by Max Brantley
The legislature has decided to relax and enjoy the NRA's liberties with the body politic.
The bill to allow concealed weapons in church passed 28-4. The House is next.
UPDATE: The nays — Chesterfield, Elliott, Flowers and David Johnson.
Not voting were Burnett, Lindsey and Lamoureux.
AND SPEAKING OF GUNS: Sen. Fireball Holland, who doesn't have much respect for law enforcement, exhibits similar respect for freedom of information. He has filed a bill to make secret the names of people who hold concealed carry permits. Currently, names and zip codes are open to public inspection, a reduction in previous access following the controversy that ensued after we published a link to the State Police database some years ago.
I'll remind Fireball that, until I referenced the fact, the presence on the list of a bombing suspect and a courthouse shooter, had gone unnoticed by law enforcement officials. Public information on permit holders is the only check we have on enforcement of rules that should, but don't always, bring permit revocations when permitees act up. A current example is the long, lingering review of the doctor who opened fire on a speeding car in a busy grocery store parking lot after a robbery in Little Rock not long ago. Without the public records, we wouldn't know 1) he had a permit and 2) whether there were any consequences for his shooting up an innocent car while playing Wyatt Earp.