Skip to comments.AR: Law Journal: Meaning of Carry Law Plain, Legislature Screwed up
Posted on 02/26/2014 3:59:53 PM PST by marktwain
|Constitutional Carry Walk in Little Rock, Arkansas|
As noted above, John Threet, the Washington County Prosecutor, has directed the Sheriff not to arrest those carrying handguns, even without a permit, unless other circumstances suggest the person intends to use the gun to commit a crime such as robbery. Threet also reports that at the last meeting of prosecutors from all 28 judicial districts in Arkansas, only 2 were instructing police or sheriffs to arrestthough he emphasized this was not a formal vote but merely his sense of the room.The article is interesting in a number of ways. First, it is clear that the authors consider the passage of act 746 a bad thing. Here is the last paragraph in the article:
Section 120 deserves immediate attention from the legislature. If it wants to legalize open carry, do so openly, as it were, though we would have the legislature not only clarify the law, but restore it to its responsible previous substancerequiring citizens to first acquire a license before carrying a concealed weapon, and banning open carry entirely.Even though the authors disapprove of the law, they are honest in their assessments of it. Another point from the article is that they believe that the not only the legislature screwed up, but perhaps more importantly, the media screwed up:
Courts should also look to the history of related bills, and here the legislature recently rejected two, H.B. 1231 and H.B. 1408. H.B. 1231, that would have permitted certain school employees to carry weapons on school grounds as security personnel. 15 The bill received massive attention from the media prior to its rejection. On the other hand, H.B. 1700 did not receive any considerable media attention prior to the day Governor Beebe signed it, nor does it seem that anyone had even remotely characterized H.B. 1700 as an open carry bill. H.B. 1700s smooth and silent path to enactment strongly suggests that the legislature did not comprehend any open carry interpretation of the bill.I find this a sideways acknowledgement that the media is at least as powerful as the legislature. How is the legislature supposed to know how to vote, if the media does not tell them in advance? While I am exaggerating to make a point here, this example is particularly striking if you have read Daniel Greenfield's essay, "The rise of the mediacracy". In it, he postulates that the media exerts far more power in selecting the legislature than the people do.
Altes said open carry had "been the law in Arkansas since at least the 1800s. He said through several attempts to update the law through the years were unsuccessful, he was able to strike the right balance with the language of HB 1700 to please groups including the Sheriff's Association, the Chiefs of Police Association, the Prosecutors' Association and the State Police.In the citywire article, Steve Jones of Arkansas Carry says that no one has been arrested for open carrying by itself:
"The old code was written so there were many defenses to carrying a weapon. So, I asked why not make it a right with exceptions. This met with approval from everyone. It seems that it is two sides of the same coin," he wrote. "So, we didnt really change the law, we only clarified that it is a right to keep and bear arms according to the Second Amendment of our Constitution (According to Websters 'bear' means 'to carry')."
Since the law went into affect, there have no known arrests except of "people who were already committing crimes, which is how the law reads," according to Jones.Steve Jones and others have been instrumental in organizing open carry marches, also known as constitutional carry marches, or celebration of Act 746 marches around the State to educate the population about their rights and the new law.
"Other than that, we do not know of anyone. We're looking and waiting to see if someone could be arrested to see how a law case would come out."
No, I expect the legal system will quietly work to systematically punish these people in other ways. Sort of akin to how a cop will arrest someone for 'resisting arrest' when they can't come up wioth anything else.
It has not happened yet. If it does, I hope to report on it.