Sunday, November 03, 2013

AR: Constitutional Carry Percolating in Arkansas Media

Arkansas passed ACT 746, which went into effect on August 16th of this year, (2013).   The act effectively legalizes constitutional carry in Arkansas because it changes the definition of what constitutes the illegal carry of weapons.  The old law did not require any intent;  the new law makes carry of weapons illegal only if the carrier has the intent to illegally use the weapon.

AG McDaniel, a Democrat, issued an opinion that the new law does not allow open carry.  The opinion is nicely dissected by Steve Jones here.  Essentially, the AG simply dodges the real issue, and never addresses the key part of  the law which deals with intent.

In order to educate the public about the new law, second amendment supporters in Arkansas have been holding open carry marches, defiantly public and with the cooperation of the police, to show that the law has been changed.

Now the information is percolating into the consciousness of the local media in Arkansas.   From
The act is concerning county prosecutors across the state. The act says:

"A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person."

Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Highland told Channel 7 News that there is a concern law enforcement could have issues proving someone with a gun is intending to use it "unlawfully."

"The law as passed makes it very difficult if not impossible to ascertain the intent of someone who is attempting to unlawfully deploy a weapon against another person so the practical effect is a substantial change in the law," Highland said.

It is worth noting that the state that has the oldest uninterrupted exercise of constitutional carry in the nation, Vermont, has similar wording in its law concerning the carrying of weapons.

Vermont Title 13: Section 4003.  Carrying dangerous weapons

A person who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon, openly or concealed, with the intent or avowed purpose of injuring a fellow man, or who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon within any state institution or upon the grounds or lands owned or leased for the use of such institution, without the approval of the warden or superintendent of the institution shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $200.00, or both.
Constitutional carry is being recognized in Arkansas.  It is just happening gradually.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

dbjack46 said...

Your article (AR: Constitutional Carry Percolating in Arkansas Media)about ACT 746, changing the state's existing open carry law drew my attention. The new law requires the state to prove "intent" to use a firearm in order to prosecute a criminal violation.
How do you prove intent absent an actual criminal act such as armed robbery or a car-jacking, for example?
A 21 year old adult citizen (law abiding or otherwise), carrying openly, standing/walking on a public sidewalk, (or essentially any public place where firearms are legal) has committed no crime. Actually possession by a convicted felon must already be on the books.

Anyway, for the sake of argument, say, for example, he then walks into a liquor store or 7-Eleven and stands there in front of the counter looking over the merchandise. In his mind he is surveying the goodies and deciding what he's going to rob. In his mind he intends to rob the store, but no one other than the soon to be criminal could possibly be aware of his intent to rob the store. Up to this point his actions are legal (according to the new law) and not until he draws and points the handgun at the clerk can anyone determine the criminal's intent.
In my opinion, intent without the subsequent illegal act, is nothing more than thought crime, which in these days of political correctness would make most all of us criminals already.
I would be surprised if this new law survived a serious court challenge.