Sometimes my favorite part of bills at this point in the session is just the names. Rep. Bob Ballinger's "An Act to Permit a Person Convicted of a Felony to Possess a Muzzleloader" is set for the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.
Arkansas colleges and universities are opposing HB 1077, which would undo a compromise 2013 law which allowed institutions to create their own gun policies limiting so-called "campus carry." Every two- and four-year school in the state adopted such a policy. Now, Rep. Charlie Collins wants to make it mandatory for state schools to allow concealed carry license holders to tote their guns on campus (private colleges could still opt out).
A college student and his dad who visited a gun range over the weekend for some bonding time over target practice were told to leave after the owner grew suspicious that the pair were...Muslims! Nope, not Muslims — they just happened to not be white. Either way, though, it's rank discrimination.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which advocates for the civil rights of Muslims, has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate The Gun Cave, the Hot Springs firing range that announced itself as a "Muslim-free zone" on social media last week.
The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
A Pulaski County jury told Judge Leon Johnson today that they couldn't find consensus on the charges against a driver who police say shot another motorist at I-30 and E. 6th Street during a traffic altercation in May 2013. The deadlock resulted in a mistrial.
Mother Jones reports that Sonic and Chili's outlets in Texas refused to knuckle under to intimidation tactics of open carry gun advocates. Growing backlash at the intimidation tactics appears to have backed the gun toters down.
Joe Nocera in the New York Times, prompted by another killing spree, draws from a new book on the 2nd Amendment to explain how the NRA and politicians have bent the amendment all out of shape of what the founding fathers intended — a tool to guarantee a "well-regulated militia." It was not, he writes, intended to allow an individual right to trump the public good.
A reader sends this photo of a new sign at Little Rock City Hall announcing that concealed weapons are not allowed on premises, except when carried by law officers. This is only a restatement of long-standing law, I'm pretty sure. But the sign is new and I've noticed them elsewhere, such as at the fitness center in War Memorial Park.
The New York Times reports on a trend in Republican primaries: candidates offer up sweepstakes with a gun as the prize to attract interest —and collect personal data — from the GOP base. Local angle: See above an event last month for Curtis Coleman, running in the Republican primary for governor. "Look what we will give away at this Concert!! AR-15 & 100 Rounds of Ammunition." Somewhat awkwardly, this gun giveaway was at a middle school.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is launching a $50 million campaign to support candidates favoring gun control. Bloomberg is attempting to push back on the influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states, including some hostile territory (Texas, Montana, Arizona). Arkansas is not among the targets, as far as I can tell from the press release. Bloomberg, of course, has targeted Sen. Mark Pryor in the past for his opposition to gun-control measures. Of course, in gun-happy Arkansas, Pryor took Bloomberg's criticism as a badge of honor. And the alternative to Pryor is Rep. Tom Cotton, who is, shall we say, not on board with Bloomberg's gun safety agenda.
Excellent piece in the Washington Post yesterday from former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment, how its original intent has been twisted by the gun lobby, and the five word clarification that could clear up a bit of the original language that has allowed the NRA to get a philosophical toehold. It's a fascinating argument, even if you'll never see Stevens' fix implemented in your lifetime.
Did the Arkansas legislature really intend to allow open carry of guns in addressing a technical issue of what constitutes a 'journey' under the old law on carrying a firearm? No, says a new legal analysis.
Indiana Wesleyan University says it is "aware" of plagiarism allegation against Little Rock School Superintendent Dexter Suggs and takes it "seriously." Does that mean an investigation is underway? They won't say.