The state of Arkansas has been like a lot of other states by moving to be more and more gun-friendly. However, that wasn’t always the case. It, like a lot of states, had plenty of gun control that they’re now trying to undo.
As a result, there’s been some conflicting and confusing things about gun laws in the state.
But Arkansas is now trying to take some steps to address the problem.
Arkansas lawmakers will spend the next year holding hearings on the state’s firearms laws with the goal of recommending legislation to align statutes with the Legislature’s strong gun-rights stance.
On Thursday, members of the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Game & Fish/State Policesubcommittee heard a rundown of a planned series of twice-monthly meetings that will review current laws, hear from the public and provide opportunities for making recommendations.
Panel co-chair Rep. Josh Miller, R-Heber Springs, said the subcommittee will “study what we’ve got and see where we need to make adjustments.”
“We’re not in the business of trying to take rights away or further convolute what we already have,” he said.
The issue of conflicting and confusing state firearms laws arose publicly in July at a meeting of the subcommittee at which concealed-carry permit trainers, law enforcement officers and others testified about the need for clarity after the passage of Act 777 this year.
That law specifies that a person is not required to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun in Arkansas. Arkansas repealed its law requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public in 2021, and amended the law this year to clarify that concealed-carry licensing is solely to allow reciprocity for licensees who travel to other states that require a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
Some testified at the July meeting that some laws governing state facilities and hunting cause confusion because they prohibit carrying sidearms for self-protection.
I respect what Arkansas is doing.
If there’s a problem, you need to identify the problem and then solve it. This isn’t like what Illinois is trying to pull, either, since it seems they actually want feedback. After all, their recent moves have all been pro-gun, which means when they’re asking how they can simply state gun laws, they probably mean it.
Of course, these are politicians, so what they mean might not be what they mean, but in this case, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The truth is that there has been confusion with gun laws in Arkansas before. The state has dropped the ball previously, particularly with their enhanced concealed carry permits, so taking the time to make sure they’re hitting all the high points makes a great deal of sense.
Now, that only applies if they listen to what people tell them, and when we’re dealing with politicians, that’s never a sure thing. However, if they do, Arkansas has an opportunity to simplify and clarify the gun laws so there is no ambiguity that anti-gunners might try to exploit in some manner.
That’s the biggest win.