A new state law intended to make technical corrections to Arkansas’ concealed carry law does not allow a person to openly carry a handgun across county lines, the state attorney general said in an opinion Monday.
Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, R-Cabot, requested the opinion on Act 746 of this year, which states that it is permissible to carry a handgun while on a journey, defined as travel outside of one’s home county.
Some gun rights advocates, including a co-sponsor, Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, have contended the law effectively makes Arkansas an "open carry" state.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Monday he does not believe that is the case. He opined that the journey exception, as it relates to carrying a gun, does not permit a person to carry a handgun outside his or her vehicle or other mode of transportation.
"I do not interpret Act 746 as authorizing so-called ‘open carry.’ To the contrary, the journey exception applies only to travel beyond the county in which a person lives — a narrow range of activity inconsistent with the concept of ‘open carry,’"
An attorney general’s opinion is not legally binding. The law is widely expected to end up being interpreted in court.