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Arkansas House and Senate Approve Church Carry

Discussion in 'Legal' started by JPG19, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. JPG19

    JPG19 Member

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  2. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    They need legislative action for that? That should be a given,(it is here).
     
  3. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    The left got church's excluded when it first got past. I'm glad they are getting this fixed. I encourage fellow Pastors and staff to carry. We had a Pastor and his secretary get beaten He died and the other one will never be the same . We are not as respected as we once was even 15 years ago. As Jesus said the time will come to buy a sword. LK 22:36 Today is the time to heed this advice.
     
  4. Sambo82

    Sambo82 Member

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    Very exciting things are happening here in Arkansas this legislative session. This happens to be the first time that Republicans have controlled the state since Reconstruction :)
     
  5. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    I was impressed with the overwhelming support this had in the House and Senate. I agree it should be a no-brainer. Why would churches let the State tell them what to do? At least it's all over but the shouting.

    Maybe we can get stand your ground next...
     
  6. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    That would be a big +1.
     
  7. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Member

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    And for all of us chuch going CCW people out there:
    Exodus 22:2
    “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;"

    Yes, it specifically says theaf breaking in at night, but I think it applies to protecting yourself and your loved ones. Carry everywhere you legally can. This includes church, the doctor's office, the stop and shop, the park, etc. If you CAN LEGALLY carry you should. You never know when and where it can happen.

    We can legally carry in church here in Tennessee. I'm glad to hear that they are moving in the right direction in Arkansas.

    Jim
     
  8. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Open carry is going to be on the agenda this session as well. Hopefully that will pass as well.
     
  9. baz

    baz Member

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    I've worked with those lobbying for this since the 2009 session (AR only has sessions every other year, for those who do not know). We couldn't ever get it out of committee before. The stronger Republican presence helped this time, but plenty of Democrats supported the measure as well. But the Governor has said he wants some changes "to protect churches" before he signs the bill. So there may be some tweaking of the bill before it is law.

    But my question for the Governor is "protection from whom?" Does he think all the those with CHL who go to church are about to go postal? Actually, the Governor is a Democrat, and I think he's pandering to the few Democrats who voted against the Bill. I don't know their reasons this time, but in the two prior sessions, they had some pretty silly reasons for opposing the change. As others have noted, we're just catching up with what other states already allow.
     
  10. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    If I remember correctly, Beebe was involved in Arkansas's original CHL legislation, and he's typically been somewhat supportive of it. He made a similar "anti" comment two years ago when open carry came up. Apparently, people would be getting into shootouts at wrestling matches in Verizon Arena, or something. I don't understand his irrational fears, he's typically fairly level-headed.

    Fortunately, with the overwhelming majority with which this bill passed, a veto won't necessarily change anything.
     
  11. JPG19

    JPG19 Member

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    Open carry and Stand Your Ground sounds too good to be true but I'm praying for it! I heard that the governor has already stated that he will sign the bill, hopefully without any changes since there was so much support for this law in both the House and the Senate.
     
  12. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    We may not have anything titled Stand Your Ground, but take a look at Ark. Code Ann. 5-2-607:

    Take a good look at those sections. As I said, Arkansas may not have anything as catchy as Stand Your Ground, but the code section above provides pretty stout protections for someone defending him- or herself. A person may not use deadly force if that person knows that he or she can retreat with complete safety. Key words are "knows" and "complete safety." A suspicion or belief on the part of the shooter that he or she can retreat to more safety or partial safety isn't sufficient to impose a duty to retreat.
     
  13. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Member

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    It also specifically says that you are not required to retreat if you are in your dwelling and are not the original aggressor.

    Nice.

    Jim
     
  14. baz

    baz Member

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    Well, he isn't going to veto it. It went through the Senate this afternoon for a final vote, with only 1 nay, and has been reported as "delivered to the Governor." What I see "delivered to the Governor" is unchanged from what the House passed back to the Senate, so I don't know if there is any opportunity for him to get any changes to it now, or not. (I have only minimal understanding of AR's legislative workings.)
     
  15. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    My understanding isn't much better, if any. I think a veto is the only option now, other than another piece of legislation after the fact.

    I can't remember if he has line item veto power, if that would even make a difference.
     
  16. baz

    baz Member

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    I think a big difference here may be that the Arkansas code you cite addresses the issue of retreat only on your own property, whereas a true "Stand Your Ground" law would apply to anywhere you might be. The law is good, as far as removing the burden of proof in using lethal force on your own property, but it would be nice to have a true "Stand Your Ground" law.
     
  17. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    baz, take another look at the section that I underlined. It provides a limitation on when one can use deadly force, but not where. You're not required to retreat in your own dwelling or the curtilage, but you're only restricted from using deadly force (when it's otherwise authorized) if you know you can retreat in complete safety. I don't read that part as only applying to one's own property. The other caveat, of course, being that you cannot use deadly force if you can avoid the necessity of doing so by surrendering property to one claiming a lawful right to possession of the property.
     
