Arkansas Court Removes Barrier for County Employees to Carry Guns at Work

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U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-— Back on Monday, April 11th, the Newton County Quorum Court in Arkansas voted unanimously to remove restrictions on the concealed carry of weapons by County employees who have a concealed carry permit. From ky3.com:

JASPER, Ark. (KY3) – The Newton County Quorum Court, by unanimous vote, will allow county employees to carry their concealed firearms while on the job.

The quorum court felt it is essential for each county employee to be able to defend themselves or others when the need arises. As long as the employee has a valid concealed carry permit, they can carry their gun.

A now-famous drive-by shooting rattled the Newton County Courthouse in 1949. While nothing similar has happened since it is one reason county justices aren’t taking any chances.

On April 9th, 2015, Arkansas passed a modest Second Amendment reform bill into law. SB1259 became Act 1259. The reform allowed quorum courts to remove the ban on carrying concealed weapons from people who worked in county courthouses, and who had concealed carry permits.

Courthouses are one of several places where ordinary citizens are prohibited from exercising their Second Amendment rights in Arkansas. Other “gun-free zones” are public buildings, schools, school buses, the state capitol, police or sheriff stations or offices, inside the passenger terminal at an airport, and others.

According to the Newton County Times, there are several places in county facilities where the employees are still banned from carrying concealed weapons. From facebook.com:

The licensee is still prohibited from conceal carrying a weapon in any detention facility, in an office of the sheriff’s department, or in any courtroom, court chambers or court offices without permission from the presiding judge. The quorum court, in passing the ordinance, affirms the right to bear arms as granted by the second amendment of the United States Constitution, and desires to facilitate each employee’s ability to defend themselves and others when necessary.

Local governments across the United States are working to restore the rights of government employees to bear arms.

Most of the bans are the result of short-sighted personnel policies rather than statutory bans, such as exist in Arkansas. Government employees should have the same Constitutionally guaranteed rights as all citizens. Restoring rights to government employees is part of normalizing the restoration of Second Amendment rights in general.

Bowling Green in Kentucky restored the right of public employees to be armed at work in 2018. Lake County Florida restored some of the right to carry for public workers in 2018, as did Hernando County, Florida. In 2016, Virginia and Georgia’s counties restored the parts of the right to bear arms to their employees.  Employees of local governments have regained some of their rights in Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas.

Commentary:

Government workers should not have extra special rights. They should have the same rights everyone else has. Bureaucrats who have the same rights as ordinary citizens are more likely to uphold those rights. They will have “skin in the game”.

In the Soviet Union, in the early years, members of the Communist Party were automatically given firearms, particularly pistols. It was a perk that came with party membership. Later, the party eliminated the privilege, as the party concentrated power in a smaller and smaller circle.

When the right to bear arms is seen as a perk of political power for a small elite, it works against the Constitution and limited government. When it is seen as a broadly applied right, possessed by the vast majority of people, the Constitution, and limited government are re-enforced.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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CourageousLion

So as long as you pay us for a permit, we will allow the county employees to carry a firearm for their protection. WHAT A CROCK. Teach the “quorum court” how to read and comprehend SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED which a “permit” obviously is. That is if you use reason, logic and common sense to figure it out. ANYONE should be able to carry a firearm for self defense. And no, that doesn’t mean that carrying a gun while robbing a bank is self defense. Duh? Human beings are pitiful little animals that go to our masters on every occasion… Read more »

JSNMGC

“I just don’t get it…I carry everywhere I go. EVERYWHERE.” The article is about carrying in courthouses. Do you carry in courthouses? Do you carry as you go through TSA? As far as not getting it, some people carry to reduce the risk of their life being ruined or ended. If they evaluate a situation and conclude that the probability of their life being ruined or ended is greater by carrying than it is by not carrying, they decide to not carry. Seriously, what don’t you get about that? I’m not being provocative – I’d really like to understand your… Read more »

HLB

It is Ok to think beyond one’s own life. We have children for whom we want to provide a life of freedom.

