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Arkansas Gun Laws Provide Interesting Case Nationally

By    |   Friday, 19 Dec 2014 03:23 PM

Arkansas gun laws took some interesting steps toward protecting Second Amendment rights in 2013. The state's 89th General Assembly passed a variety of measures focusing on personal security that make it legal to carry a gun in church and a bar, places most states prohibit.

The state's gun laws, which have in the past prohibited the open carry of handguns, have changed as well, but the way all these new rules are playing out in Arkansas make it an interesting case nationally.

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The Church Protection Act of 2013 allows people who are worried about their safety in church to have handguns in the pews — as long as church leaders approve.

Previous Arkansas gun laws had made it illegal to carry a concealed weapon at "any church or any other place of worship." The bill now gives churches discretion over this matter. A church can prohibit concealed carry if it wants to, or post a sign that conceal carry is permitted. Those wondering about their place of worship should look for the sign. This statute also applies to church-run schools.

State legislators passed another bill in 2013 recognizing conceal carry permit-holders from any other U.S. state where it is legal. This simplified the old conceal carry permit laws which gave the Arkansas State Police the responsibility to decide which state permits were valid in Arkansas. Now, all valid permits will be legal.

Act 746 of the Arkansas General Assembly is the bill that is causing some confusion. Advocates of Second Amendment rights, like the group Arkansas Carry, are hosting "Carry Celebration" walks heralding gun laws to open carry — which has been illegal.

At issue is the wording in the bill, which allows for non-permitted carry unless it can be proven that the person holding the gun had it "readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun." It is that proof of intent that carry advocates say will be difficult to prosecute.

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This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Arkansas gun laws took some interesting steps toward protecting Second Amendment rights in 2013. The state's 89th General Assembly passed a variety of measures focusing on personal security that make it legal to carry a gun in church and a bar.
arkansas, gun, laws
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2014-23-19
Friday, 19 Dec 2014 03:23 PM
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