AG Rutledge Release Opinion on Open Carry

From KFSM 5 News in Fort Smith

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge stated in a release that ‘open carry’ is legal.

“I believe Act 746 currently bears on the ability of Arkansans to legally possess handguns on their persons and in their vehicles,” she wrote in the release.

The act states someone is permitted to carry a handgun as long as there is no intent to use it against another person.

This is good news. You can carry a gun as long as you do not intend to violate another’s rights. Philosophically consistent with natural law.

Rutledge stated four ‘caveats’ after giving her opinion on issue:

Of course there’s a catch.

  • any person who carries a handgun should be aware that a law enforcement officer might lawfully inquire into that person’s purpose.

The statement addresses what is considered lawful by determining whether the person was involved with a crime. Fair enough. Seems to be profiling, but whatever. What worries me is what the statement outlines as examples of LEOs having reasonable suspicion.

(1) the demeanor of the suspect;

(2) the gait and manner of the suspect

(3) any information received from third persons

( 4) the suspect’ s proximity to known criminal conduct

All of these lend themselves to abuse by LEOs. (1) and (2) are subjective. What one finds to be suspicious could be the norm for another. (3) lends itself to abuse by proponents of gun control. (4) could be considered somewhat reasonably if it didn’t end up becoming profiling for targeting the man who is in every essence following the law.

  • other statuses prohibit possession of a handgun in certain circumstances, regardless of whether a person has the intent to use a handgun unlawfully. Those statuses still have full force and effect.

For example, you can’t carry a gun into the state house even though it doesn’t violate the contested gun law. I don’t like this interpretation. It’s a violation of the 2nd amendment since it’s public property.

  • a private property owner or occupant is still entitled to keep handguns (and other firearms) and persons with handguns (and other firearms) off his, her, or its property.

Not an issue with this at all. It is 100% in line with natural law.

  • the laws requiring a license to carry a concealed handgun still have full force and effect.

All this section does is state that this law has no bearing on current concealed carry law.

So while I like the fact that AG Rutledge came out in the positive on the law upholding the right of open carry, I am still worried about the aspects pertaining to LEOs and their ability to detain. We’ve seen an uptick in police abuse over the last few decades, and I believe that these exceptions may be used by certain zealous LEOs when addressing crime.

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