HLB

JSNMGC

Ready for that ride on an L train?

Strap that gat on and let’s go.

It’s for the children.

HLB

Sure. We should plan the mission. Tactical, objectives. I don’t know about prisoners. Can we just just tell them to holster their weapons and be good?

HLB

JSNMGC

“Them?” I’m talking about you. You are the one who thinks other people should carry. You can tell the cops to holster their firearms. They will laugh even harder at you. As discussed before, I’ll be an observer (because I know what will happen). I’d rather not know your “tactical” plans. As far as the “mission,” I just want to see you open carry on a Chicago L train and show everyone how it’s done. Just let me know when you want to go. When you have numerous Chicago cops (with poor firearm handling skills) pointing guns at you and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Stag

I think he means anywhere there aren’t metal detectors or pat downs. I’m just guessing, though, considering that’s where I carry.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stag
JSNMGC

Some people would be terminated from their employment immediately if someone saw them carrying (at work or outside of work). Due to the nature of their profession, their career would be ended (they would not be able to get a similar job with another employer).   Some people live/work/go to school in areas in which the police would immediately confront them if they believed they were carrying. In many of those areas it is almost impossible to get a carry permit, so a conviction for illegally carrying would end their careers. That’s the best case. If they attempted to explain to the police that… Read more »

HLB

“If they attempted to explain to the police that the law they were enforcing is null and void, they very well may be “lit up” or at least “tuned up.”.”

In my case, the LEO’s were very nice. I did explain the law specifically (title and section), and the Constitution, but they were being driven from the top down and earning a pay check. When I returned, armed, to pick up my confiscated arms they were very nice also.

HLB

JSNMGC

In what city did that occur?

HLB

admittedly, not Chicago.

HLB

JSNMGC

There is a reason people don’t open carry on Chicago L trains.

It’s the same reason you won’t.

Stag

You’re absolutely correct.

JSNMGC

My only point in replying to CL’s comment was trying to understand why he doesn’t get that there are places most people won’t carry. Courthouses and TSA checkpoints are just two examples. What would a drill sergeant do if a new recruit in basic training showed up to physical training with a handgun?   What would happen if a surgeon carried at work and a rabidly anti-gun anesthesiologist informed the CEO?   What would happen if a senior executive of a publicly traded company carried and someone informed the rabidly anti-gun BOD?   What would happen if someone flying to… Read more »

HLB

I did email the Yellowstone people and told them that their policy is unconstitutional.

I think, over time, if we keep pushing in unison, there could be a time when I will ride the Chicago L.

HLB

JSNMGC

Yes, I do keep pushing – both legislatively and to influence public opinion.

I’m not going to increase my net risk by carrying in certain places.

Ope

It could increase your net risk by not carrying in certain places. I guess it just depends which you’re more concerned with.

JSNMGC

It depends on which risk is greater.

Net risk:

If:

  • The risk of being attacked by a violent criminal is small; and
  • The risk of a government employee ruining/ending my life is large,

Then:

  • I will not carry because carrying would reduce the risk of being attacked by a violent criminal but it would increase the risk of a government employee ruining/ending my life. The net risk will have increased.

U.S. Army recruits make good decisions when then decide not to carry a handgun when they arrive at basic training.

Ope

The risk of being attacked by a violent criminal is small ? Places like grocery stores ? I just wonder if any of those people in Buffalo had firearms things might had ended a bit different. This day and time it’s almost impossible to know when things could go South quick. It’s better to have a firearm and not need it then to need it and not have it.

