Andrew DeMillo of the Associated Press has written a column about legal disputes that were not settled by recent opinions by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Rutledge sided with her allies in the Republican Party in saying the state legislature COULD protect legal discrimination against gay people by prohibiting local civil rights ordinances. She also said a tricky piece of 2013 legislation HAD legalized open carry, contrary to the opinion of her predecessor Dustin McDaniel. Competent lawyers disagree on both points. Ultimately, courts will have to decide, not necessarily a happy process given the perversion of the Arkansas Supreme Court by dark money and politics.
But the article included a quote from Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley about open carry of weapons. He’s right, as he usually is.
Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley, who said he doesn’t believe the 2013 law allowed open carry, said the conflicting opinions from McDaniel and Rutledge show the need for follow-up action by lawmakers.
“If you’ve got divergent opinions from two different attorneys general, and that being the case, I think it’s a call to action for the Legislature,” Jegley said. “But I don’t think it’s anything that anyone needs to get panicked about.”
I’ve been saying this for months. The confusion on this bill has been clear from the day it was adopted. The 2015 legislature could have fixed it, but it didn’t. Legislators are too chicken to bring the issue to a vote. It seems a significant number of people aren’t particularly desirous of seeing their Main Streets and malls crowded with pistol packers of unknown stability and intent. (Think an angry Jason Rapert on a Lowe’s parking lot). They’d prefer to let the gun nuts bully their view into de facto law, rather than having a clean vote. That has been pretty successful in most jurisdictions in the state. But not Pulaski County. Thanks, Larry Jegley.