by Max Brantley
No, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said today in an official opinion, the 2013 legislature did NOT legalize open carry of guns when it endeavored to clean up the definition of what constitutes a "journey" under existing gun law. (The law has always allowed gun owners to carry a weapon on a journey.) The theory had it that the cleanup inadvertently — or maybe by devious intent of sponsor Denny Altes — actually went much further.
Sen. Eddie Joe Williams requested the opinion. The summary:
Do provisions of Act 746 of 2013, which made technical corrections concerning possession of firearms, allow persons to carry a handgun, in plain view or concealed, if they leave their resident county and do not visit locations that prohibit carrying a firearm?
RESPONSE: No. A person does not fall within Act 746’s "journey" exception to the statutes relating to the possession and carrying of a handgun simply because the person has left the county in which he or she lives. Stated differently, I do not interpret Act 746 as authorizing so-called "open carry." To the contrary, the journey exception applies only to travel beyond the county in which a person lives — a narrow range of activity inconsistent with the concept of "open carry."