Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guns & Ammo Ranks States by Gunnie Friendliness

States were measured on gun rights/friendliness to gun owners by the following criteria:

 Sadly, we were Number 31;
31. Arkansas
CCW/Open Carry: 6
MSRs: 10
Class 3/NFA: 10
Castle Doctrine: 5
Miscellaneous: 10

While generally pro-gun and a Shall-Issue CCW state, open carry is not allowed. As far as self-defense/Castle Doctrine, the defender may have to retreat in some situations. The state has no restrictions on mag capacity or types of guns that are legal.

but, that was in March.  In July Act 746 became law;

 Act 746 makes two significant changes to gun laws in Arkansas. The first is perhaps the most significant. Under Arkansas law, Arkansans are allowed to carry a firearm unobstructed, without a license, while on a “journey.” Some gun advocates have long said that because of this law, open, unlicensed carry has always been legal in Arkansas. I know folks who have carried a firearm — concealed — without a license under this statute. Since a “journey” was never defined in the law, you could travel wherever you liked and if you were stopped by law enforcement, you could always say, “Well, I’m on a journey.” Other laws, such as the concealed carry statute, suggested that this interpretation of the journey law is incomplete at best. However, Act 746 puts that argument to rest by defining, for the first time, what a journey actually is. Under this act, the scope of a journey is defined as extending “beyond the county in which the person lives.” If you travel outside of your county of residence in Arkansas, you can now legally carry a firearm without a license. Needless to say, this is big news.

However, the important section is;
 It’s remarkable that so many pundits are missing this part of the story — the definition of a “journey” is only part of the bill, and not even the most significant part. As I wrote before, the law now requires that prosecutors prove an unlicensed gun carrier intended to use that firearm “unlawfully.” Unlawful intent is now a prerequisite for being charged with a crime for possessing a gun. In other words: you can carry a gun, without a license, so long as you aren’t intending to use it to commit a crime. This is the part of the law that makes Act 746 universal constitutional carry.

Of course, the meaning of the bill is now being debated by those who slept through the session...

 Unfortunately, some have confused legislative intent with gubernatorial intent. These two ideas are very different.
For instance, Matt Decample, the governor’s spokesman, told The City Wire yesterday that the governor didn’t understand the full implications of the law when he signed it:
DeCample emphasized that Beebe did not sign the law with the understanding that it could be interpreted as allowing people to openly carry firearms in public places. 
“You’re not talking about a legal interpretation, you’re talking about one interested party. You don’t know how anyone’s going to interpret a law.”
Of course you don’t know how anyone’s going to interpret a law: all you can do is make reasonable guesses. In fact, the governor, or his spokesman, is entitled to say whatever he’d like about Act 746 or anything else — they are entitled to their own opinions. There is, however, no constitutional right or established legal doctrine that allows the governor to determine the ultimate meaning of the law simply on the basis of what was going through his mind when he signed a bill. For instance, if Act 746 gets challenged in court — which it almost certainly will — does the governor envision a judge saying, “Hmm, I wonder what was going through the governor’s mind when he signed this piece of paper?” Presumably not: a court will look at the language the legislature used when it wrote and passed the law, and perhaps the court will draw inferences about legislative intent from the bill’s language. But it is essentially irrelevant what the governor thought when he signed the bill, or indeed what he thinks now.

As the bill is codified we will be watching to endure the bill is enacted as written.

 The legislature introduced this bill, worked it through both chambers’ committees, and it was passed into law. That’s the law that should be given to the people.

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