Well, kind of.
In this decidedly anti-Second Amendment slanted article, the U of A Law department, (one of the premier law schools in the world) admits that citizens may now legally carry in the state.
It seems to us a court facing a defendant arrested with a gun would interpret the statute based upon its plain meaning. When all is said and done, how can the court punish a person for following the literal and unambiguous meaning of the statute? A person should not be expected to consult the history of the law’s passage, or its political context, to understand what it proscribes. Courts should interpret statutes as written to encourage legislatures to draft their criminal laws more carefully, putting people on clear notice about what constitutes criminal activity.
This admission in the university’s one-sided blog, as convoluted and confusing as it is, is a huge event in the history of Act 746 and for the right to bear arms in Arkansas. The epic revelation by this government agency flies in the face of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s very flawed opinion in July, which stated:
I do not interpret Act 746 as authorizing so-called “open carry.
Since the Attorney General issued this opinion last summer and after Act 746 took effect in August 2013, there has not been one reported arrest in the state for the act of carrying a handgun in self-defense, even though open carry demonstrations and walks have taken place across the state. For instance, in just the last 60 days Arkansas Carry (a gun rights organization dedicated to bringing gun rights back to Arkansas) has hosted open carry walks in Maumelle, Conway, Pine Bluff, North Little Rock and even in the capitol city of Little Rock, where more than 100 participants attended. These celebrations of gun rights were done in full view and with the cooperation of the police departments of all of these Arkansas communities, proving that open carry is legal in Arkansas.
It is clear that the School of Law at the University of Arkansas does not believe the people of Arkansas can be trusted with their rights, but it is also certain that they can read the law. They title the blog article “Open Carry in Arkansas—An Ambiguous Statute”, but buried in the article even they make this statement:
… how can the court punish a person for following the literal and unambiguous meaning of the statute?
The above proclamation by the School of Law shows that the law is clear in its literal meaning and words. The anti-rights professor that wrote this blog, however, is doing his best to make the public believe that Act 746 is confusing and ambiguous.
Certainly, this article is simply the first shot in the war between the government and people in Arkansas over the right to bear arms. However, the people now hold the big stick of law.