by Max Brantley
Things you might have missed if you don't carefully peruse the open lines:when news developed of a petition drive to refer the legislation to voters. Glenn Gallas, a familiar anti-tax crusader from the tea bagging coterie in Garland County, has filed to create a ballot question committee, Arkansans Against Big Government, to attempt to overturn the law. If his group gets the signatures, it will be continued employment for the enormous big business combine that spelled success for this legislation. More here. The attorney general must approve a ballot question first, then some 46,000 signatures will be needed.
* AND YOU SAY YOU THOUGHT THE LEGISLATURE DEFEATED OPEN CARRY: Thanks to Theodosius for pointing me to Act 746, by Rep. Denny Altes (a tipoff to craziness for sure) and others such as Bullet Bob Ballinger. Styled as a "technical correction" to laws governing handgun possession, it might have done a good bit more. Or so the gun lobby apparently believes. It gets into the long-running dispute about whether it is legal to carry a weapon on a "journey." The new law now says, carrying a weapon (concealed or unconcealed) is legal if
The person is on a journey beyond the county in which the person lives, unless the person is eighteen (18) years of age or less;.
And what is a journey?
"Journey" means travel beyond the county in which a person lives
So, does this mean a Bryant resident can holster up for her journey to Little Rock to work as a clerk in, say, the motor vehicle license office on Main Street in Little Rock. And continue to holster it all day, unless her place of work otherwise prohibits guns?
Or maybe a carload of Cabotians can strap on shooting irons when they motor down to Little Rock to stroll along President Clinton Avenue and take in the scenery in the River Market, again being careful to observe which premises do and do not allow weapons inside.
There is no emergency clause, so at least we won't have any legal challenges of this issue at this year's Riverfest. The law won't take effect until mid-August. A whole lot more is to come on this topic, I'd guess, including inevitable court disputes. You may recall that the gun lovers community got all bent out of shape when House Speaker Davy Carter said the open carry bill was a bill too far in a session that otherwise elevated guns above all except the zygote. This bill also struck the part of the law that made it a misdemeanor to carry a weapon into a place that sells alcoholic beverages.
It's messy of course. Suppose it is legal for a Cabotian to pack heat openly in Little Rock. Once back in the confines of the home county, it would not be. The folks over at Arkansas Carry are beside themselves with joy, you can see from the link and the photo above they've posted on their webpage.
UPDATE: A lawyer throws this constitutional question into the mix:
It would be unconstitutional for e.g., non-PuCo residents to be able to open carry and PuCo's not because the non-PuCo's are on a "journey."
Therefore, does it make "open carry" lawful as to everybody?
I think that is essentially the open carry crowd's argument.