Rep. Sue Scott says she wants Arkansans to contact the House speaker, fellow Republican Davy Carter, and express their support for her bill that would allow handguns to be carried openly.
“Hopefully, he listens,” Scott, R-Rogers, said. “I hope all the constituents contact him and let him know.”
Scott, serving her first two-year term, spoke with 5NEWS after an hour-long legislative forum on Saturday (Feb. 23) at NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville. About 60 people attended the event.
Scott said she has spoken with Carter about the measure, House Bill 1408, and he told her he does not support it. The bill was filed Wednesday.
According to an Associated Press story published on the Arkansas Business website, Carter, R-Cabot, told reporters this week, “I don’t want to live in a world where everybody is walking around with holsters on their hips and carrying guns out in the open.”
On Saturday, Scott said she respects his honesty but hopes to win the other House votes.
“I’d love to have 100 percent,” she said, “but I’d revel in the 99.”
(Scott is seen in the photograph accompanying this story addressing an attendee after Saturday’s forum ended.)
Scott said allowing Arkansans with a concealed-carry permit to carry their handguns out in the open would deter potential criminals.
Under the bill, openly carrying a handgun would not be allowed in places where weapons are prohibited anyway, such as courthouses.
Scott told 5NEWS she is in the process of obtaining a concealed-carry permit but is cautious with firearms because of how they might disrupt a defibrillator she uses.
However, she said if she had to choose between using a gun to protect herself or dying from the defibrillator being disrupted, she would use a gun.
She joked with those in attendance that she hopes this issue doesn’t force her to change her e-mail address from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com.
The event was co-sponsored by the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bentonville-Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce. The two chambers are conducing public forums at NWACC every other Saturday during the 2013 legislative session, featuring state legislators from Benton County.