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Arkansas Carry

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Open Carry Letter to the Editor

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This letter is a request to the Arkansas state legislature to consider a law change.  I belong to a group of citizens which is seeking the restoration of open carry rights for handguns in Arkansas.  This restoration would include the following:
Any citizen who may lawfully own a handgun will have the right to carry that holstered handgun openly in public throughout the State of Arkansas, except for those few unique places where the Legislature has decided to ban gun carry generally.
Arkansas is one of only 6 states banning open carry.  Carrying an openly holstered handgun is legal in every state except New York, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arkansas.  Imagine that; citizens of Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and California have more handgun carrying rights than Arkansas does!  Self-defense is a basic human right and the handgun is “the quintessential self-defense weapon”, according to a recent Supreme Court decision.  Open carry is also the only method of carrying firearms which is constitutionally protected, unlike concealed weapons. Open carry has deterred and will continue to deter crime (except in Arkansas), as well as providing a valuable option for law-abiding citizens who normally prefer to carry concealed.  A recent FBI study concludes criminals do not open carry handguns and “eschew holsters” because they do not want to draw attention to themselves.  A criminal will not abide by the current laws, and will arm themselves illegally.  Another reason to allow open carrying of handguns is the difficulty in concealing a normal handgun, combined with the fact it is uncomfortable in Arkansas’ heat and humidity.  Legally concealing a handgun also makes it difficult to draw in some circumstances, whereas a handgun in a holster can save precious time and possibly lives.  Repealing open carry handgun bans is  common-sense!
Legislators, please change the laws!

Steve Jones
Fort Smith, Arkansas
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