  18. baz

    baz Member

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    Spats,

    The part you underlined is in the negative, implying that you do have a duty retreat (quite the opposite of "Stand Your Ground") unless the circumstances in Part B apply. It is Part B which removes the duty to retreat, but it specifically limits it to "a person's dwelling or on the curtilage surrounding the person's dwelling." When I first got my CHL (back in 2006) I don't think the "or on the curtilage surrounding the person's dwelling" language was then part of the law, and it was a common bit of gallows humor to suggest that if you shot someone on your property, drag them inside before calling the police. With that language added, we no longer have to do that. ;)

    I still think you are overstating what the law permits. Have you taken a concealed carry class in Arkansas? If so, recently? What I'm wondering is if you are just going off your own reading of the law you cited, or if your understanding is based on something you might have picked up in a concealed carry class. Just curious, not trying to be argumentative. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But you haven't persuaded me yet.
     
  19. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Fair enough, baz. I've got no problems with your questions.

    I'm basing my interpretation on:
    • 3 years of law school;
    • 10 years as an Arkansas attorney;
    • my concealed carry class in 2010 or 2011; and
    • a few years of legal research on this issue.

    Let's take another look at the section:
    Technically, there is a duty to retreat, but that duty is very narrow and conditional. "A person may not use deadly force in self-defense if the person knows that he or she can avoid the necessiety of deadly force with complete safety by retreating.

    For the moment, let's just skip the "dwelling or curtilage" part, as I think we both agree that there's no duty to retreat in your own home. The SD shooter (not the aggressor) is prohibited from using deadly force "if he knows that he can retreat with complete safety." So the SD shooter must know that he or she can retreat with complete safety before the legal authorization to use deadly force is withdrawn, and the duty to retreat takes over.

    Think about this for a second: Once you're in a position where gunfire seems like the best option, how often will you know (not suspect) that you can retreat with complete (not more, not partial) safety?
     
  20. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    Spats,

    I got pretty much the same explanation in my concealed carry class. The instructor was law enforcement and had spoken to several attorneys on the matter. I tend to agree.

    I think the big push for a Stand Your Ground law comes from the possible added shelter from prosecution. I think we can all agree on what was a clean shoot, but sometimes the prosecutors don't and you end up with a costly legal battle. Still not the end of the world, but not preferable.
     
  21. baz

    baz Member

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    Good credentials. I better understand your position, but is there any case law on point? And where does this leave the burden of proof? Isn't it still with the shooter? And isn't the purpose of "Stand Your Ground" to clarify that the shooter doesn't have the burden of proof? It does seem to me that the way the law is worded leaves a lot to be desired.

    Thanks for the insights.
     
  22. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    A little off topic (not that this whole conversation isn't), but I got to thinking about exception #2.

    I understand why. You can't shoot someone over a property dispute. But it basically makes you defenseless against a mugging. Granted, I don't own anything that's worth more than someone's life, and there's still the matter of knowing you can escape in complete safety, but it does, by my reading alone, give muggers a little bit of a free ride.

    I realize it's a sticky situation, all around. I'm just trying to think through that part.
     
  23. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    In most jurisdictions, self-defense is an affirmative defense, which means that the burden is on the SD shooter to demonstrate that it was self-defense, as defined under relevant state law. In Arkansas, though:

    If you can lay hold of a copy of Humphrey, which you should be able to do at your county law library (every county has one), it's a very instructive read. To give you an idea of the facts behind Humphrey,
    There's a great deal more to that tale that needs to be taken into account, but the case does a very good job of explaining the scenario. In all fairness, this is a fairly extreme SD case, but the trial court had refused to instruct the jury on SD. The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed and remanded. That DOES NOT mean that the Ark. S. Ct. exonerated Mr. Humphrey. It does mean that Mr. Humphrey put forth the SD defense and that the Ark. S. Ct. felt that such an issue should have gone to the jury. I do not know whether the subsequent jury convicted Mr. Humphrey or not.

    Nonetheless, Humphrey does a good job of laying out the parameters of Arkansas law on the duty to retreat and its boundaries.
     
  24. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Outlaw Man, that exception is "by surrendering property to someone claiming a lawful right to possession. "Give it here or I'll cut you!" is not a claim to a lawful right to posssession. "Give it here because it's mine!" is.
     
  25. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    I understand, but I'm more concerned with "claiming." If your "give it" example were preceded by "that's mine," I'm afraid you have a different scenario. Of course, this is all predicated on one of those thugs actually thinking this through. "I said" with no witnesses isn't the most concrete evidence in court, either.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the court case. I'm going to try to find that.
     
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