Bill filed in AR house to allow open carry of firearms in public

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A bill filed in the Arkansas{}House of Representatives early today would allow gun owners to openly carry their firearm in public. But although supporters say it's another right given to them by the second amendment, one opponent says it's a step in the wrong direction.

"I want safety for the next generation," said Rep. Sue Scott.{}"I want safety for us for the generation now," she said.

Representative Scott says the "Permitted Open Carry Act" she filed today goes one step further to prevent tragedies like the one in Connecticut.

"If someone had been showing, as you call it, at Sandy Hook maybe we would not have had that tragic, tragic heinous crime committed," said Scott.

The bill, if passed, would allow citizens to openly carry in places where it's permitted. Danny Bradley who's been in law enforcement for nearly forty years says it does more harm than good.

"I've got some concerns with it," said Bradley, Chief of Police in North Little Rock. "How do the officers tell the good guys from the bad guys?" he said.

And as far as preventing another Sandy Hook, Bradley says it does the exact opposite since it gives officers no real reason to stop someone carrying an exposed weapon.

"I really don't see how that may have helped in that circumstance," said Bradley.{}"In fact, going into the future I think it could actually be a hindrance," he said.

But the new representative, who's going into her very first session with this bill, is convinced it's the best solution to protecting people, especially children.

"Whether I'm here two years from now,{}four years from now or six years from now I'm here to do what's right," said Scott.

If the bill is passed, a concealed carry license would automatically be converted to a license to carry a handgun in public.

UPDATE: A House panel voted against this measure on February 26.

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