Last week, Arkansas Carry (a pro-gun rights group) approached the City of Fort Smith about repealing what they considered illegal city ordinances; laws that banned the possession and carry of firearms. Fort Smith answered back with their attorney’s opinion and recommendation; the ban on firearms in city parks is legal and should be strengthened against citizens who have Concealed Handgun Carry Licenses.
Considering the economic climate in Fort Smith, would following the city attorney’s recommendations be an intelligent move?
Many gun owners in Arkansas are tourists who travel extensively around the state. If the city directors vote to continue this ban, these tourists/gun owners will certainly find out that Fort Smith is not a self-defense-friendly city, and probably will avoid visiting here. Our convention center (which has devoured tax dollars since its opening) will also be subject to more losses, as Second Amendment loving conventioneers will doubtless pass up coming to the city. Gun shows may also use this decision to cancel gun shows.
Why will this happen?
Battle lines are being drawn across the country, with local and state governments being forced to choose which side of the gun control debate to join. Fear of Obama-led gun control is rampant, and gun rights is growing strong in this state. Currently, over 110,000 permit holders reside in Arkansas, with many thousands of NRA members and recreational hunters.
Is this the image the City Directors want to project to law-abiding tax payers across the country? Does the City of Fort Smith want to appear as if it is attacking its most law-abiding citizens (CHCL permit holders)? Concealed carry license holders in Arkansas have undergone rigorous training and thorough FBI background checks; should they be treated as if they are common criminals in the eyes of the leaders of Fort Smith, Arkansas?
Hopefully, our city leaders will examine the facts closely. Many, many cities across the nation trust their citizens with both their rights and their firearms, and they do so while decreasing violent crime and without harming other citizens. Fort Smith should repeal all firearms ordinances and live by state law. Our state parks, Ben Geren and Sebastian County live by that law; why should Fort Smith force its will upon the people?