Gun rights supporters "celebrate" open carry law

BRYANT (KATV) - Armed supporters took to the streets of Bryant Saturday to bring attention to a new law that allows the public bearing of arms in Arkansas.

Thousands of gun advocates across the state were happy to see Act 746 become law on August 16th. But Saturday some supporters went the extra mile--literally---peacefully marching down major roads to celebrate their gun rights.

Nicholas Stehle, chairperson for Arkansas Carry, organized the event which he called a legal and peaceful armed citizen walk that would show the state that unlicensed open carry is now legal. Supporters at the event say being able to openly carry deters crime and provides an important option for gun owners. Stehle doesn't openly carry himself but says it's not for lawmakers to make that decision and this recent law ends decades of infringement on a basic right.

"I still prefer to carry concealed but I support people's rights to carry openly," he said. "There's no evidence to suggest that it's a safety problem. There's no evidence to suggest that people behave any differently except for the fact that it may actually prevent some crimes from ever happening."