Legislator Plans to Reintroduce Open Carry Bill

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Representative Sue Scott, R-Rogers, announced at the Conservative Arkansas’ meeting at the Rogers Public Library that she will introduced an amended version of her open-carry bill.

Her original bill would have allowed Arkansans with concealed handgun permits to carry guns openly, but it failed to pass the House. Scott said she’s not giving up.

“Sometimes as a legislator we don’t always get exactly what we want and we have to decide OK let’s do this now and let’s get ready for what to come later,” Scott said.

The amendments include to allow open carry in unincorporated areas and if your jacket accidentally opens to reveal your gun, you won’t be fined if you have a concealed carry permit.

The bill received some strong opposition the last time around, which is something Scott said she hopes to work through.

“I’ve got a couple of seatmates that sometimes do not agree with me, and that’s just the process of what we are doing,” Scott said.

Scott said she wants to meet in the middle with anyone taking issue with the measure, including House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot.

Carter said he disagrees with exposed guns in public places.

“I’m personally not comfortable with that and my constituents aren’t comfortable with that,” Carter said.

Carter took some political heat for his stance but said it’s a price he’s willing to pay.

“I rather tell somebody my true position and take controversy over that, then tell somebody something just because they want to hear it,” Carter said.

Representative Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, said compromise is the solution and the changes in the bill should take care of some concerns.

“I think the amendments that I’m hearing about ought to put this in a position where we get a lot of support behind it,” Collins said.

Scott plans to reintroduce the bill on Tuesday.