Ark. open carry bill has been filed, similar to concealed carry

New bill proposed for open carry laws

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Gun laws are back on the table of discussion with a possible revision here in Arkansas.  One representative wants open carry laws patterned after those for concealed carry.  

Democratic Representative Chris Richey from Helena filed the bill on Tuesday.  He thinks the current law on open carry is a little unclear.  If approved and signed into law by the governor, Arkansas would join 15 other states with handgun licenses for both open and concealed weapons.

For a concealed carry permit, you must attend a safety and live training class from state police approved instructors. But some people think open carry in the Natural State is a little vague and confusing.

“I was talking to some police chiefs and they were expressing their frustration with where things stand right now with open carry,” said Richey.

He hopes the bill will make laws a little more black and white. The law would include the same standard as concealed carry, and just include handguns carried in plain sight. He hopes to cut down on confusion for law enforcement officers and ensure public safety for everyone.

Amy Stivers, an Advocate with Parents of Murdered Children, is concerned crime and murder rates will go up.

“I can't even believe that we're going to just allow everybody in Arkansas to carry a gun and have it open like that,” said Stivers.  “Where are we in this world if all of us have to have a gun on our side? What kind of world are we living in?”

She wants lawmakers to focus more on passing regulations that will help future generations.

Arkansas state police say that regardless of what laws are, carrying a weapon in any case poses potential for danger. As they never know what a person's intentions are until making contact.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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