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Old January 7, 2009, 12:26 AM   #1
RevNate
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ARKANSAS church carry

I am coordinating an effort (in conjunction with the Arkansas Concealed Carry Association) to see a change made in the Arkansas CHL law which would allow churches and other religious institutions to decide whether or not to allow concealed carry on their own property. Currently Arkansas law does not allow carry in a place of worship, regardless of the preference of the local congregation.

Specifically, I need church and religious leaders who would support this change and who would be willing to express their support either in person or by letter. We have until the end of January to get it lined out- so time is crucial.

This is what I need:
Ministers- please PM me and let me know if you support this change

All Arkies- please speak to your religious leader about this and encourage their support. If they need more info, please put them in contact with me.

PM me for contact info and more details.

This is truly a grass-roots movement, so we need all the help we can get.

Thank you,
Nate
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Old January 7, 2009, 09:50 AM   #2
vranasaurus
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Can't a church allow concealed carry on it's own property?

We are talking about private property.
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Old January 7, 2009, 11:08 AM   #3
RevNate
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It would seem that way, but...

Not under Arkansas law. In fact, churches and other places of worship are named specifically in the law as Prohibited Places. That is the problem we are dealing with. If we can get this through, the right of churches will be recognized in the same way as other entities (businesses, etc.) with respect to their private property.

Until then, we are "legally" bound to be a gun-free (read easy target) zone.

Our goal is 50 religious leaders by the end of January who will write a letter in support of this change. Come on, Arkies!
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Old January 12, 2009, 05:33 PM   #4
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First, please let me say thank again to all of you who have taken the time to
discuss this issue with me. My goal is to find 50 pastors and church leaders who will voice their support of this change within the next two weeks. That means I need your help spreading the word. Please talk to your colleagues. Make some phone calls. Send out a few e-mails. We need all the help we can get.

Concerning the actual bill- as of today, the bill has not yet been filed. I
talked to Grant Exton from the Arkansas Concealed Carry Association
(www.arkansascca.org) on Friday 1/9 and got an update. Representative Beverly Pyle has indicated that she intends to sponsor the bill. Since the Arkasnas Concealed Handgun License program is administered by the Arkansas State Police, it is a customary courtesy for lawmakers to consult with ASP before making changes that affect them. That was done last week. Barring any derailment, Mr. Exton anticipated that the bill would be filed this week. But, lawmakers do what lawmakers want to do.

This is where your involvment becomes important. If we wait until the lawmakers get their ducks in a row, we may find that it is too late to get organized and get our voices heard. This is not about a single bill, or a single lawmaker's intent. This is about the right of a local church to exercise control over its own property. We also have to understand that nobody else is going to pick up this cause for us. It is up to church leaders to speak out on this one.
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Old January 12, 2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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You might reference the change in TX law, where a strict prohibition became one where the religious location had to explicity post such a ban.

There have been no negative consequences. But you are probably are aware of this.

There are probably TX ministers, etc. who supported the change, if this helps. The TSRA might be a resource for such.

Just a thought. Good luck.
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Old January 13, 2009, 03:57 PM   #6
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Thanks, Mr. Meyer. Texas is indeed a good example of what we are trying to do here.
Arkansas is kind of funny- if that is the correct word. I have been told by people who are a great deal more familiar with Arkansas politics than I that Arkansas lawmakers probably will not care what any other state has done. But, I do believe the example from Texas will be a good answer to anyone who argues that there is an inherent danger in allowing guns in churches.

To all- I am running low on contacts. PLEASE talk to your pastor/minister/priest/rabbi/mullah/grand potentate about this and give me some new contacts.

Thanks!
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Old January 15, 2009, 06:19 PM   #7
Larry Spencer
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Good luck in your efforts.

If you are successful in Arkansas, then gun-owners in other states such as here in KY, may use your success as another example.

Guns are not allowed in churches here in KY.

