Posts tagged ‘Arkansas’

11/04/2014

Why I voted for Arkansas’s* constitutional amendment legalizing statewide alcohol sales (Issue 4)

by wfgodbold

It’s a practical matter.

Sheldon Richman’s piece at Reason goes more into the policy and history of the wet-dry county divide than I care to.

The problem with the “local control” side of the debate is that the odds are stacked overwhelmingly in favor of the status quo.

If a county wishes to vote on whether to change from dry to wet (or vice versa), Ark. Code Ann. § 3-8-205 (a)(1) requires that a petition be submitted by 38% of the registered voters in the county. If a county wishes to change from dry to damp,** however, the petition need only be signed by enough registered voters to equal 15% of the votes cast in that county in the previous gubernatorial election.***

Essentially, the state legislature has made it incredibly easy for voters to decide to go from dry to damp, but incredibly difficult to go from dry to wet. Thirty-eight per cent of the registered voters in the county is essentially the signature of every voter who plans to vote in favor of the change.

And, of course, opponents of the statewide preemption (and Saline County’s petition to go from dry to wet) are rent-seeking county line liquor stores whose business will suffer when their neighboring counties are no longer dry.

It’s Baptists and Bootleggers all over again.

*Yes, it looks odd, but “Arkansas’s” is the correct possessive form.

**”Damp” counties forbid the sale of alcohol over the counter, but allow the sale in “clubs” for on-premises consumption.

***Ark. Code Ann. § 3-9-206 (a)(2).

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07/11/2013

Schrödinger’s Open Carry in Arkansas

by wfgodbold

Before I get into the meat of Act 746 of Arkansas’s 89th General Assembly (on which both Clayton Cramer and Sebastian and Bitter have recently written), let me congratulate Illinois on its actual passage–over the governor’s vet0–of a shall-issue concealed carry licensing scheme. Welcome to the club!

Now, here in Arkansas, much hullabaloo has been made over Act 746, which went into effect on July 1st. That act changed the language in Arkansas’s law regarding the offense of carrying a weapon (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120), and in the law governing possession of handguns on school property (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119).

The main issue is with § 5-73-120, which previously read:

(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) “Club” means . . . ;

(2) “Handgun” means . . . ; and

(3)(A) “Knife” means . . . .

(B) “Knife” includes . . . .

(c) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that at the time of the act of carrying a weapon:

. . .

(4) The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person’s checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon; . . .

Note that though this section provided the “journey” defense, subsection (b) did not actually define what qualified as a journey.

As of July 1st, the statute, as amended by Act 746, now reads:

(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.

. . .

(b) As used in this section:

. . .

(3) “Journey” means travel beyond the county in which a person lives; and

. . .

(c) It is permissible to carry a handgun under this section that if at the time of the act of carrying a weapon:

. . .

(4) The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person’s checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon; . . . [emphasis added]

So, the amended statute now defines journey, changes defenses to carrying a weapon to when it is permissible to carry a weapon, and adds what appears to be a mens rea element to the offense itself–the person’s purpose must be to unlawfully employ the handgun.

The situation is further muddled by AG Dustin McDaniel’s official opinion on the new journey provision of § 5-73-120, delivered in response to a state senator’s request for clarification of the meaning of the journey provision. McDaniel is very careful in his opinion to limit it to the meaning of this provision–in footnote 7, he states:

The act defines as one element of a possession offense under subsection 5-73-120(a) having “a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.” Acts 2013, No. 746, § 2 (new language underlined). Although one might debate the significance, if any, of this change in terminology, it is clearly immaterial to your question.

Because the state senator only asked about the journey provision, McDaniel dodged the more material question of whether the changes to § 5-73-120(a) by themselves decriminalize open carry in Arkansas.

I will remind you, gentle reader, that I am a law student–not a lawyer–and nothing in this post is offered as legal advice.

That disclaimer out of the way, I will say that I don’t plan on being the test case.

04/23/2012

Crystal Bridges

by wfgodbold

While visiting some friends in the NW corner of the state this past weekend, I went to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and wandered through the gallery (though I didn’t take advantage of their nifty app).

The collection is impressive.

And since they let you take pictures of every piece (save one picture of Davy Crockett, for some reason), you can take pictures of original pictures and email/text them to friends in large cities who are aghast that Alice Walton would dare buy all this great art and then take it to Arkansas.

If you’re in the Bentonville area, you should definitely take the time to drop in and check it out.

I didn’t get the names for most of the pieces I took low quality iPhone pictures of, but I won’t let that stop me from sharing them.

Mount Etna

Rosie the Riveter

Does her pose remind you of anyone?

I'm sure she needs no introduction.

Edit: Resized the photos so they wouldn’t be cut off on the right side.

Edit 2: I forgot to post the photo I took of one of their two portraits of George Washington:

01/06/2012

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

by wfgodbold

What better way to celebrate than with a bowl game?

Hopefully Arkansas will be able to keep it together and destroy Kansas State.

Twitter is being stupid; I haven’t been able to post anything all day. They need to get their shit together or I’ll be really angry with them. I might even write them a letter, telling them how angry I am.

