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.
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.