My church has had the collection basket taken by an armed robber twice in the past 7 or 8 years, right in the middle of the service. I worry about a loony coming and in and just open firing.

Last edited by Larry Spencer; January 15, 2009 at 06:57 PM.
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Old January 27, 2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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We have a bill! HB1237
http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assemb...asureno=HB1237

We need to get ready for this to go to committee.
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Old January 27, 2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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Rev Nate. Good luck with this venture, I have family and fequently visit Ark. So I'll keep an eye on it. In Ks. when CCW went into effect, Churches were on the No Carry List, as well this Changed with HB2528. Now chue=rches are only off limits with a posted Gunbuster. Good Luck
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Old January 27, 2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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HB1237 is on the agenda for the House Judiciary Committee this Thursday, January 29th. This is important because the last time a similar bill came to this committee, it died there. Even if you have already written a letter, please send an e-mail to the members of this committee. Your voice is crucial!


Send e-mails of support to the members of the committee:

Steve Harrelson, Chairperson steve@steveharrelson.com
Joan Cash, Vice Chairperson no e-mail indicated
Dawn Creekmore creekmored@arkleg.state.ar.us
Lindsley Smith smithl@arkleg.state.ar.us
Tommy Lee Baker no e-mail indicated
David "Bubba" Powers no e-mail indicated
Johnnie J. Roebuck roebuckj@arkleg.state.ar.us
Barry Hyde no e-mail indicated
Duncan Baird bairdd@arkleg.state.ar.us
Debra M. Hobbs dhobbs55@sbcglobal.net
Andrea Lea leaa@arkleg.state.ar.us
Butch Wilkins wilkinsb@arkleg.state.ar.us
Terry Rice ricefurn@centurytel.net
Darrin Williams williamsd@arkleg.state.ar.us
Steve Cole no e-mail indicated
Ann V. Clemmer avclemmer@sbcglobal.net
Davy Carter davy.carter@gmail.com
Jim Nickels nickelsj@arkleg.state.ar.us
Tiffany Rogers rogerst@arkleg.state.ar.us
Mary L. Slinkard no e-mail indicated
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Old January 27, 2009, 06:50 PM   #11
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The owner of the property has the right to allow any person to carry a firearm on the property. That goes for any place, at any location. It doesn't matter what the law says.
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Old January 27, 2009, 06:58 PM   #12
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I 'd like to see authorities attempt to prosecute someone who stopped a church rampage with a weapon that was carried in spite of this legislation.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; January 27, 2009 at 08:04 PM. Reason: My grammar was is the kitchen making cookies
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Old January 27, 2009, 07:45 PM   #13
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Eskimo and Maestro,
You are both indeed correct. However, we find ourselves constantly dealing with lawmakers who believe they laws define our rights, rather than understanding that laws should reflect and defend our rights. The entire RKBA movement is, essentially, an effort to reverse the denial of rights which have been redefined by legislation.

We know we are right. We just want to make sure the lawmakers understand that, too.
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Old January 27, 2009, 08:18 PM   #14
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From the blog of the chairman of the Judiciary Committee (I'm the guy mentioned in Update #1):

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Clingin' to my guns and my religion

HB1237 has been assigned to my committee, which allows for concealed carry in churches. I'm from south Arkansas, so therefore I have guns -- a lot of 'em. Still, the thought of carrying one into the sanctuary has never crossed my mind.

I suppose it's the principle of not having control over one's own property (the most valid point), and this is obviously reactionary to the 2008 shooting at a Unitary Church in the hills of Tennessee. This'll be an interesting debate, because members on the committee know it'll be the first bill on the 2009 NRA scorecard.