11/23/2011

Rick Reilly is hoarding the melange*

by wfgodbold

Back in August, he wrote for ESPN:

Grub’s, the best college bar in America, will nearly come unhinged when Arkansas wins the BCS national championship over Oklahoma. It’s the first national title for Arkansas since 1964, when it went undefeated under Frank Broyles. (Yet Alabama, which lost its bowl game to Texas that year, still claims it as theirs. Whoa, Tide!) Anyway, chili cheese fries for everybody! [emphasis in original]

The spice must flow, Rick!

I don’t know how likely winning the whole shebang is; Arkansas is 10-1, with undefeated #1 LSU coming up this Friday. Depending on how we do against them, and how ‘Bama does against Auburn, and how the SEC championship goes, we might not even get to a BCS bowl game.

On the other hand, if the stars align…

H/T Ryan.

*Yes, I did shoehorn a Dune reference into my post on SEC football. You’re welcome.

08/19/2011

We’re #13! Woo hoo!

by wfgodbold

According to the stats posted by Joe Huffman, Arkansas is thirteenth (with ~3.588% of the population licensed (1 in 27.9 people)) when the states are ordered according to percentage of population with concealed-carry licenses.

Beating us, in order, are: New Hampshire, South Dakota, Utah, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Tennessee, Washington, Indiana, Wyoming, and Florida.

New Hampshire is in first by a mile, too; 16.497% of New Hampshirians (New Hampshirites? Whatever.) are licensed to carry. That’s 1 in 6.1 people! South Dakota’s 6.85% (1 in 14.6 people) pales in comparison.

I’d have thought there would be more than 6.3 million CCW holders in the whole country, but you can’t argue with the numbers*.

If you’re curious about your own state, head over to Joe’s and download the spreadsheet and check!

*Technically, I suppose you can argue with the numbers. It just won’t end well. Math is kind of a dick.

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07/30/2011

Why is the solution ALWAYS more laws? Why? (blue language alert)

by wfgodbold

In this case, a law recently went into effect to combat the scourge of meth; this time by making the purchase of Sudafed even more onerous than it was before.

Instead of just requiring people to sign a logbook when they buy OTC drugs like Sudafed (which was ridiculous enough), now pharmacists can refuse to sell to people who aren’t in “pressing need” of the drug. God forbid you choose to stock up on cold medicines so that you don’t have to go to the damn store while you’re sick; that’s not allowed anymore.

I don’t know how I missed this back when it was actually happening; I blame not getting sick that often. And it could be worse:

In June 2010, the state board of pharmacy unanimously voted to support a legislative initiative that would convert pseudoephedrine to a Schedule III controlled-substance prescription item. Solid oral dosage forms of the drug were already Schedule V nonprescription products.

You want your sudafed? GO GET A PRESCRIPTION, YOU FUCKING METH COOKER!

Fuck you, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy.

The bill we ended up with is bad enough:

Jan K. Hastings, clinical coordinator for community pharmacy experiential education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, said the decision-making process under the law rests on the pharmacist–patient relationship.

“There has to be a pharmacist–patient relationship before you make the recommendation, just like there would be for any other medication that you would recommend for a patient,” she said.

The only pharmacist-patient relationship I’m interested in, you jackbooted tyrant, is the one in which I say, “I would like to buy Sudafed/whatever, an OTC drug that DOESN’T REQUIRE A PRESCRIPTION,” and the pharmacists responds with, “Okay, that’ll be $10.”

I’m not your friend. I’m not going to the damn druggist for advice. I’m going to buy drugs, and unless those drugs require a fucking prescription, IT’S YOUR GODDAM JOB TO SELL THEM TO ME.

02/17/2011

More on Kim Hammer and Open Carry

by wfgodbold

In the Examiner.

From the responses to the NRA questionnaire, it looks like Hammer is trying to have it both ways; sometimes he’s pro gun, and some times he’s pro gun control.

Judging from his actions in the Arkansas judiciary committee, it’s more likely that he’s an anti-gunner that was merely campaigning as pro gun.

Hopefully he’ll get his act together and get on the right side of the issue; if he doesn’t, he’ll just have to be replaced.

02/10/2011

No Open Carry Yet

by wfgodbold

The bill was killed in committee. Looks like the state police, North Little Rock PD, and sheriff’s association were all against it.

The ‘do not pass’ motion was made by Kim Hammer (R), who according to his campaign website is ostensibly pro-gun.

If I were cynical, I would say that they rescheduled the committee meeting from Tuesday to today so that people wouldn’t be able to show their support; with record-setting snowfall in parts of the state yesterday, making the trip to Little Rock would have been quite a chore.

Tennessee and Mississipi have open carry without any issues; does crossing the Mississippi River magically make people unable to responsibly carry a firearm unless it’s concealed?

02/07/2011

Open carry in Arkansas?

by wfgodbold

While concealed carry in Arkansas is legal (with permission slips from the state), open carry is not.

Tomorrow, the state legislature’s judicial committee is scheduled to hear a bill that would remedy that.

Let your reps know that you’re in favor of open carry!

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