Arkansas Governor weighs in on open carry in the state
By Chris Eger
Hutchinson, who recently waded into the waters around Act 746 (Photo: Governor’s office)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson this month contacted the Arkansas State Police to inform the agency that the open carry of firearms is legal in the state by his interpretation.
In letters obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, the Arkansas Times discovered that Hutchinson reached out to State Police director, Col. Bill Bryant, instructing him to provide the guidance to troopers in the field, saying he felt any arrest of an individual who was open carrying “would be both inappropriate and inconsistent with Arkansas law.”
The Governor, who helmed the National Rifle Association’s School Shield Task Force in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, says in the letter that he had expected the state supreme court to rule on the open carry issue, but they did not have an opportunity.
In turn, Bryant last week issued a directive on Arkansas’ often-controversial Act 746, a law which is seen by many as clouding the legality of permitless carry in the state. The states’ top lawman passed down to troop and criminal investigation division commanders that, while openly carrying a handgun does not provide probable cause for arrest, troopers can stop and detain