on criminals or mentally-ill persons, and until those laws are enforced law-abiding citizens should have easier access to owning a gun for self-defense, said Linda Newbury, mayor of Felsenthal.

So gun owners are split, or something like that, on the question of constitutional carry in Arkansas, but in order to prove the pretext of the article, the author cites Larry Combs, local gun instructor and former mayor of El Dorado, Danny Farley, lead court security officer for the El Dorado Federal Court building, who is also a concealed carry instructor, and Ricky Roberts, Union County Sheriff.  Two of them stand to lose the class fees for permitting if constitutional carry passes, and one of them is a LEO, and LEOs almost always hate constitutional carry.  Just because.  Shut up.  They’re in charge.

Of course, they are all huge supporters of the second amendment, but there’s that little nit early in the article on the “discrepancy mentioned in the U.S. Constitution,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.  Discrepancy.  It must be that the founders didn’t really mean what they wrote, or something.  But remember, folks who want a government permitting fee are always “big supporters of the second amendment.”

As for open carry, can you imagine a sillier Kabuki dance than a LEO stopping to ask why a person is openly carrying a gun?  “Why no officer, it isn’t for self defense, it’s for shooting up the local elementary school.”  How absolutely ridiculous.  As if the person couldn’t also carry concealed if he intended nefarious things with his weapon.

And don’t even mention that Arkansas crime hasn’t skyrocketed with blood running in the streets since the Arkansas AG interpretation that the law allows open carry with caveats.  It’s the caveats that are absurd, along with the notion that being able to surmise that a person openly carrying has a permit.  Oh, that’s right, the progressives want LEOs to be able to stop and identify you if you’re openly carrying and ask for proof of permitting, a schema that doesn’t acquiesce to the notion that all stops have to be so-called “Terry Stops” in order to be constitutional.

Oh dear, people just cannot learn to keep from looking like imbeciles when they speak of these things.  They really should look to the other open carry states, where things work just fine, LEOs aren’t running scared of open carriers, blood isn’t running in the streets, and where constitutional carry (in the states that honor it) hasn’t caused wild west shootouts because people don’t know the law.

Just take a deep breath, people.  Look around you.  Think.  Ponder in the quiet for a period of time.  Learn from history.  Quit being hysterical.  And make sure to reject lawmaking for the purpose of permitting and class fees and coffers of those who benefit from that revenue.  There is a fairer way to raise revenue than penalizing gun owners.

Perhaps some reader in Arkansas can give us an update on the state of things in your beloved state.

This Is What Happens When There Is Confusion In Open Carry Laws

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 6 months ago

KFSM/KXNW:

Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck says his deputies will not arrest anyone who openly carries a handgun.

“As long as the law is written as it is then we will not arrest any citizen for simply exercising their right to open carry,” the sheriff wrote on his Facebook page on Monday (June 1).

Cradduck said he posted his views on the issue because an overwhelming number of people have asked for his thoughts about open carry.

People committing crimes while openly carrying a handgun will still find themselves on the wrong side of the law, he noted.

“If there are other exigent circumstances involved, such as they are committing a crime while openly carrying, then they stand a good chance of being charged for whatever crime they committed, along with the charge of carrying a firearm without a concealed handgun license,” he wrote.

The controversy whether open carry is legal in Arkansas began after a bill was passed in the 2013 legislative session containing language some believe allows for open carry of handguns.  Dustin McDaniel, who was the attorney general at the time, said open carry of handguns is illegal in the state.

However, the current attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, said she believes the law, known as Act 746, allows for open carry.

“I interpret it to mean an individual may carry so long as he or she does so without the intent to unlawfully employ it against another person,” she told 5NEWS in a prepared statement on Monday. “But anytime law enforcement and citizens disagree on a law we need to ensure there is clarity to protect our citizens. I am committed to working with the General Assembly to clarify any confusion surrounding Act 746 and its intent.”

Cradduck said in his Facebook post that he will stand by his position until state legislators approve a measure clarifying the law.

“Until the legislative bodies come together and write the law very clearly stating if and where you may or may not openly carry without a license, then I will not permit my deputies to arrest individuals who are carrying their firearms in an open fashion,” he wrote.

In 2013, Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said he agreed with then-Prosecuting Attorney John Threet that open carry is permitted. Threet, who later won election as a Circuit Court judge, said he didn’t plan on prosecuting gun owners who openly carry firearms in Washington County. Helder said he would use Threet’s opinion in instructing his deputies on the legality of firearm open carry.

In the comments to Communist Art Acevedo Kills Constitutional Carry In Texas we discussed the various exigencies and vicissitudes of what LEOs think, how judges are likely to decide cases before them and other issues surrounding open carry when the law isn’t clear.

In Texas the lack of a provision prohibiting LEOs from stopping open carriers to demand evidence of permit will be a problem, I predict.  In Arkansas we see now the problems associated with muddled laws.  A note to legislators is in order.  You aren’t doing anyone any favors by muddling the laws.  Not LEOs, not judges, not the people.  No one benefits because of your vacillation.


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