Attorney general hands down opinion on 'open carry' legislation

Attorney general hands down opinion on 'open carry' legislation

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The attorney general of the state released her opinion on a highly debated topic over the past week.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge handed down her opinion regarding Act 246 of 2013, regarding the open carry of a handgun without a license.

In her opinion, she said "open carry" is legal as long as a person does not have the intent to break the law with the weapon. However, Rutledge said there are 4 "caveats" to her opinion.

Rutledge, while maintaining that she does not encourage "open carry", said a person may carry a weapon in plain view if they are not violating state or federal law.

Rutledge said a person who carries a handgun should be aware that police may legally ask the person why they are carrying a weapon.

Secondly, Rutledge said there are other statutes that would prohibit the open carry of a weapon.

"Those statutes still have full force and effect," the opinion stated.

On private property, the owner or occupant can still make the decision to keep handguns on or off of their property.

Finally, concealed handgun laws still apply.

"To lawfully carry a concealed handgun, however, it will be necessary to obtain a concealed-carry license," the opinion stated.

Rutledge handed down her opinion at the request of Senators Tim Lemons, Jon Woods and Nate Bell.

To read the entire opinion, click here.

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