Update: The first message on the bill comes from a preacher at a Fordyce Baptist Church. He's for it, he says, on the basis that each church should be able to choose for itself whether concealed carry inside the building is appropriate.
Update II: My pastor is less enthusiastic and points me to the church discipline, which prohibits firarms at events associated with the church.

posted by Steve Harrelson @ 1/27/2009 05:26:00 PM
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Old January 28, 2009, 10:59 AM   #15
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The Judiciary Committee review of this bill has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 3rd. I need letters to carry with me, or even better, church leaders who will join me for this meeting.
This is crucial. If we do not act now, we may never see this reach the house floor.
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Old January 28, 2009, 01:18 PM   #16
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Way to go RevNate. I am with ARCCA and work with Grant. I just wanted to say that the blog by the chairperson backs up our position without him even realizing it. His pastor says that the "church discipline prohibits firearms". Exactly, the State Legislature of Arkansas didn't say ANYTHING. I hope to meet you on Tuesday at committee.
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Old January 28, 2009, 06:02 PM   #17
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Why are churches "special"?

I mean, why are they distinct from any other private property?

True, many churches are held as community property, collectively owned by the congregation, and others are the property of a diocese/synod/district/whatever, but still...

why are the lawful owners and/or their representatives (IE, those who worship there), denied by law the authority to decide this for themselves?

Just because they're churches???

That's as stupid as saying that one cannot legally carry in a donut shop. Or a **** store, for that matter. Churches are clearly special in the eyes of their congregants, and may (or may not) be so in the eyes of the/a/an/none deity, (a question that nobody here on Earth is qualified to answer,) but in the eyes of the law?

Color me confused.

--Shannon
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Old January 28, 2009, 06:47 PM   #18
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Thanks, Jason. You guys are doing a great job at ARCCA. See you Tuesday!
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Old January 29, 2009, 02:46 PM   #19
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I think every one in Arkansas with a CC should join the ARCCA.Jim.
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Old January 29, 2009, 03:34 PM   #20
RevNate
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fox16.com has a poll on their homepage which stems from this bill. The question: Should you be allowed to carry a gun to church?

All "Yes" votes are greatly appreciated.

Jim, I agree. They are doing an outstanding job. They have some informative updates on the Legislative News section of their website today.
Now- everybody go join ARCCA!!!! They need it now more than ever!
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Old January 29, 2009, 04:55 PM   #21
RevNate
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Arkansas residents- please sign the petition!

http://www.petitiononline.com/ARchCHL/petition.html
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Old January 30, 2009, 11:26 AM   #22
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Rep. Barbara Nix of Saline County (District 28) has been removed as a co-sponsor of this bill.... but the GOOD news...

Rep. Dawn Creekmore of Saline and Pulaski counties (District 27) has replaced her as one of 14 co-sponsors. Rep. Creekmore is a member of the House Judiciary Committee (that is a very good thing). This makes three members of the committee who are co-sponsors on this bill now.
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Old February 2, 2009, 09:03 PM   #23
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Quick update...

Four House Judiciary Committee members are now co-sponsors on the bill. Additionally, one other member has committed to support it. The committee is made up of 20 members, so five is a long way from a majority, but I am optimistic.
Judiciary Committee review is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10. I will be there with other pastors to speak in support of it.

Fox16, KTHV channel 11, and KATV channel 7 each featured stories on this bill in their Sunday evening local news broadcasts. The slant was not favorable to our cause. I will let everyone know what the committee does as soon as I gt home tomorrow evening.
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Old February 2, 2009, 11:53 PM   #24
RevNate
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Watch Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel at 6:20am Central time on Tuesday morning, Feb. 3rd to see their coverage of this bill. Grant Exton from ARCCA will be speaking for the good guys.
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Old February 3, 2009, 07:38 PM   #25
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The House Judiciary Committee passed HB1237 with a "do pass." There was some debate, which I may fill you in on after I get some rest.KTHV, KATV, and FOX16 were all there- along with radio station KUAR.

This is a victory, but this is only step 1 of 5.
Step 2: This bill will be considered on the House floor. This is the time for ALL ARKANSANS to contact your state representative and urge the passage of this bill.

Go to http://www.arkansas.gov/house/reps.php to find your rep and get his or her contact information. Please reference HB1237.

Thank you all for your support.
Nathan
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