Monday, February 2, 2009

Nice Of Them To Let Us Know...

It seems that the Arkansas State Police have decided to add extra legal burdens on CHL holders. Under Rule 3.2 of the DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS STATE POLICE, ARKANSAS CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSE RULES which was put into effect on January 1, 2009, if a concealed handgun license holder interacts with a law enforcement officer in an official manner, the licensee now has the responsibility to present the officer with their CHL if the officer requests identification and the licensee is in possession of a handgun.

Based upon emails with the ASP by one of the posters on THR, this rule does not carry the weight of law and there are no penalties that can be invoked for not following the rule. However, as this document is provided to officers and CHL instructors as being in compliance with AR law, there are two distinctly unsavory possibilities: 1) An officer believes that there is a legal duty to inform and arrests a CHL holder for not informing and 2) CHL instructors will promulgate this information as having the weight of law, further muddying the waters for those licensees/prospective licensees who are less informed.

Also included in the THR thread was the fact that the ASP apparently posted, in both newspapers and on their website, a public hearing regarding these rules. I did not see either of these notices and I am fairly certain that my CHL-holding friends did not see them, either. Therefore, I will, from now on, do my best to check ASP's website on a regular basis in an attempt to catch further rule-making hearings. I will post any activity in that area on this website.

On a more positive note, HB1237 (allowing CHL holders to carry in churches/places of worship) and HB1097 (allowing allowing CHL holders to carry in schools) are scheduled to go before the Judiciary Committee, HB1237 as early as tomorrow morning. Three of the members of this committee are co-sponsors of HB1237.

ETA: HB1097 evidently is only concerned with allowing the CHL holder to keep the firearm in their vehicle. It's still a step in the right direction, just not as big a step as I'd previously thought.

1 comment:

Richard said...

That school bill is more or less just for clarification. It is already legal to have a licensed, concealed weapon in your car or on your person, so long as you don't enter a building. "Any school, college, community college, or university campus building or event, unless for the purpose of participating in an authorized firearms-related activity;" The comma between campus and building was removed by legislation eight or ten years ago.

I guess it legalizes parking garages.

I'll refrain from commenting on the State Police and their place in the General Assembly as they may soon pass a rule that you can be arrested for what I would say. ;-)