JSNMGC

“If” – if the risk of being attacked by a violent criminal is small in a given situation. My assessment is that the risk of being attacked by a violent criminal in a Yellowstone visitor center is small. My assessment is that the risk of a government employee ruining my life if he suspects I’m carrying in that visitor center is large. I choose not to carry in that situation (I don’t care what other people do). Do you think it’s best for U.S. Army recruits to not carry a handgun to basic training? There is a risk of being… Read more »

3%er

I’ll just leave it here. In recent years, home improvement centers,grocery stores and even churches,etc. have been targeted by mass murderers.That trend only seems to be escalating. With Biden intentionally destroying the country and dividing people along race, I really think this insanity will continue to occur in places no one would had imagined just a few years ago. Everyone has to make decisions about their own personal safety and welfare. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they wrong. Take care.

Ope

It can be a crap shoot.

JSNMGC

I agree.

Do you agree that U.S. Army recruits make good decisions to not take handguns with them to basic training?

There are people who have compensation packages much larger than that at risk by carrying in certain places and their risk of violent attack in those places is extremely small.

Other people in other lines of work have to assess the risk of carrying vs not carrying.

The risk of carrying would be a lot less if enforcers decided not to enforce unconscionable laws against their fellow countrymen.

3%er

Im really not familiar with whether or not US Army recruits are even permitted to bring personal handguns on base during basic. I would think the military would discourage that even if legal by civilian law. In the military you are governed by military law and do what they say.

JSNMGC

If a person on a military base does not do what “they” say, there are consequences. “Civilians” are governed by civilian law. They are not permitted to carry in Chicago, NYC, or LA without a permit (which are extremely difficult to obtain). If you don’t do what “they” say, there are consequences. Executives follow the rules of a lot of different entities, one of which is the BOD. If they don’t do what “they” say, there are consequences. Doctors follow the rules of a lot of different entities, one of which is the CEO. If they don’t do what “they”… Read more »

Wild Bill

I’m pretty sure that recruiters give the recruits a list of things not to bring. And If a recruit brought a firearm, the base commander has the authority to require that the firearm be locked up in the armory.

JSNMGC

If a recruit ignored the rules and brought a handgun with him on the first day, I imagine there would be consequences.

Even after the mass shootings, firearms are severely restricted at Ft. Hood:

https://home.army.mil/hood/index.php/my-fort/visitor-information/firearms-registration

Many “civilians” are also subject to various laws and rules. The consequences of breaking those laws and rules are significant.

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
3%er

Some of the things on that US Army DO NOT BRING list include,.weapons of any kind,alcohol (alcohol based) products,tobacco of any kind, lighters,pornography related material.and of course drugs.

JSNMGC

If we understand why people in the US Army reduce their net risk by not bringing a firearm to work, it shouldn’t be that hard to understand why some people working in corporations reduce their net risk by not bringing a firearm to work.

Outside of work a similar situation exists – there are risks of not carrying and risks of carrying. People assess risk in different ways – sometimes they obsess about one type of risk and ignore much greater risks that are easily mitigated.

Russn8r

Wouldn’t want our SOLDIERS to have WEAPONS! Too dangerous! Unless they’re unhinged “Religion of Peace” creeps of course.

Russn8r

Downvoters have dual Turkish citizenship.

Wild Bill

It has been a long time since my recruiter briefed me, but that sounds real right.

Russn8r

NRA needs to stop supporting deadly “gun free” zones, including “private” ones in public places like the El Cielo Mall, which resulted in 20 dead at El Cielo Walmart with no armed resistance.

“Gun Free” zones are inconsistent with Constitutional Carry. How many “gun free” zones were there in 1789-92?

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
Finnky

Well…. he didn’t let us down. Not like he banned any firearm accessories or demonstrated how executive power could be used to circumvent the constitution at will. Not like he didn’t eliminated vast majority of federal, state or local laws.

OTOH – the alternative was worse. Much-much-worse. Quite possibly infinitely worse. Sometimes one has to hold their nose and go with a lesser evil.

Russn8r

Yep. I won’t donate or volunteer again, but I’ll vote “for” Trump if he gets the nom. Much prefer DeSantis.

JSNMGC

“In recent years, home improvement centers,grocery stores and even churches,etc. have been targeted by mass murderers.”

Even a premier U.S. Army installation.

