From a group of Facebook photos it would appear a dozen or so people packing sidearms participated in a march in Fort Smith this morning to demonstrate the belief that a quirk of legislative drafting — either accidental or by concealed design — allows “constitutional carry” in Arkansas.
By this, the gun lovers mean that as long as you are carrying a gun for a lawful purpose — such as self-defense — it is legal. You may carry it openly or in concealment. You no longer need to obtain a permit for concealed carry. Or so the theory goes.
The gunners got a favorable ruling from the local prosecutor on their view of the law — not shared by at least some of the sponsors of the new legislation and many of those who voted for the technical correction bill that is now being cited. Police stood by as they demonstrated their defiance of those who think otherwise. (The bill was introduced to clean up language on allowing carry of a sidearm by someone on a “journey.” A bill to specifically allow open carry was defeated. The attorney general also disagrees.)
Why stop in Fort Smith? These worthies should grab their strap-ons and parade into Little Rock. Visit a few taverns, some public school kindergartens, churches with signs posted against guns and similar premises. If indeed “constitutional carry” has arrived in Arkansas — if the carry law is no more and the permit law is meaningless — what law pertaining to guns retains meaning, except those pertaining to illegal use? Haven’t all others been repealed by inference?
The pistol-packers should line the marble halls of the Capitol when next the legislature is in session. I envision a double cordon of people packing large-caliber, semi-automatic sidearms. What could possibly go wrong?