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Arkansas: Important Update on Multiple House Bills

Friday, March 1, 2013

On Tuesday, House Bill 1408, introduced by state Representative Sue Scott (R-95), failed to get the necessary votes to be reported out of the House Judiciary Committee.   However, HB 1408 could be heard again in the future.  This common sense pro-gun reform would simply add open carry to the methods by which a current Concealed Handgun Carry License (CHCL) holder may carry his personal protection handgun.  While most license holders would likely continue to carry their handguns concealed and discreetly, HB 1408 would eliminate any potential problems a license holder may encounter should a concealed firearm accidentally become exposed.  It would also allow licensees to remove a jacket during hot weather without running afoul of the current concealed carry statute, should that action cause a handgun to become exposed.

The NRA is working with pro-gun supporters on this committee to try to revive HB 1408, which may involve amending the bill but keeping it a pro-gun reform.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to support NRA’s efforts to pass HB 1408 as a pro-gun bill, and oppose any efforts that will create restrictive, and unnecessary, regulations for open carrying.

The following state Representatives voted against HB 1408 in committee:

Rep. Darrin Williams

 Rep. Jim Nickels

 Rep. John W. Walker

 Rep. Mark D. McElroy

 Rep. Stephen Magie

 Rep. Wes Wagner

 Rep. Mary Broadaway

 Rep. Monte Hodges

Please contact them and let them know you are disappointed with their vote, and would like them to reconsider their position and support the NRA’s efforts to pass this pro-gun reform.

The following state Representatives did not vote in committee on HB 1408 on Tuesday.   Had they voted in favor, HB 1408 would have been reported out of committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation.

Rep. Marshall Wright, Chairman

Rep. John T. Vines, Vice Chairman

Please contact these state Representatives and let them know you are disappointed with their failure to support HB 1408, and would like them to reconsider their position and support the NRA’s efforts to pass this pro-gun reform.

House Bill 1284, the anti-gun bill designed to completely neutralize the intent of the recently-enacted Senate Bill 71, also remains on the agenda of the House Judiciary Committee and could be heard the next time this committee meets.  SB 71, signed into law on February 11, removes the absolute prohibition on concealed handgun carry license (CHCL) holders from carrying a concealed firearm for personal protection into any church or other place of worship.  Churches and other places of worship can now decide if CHCL holders will be allowed to carry concealed firearms on their property.

Anti-gun proponents have latched onto HB 1284, introduced by state Representative Reginald Murdock (D-48), as an attempt to undermine the significant advances made by SB 71.  HB 1284 would require any place of worship that chooses to respect the right to self defense and allow CHCL holders to carry a firearm to post their property.  In effect, this legislation would require a WARNING that law-abiding citizens may be allowed to carry their lawfully concealed firearms at that particular house of worship. Essentially, Representative Murdock and supporters of this legislation appear to feel that CHCL holders represent a potential danger to others, and those others need to be warned of their presence.  This, of course, would not only lead to discouraging houses of worship from allowing lawful carry on their property, but would undermine the intent of Right-to-Carry (RTC) laws.  RTC laws are designed to ensure criminals have no idea which of their potential victims may be lawfully carrying a concealed firearm at any given time.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to oppose HB 1284.

Finally, state Representative Justin Harris (R-81) has introduced House Bill 1503, which would protect lawful firearm retailers from illegal gun sting operations such as those orchestrated by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Anti-gun extremist Bloomberg has sent hired agents into other states to attempt illegal firearm purchases in an effort to blame federally licensed firearm retailers for gun crime in New York City and around the country.  HB 1503 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, but has not yet been placed on their calendar.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to support HB 1503 when it is brought up in committee for consideration.

 

 

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