3%er

I had forgot all about that Ft. Hood incident in Texas about 10 years ago.

Russn8r

By a “Religion of Peace” member whose Palestinian parents were imported by RINOs, who was trained, promoted & advanced by RINOs, in a “gun free” zone condoned by RINOs.

Finnky

From what I’ve read, that hypothetical business person does not face much additional risk when picking up their checked back in NY. Particularly if, as has been my experience, the bag was just sent out on the normal turnstile. That same hypothetical business person does face almost certain arrest if he attempts to check his firearm for flight home from NY, as well as elevated risk if he simply checks bag without declaring the firearm. If I accidentally brought a firearm to NY, I would have decisions to make. (1) writeoff the gun and fly home without it (2) leave… Read more »

JSNMGC

Many businesspeople traveling to NYC have little control over their itinerary – they fly into Kennedy or LaGuardia and fly out a day or two later. Bringing a firearm would be extremely risky.

Some people minimize their overall risk by having a job that requires them to be in Manhattan four to six times a year. They mitigate the risk of losing that job by not being convicted of a felony and by not having a firearm in their possession while on company business.

Ope

There are several cities that I will never return to in my lifetime. Chicago,NYC,Los Angeles top the list.

JSNMGC

People working in some professions are required to travel to those cities as a condition of their employment.

All of them that I know choose not to carry because they have concluded it will increase their net risk.

Staying at a nice hotel in the Loop is a completely different experience from driving around Englewood or Garfield Park.

john

Constitutional carry is the tool to correct this problem. There are guidelines in every aspect of our lives roadblocks installed that make others feel safer or more powerful than they are.One issue is certain the democratic party want more rules till they try infact remove firearms from all Americans. The anti gun crowd has more than one agenda a socialist run country for their beliefs only that free should be provided. This why socialism has failed those that thought more government intervention was controllable by those people that sought the life in the first place. In the end they will… Read more »

willyd

It is a TIT-FOR-TAT, PAY TO PLAY, DEAL!!!!!!!!!!

Ope

The general public in Arkansas should be afforded the same consideration. They are after all who pays the salaries of these county employees. The NCQC needs to re-evaluate their position on this and take another vote that includes all law-abiding citizens because this is a tainted and selective ruling as it stands. Probably unconstitutional too.

gregs

agreed, 14th Amendment, “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. to do otherwise is discriminator, and usually it favors government agents. Courthouses are one of several places where ordinary citizens are prohibited from exercising their Second Amendment rights in Arkansas. Other “gun-free zones” are public buildings, schools, school buses, the state capitol, police or sheriff stations or offices, inside the passenger terminal at an airport, and others. but these places should allow concealed carry because they are the type of places where criminals carry out shootings because no one is able to be armed. when… Read more »

swmft

they have done a background check and are happy so yea, I remember a case where defendant had a gun smuggled into the courtroom when I was working if I remember right janitor put it under trash bag in can in holding area…the defendant had his gang hold the guys family hostage so criminals can get a gun anywhere

swmft

how was the gun brought through metal detector ?,it was tapped to side of dumpster janitor emptied his cart picked up gun cameras did not even catch it came in un searched

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
HLB

but these places should allow concealed carry”

Why not open carry?

HLB

MICHAEL J

Now if “We the People” were afforded the same, then okay.

musicman44mag

I don’t know how to take your response Dean and I am torn. I think anyone that is legal should be able to carry guns anywhere including banks. It makes me wonder if the general public were allowed to carry in the same places if you would be ok with the new rule under those circumstances?

To me it would be partial restoration of a right that has been illegally removed because I believe that everyone should be able to carry anywhere that meets requirements and any legal person should not be prohibited from exercising their right.

Just asking.

Last edited 1 month ago by musicman44mag
Hazcat

Did you read his commentary?

musicman44mag

That’s where my question came from. He sees them as having special rights. I see it as having rights restored that should never have been taken away in the first place.

JSNMGC

Good commentary.