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Arkansans consider pros and cons of conceal and carry permits

Could Arkansas be the next state to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit?
Could Arkansas be the next state to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit?  The Arizona legislature sent a bill to the governor's desk this week that would let gun owners skip the background checks and classes required to conceal their guns.  We found out what Arkansans think.

People showed up by the score to a gun show at the Clearchannel Metroplex Saturday to pick their weapons of choice.  Ralph Rutherford has been selling guns in Arkansas for years and the idea of letting someone tote around a gun without going through the steps to get a conceal and carry permit doesn't sit well with him.  "I think we should have a background check because I don't think everyone should have a carry permit," Rutherford said.

As it stands federal regulations require everyone to undergo background checks to buy guns.  But in states like Arkansas you also have to go through a class to get a conceal and carry permit.  Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington sees real value in training.  Pennington said, "an individual needs to, number one, know the weapon, know how to use it, when to use it."

But those who want to allow people to conceal and carry without permits say why make law abiding citizens go through additional steps to protect themselves, when criminals won't obey the law to get a gun in the first place?  Pennington said, "having been in law enforcement all these years I've never seen a felon have a permit to carry one."

With Arkansas lawmakers out of session there's no active legislative pursuit of a similar law here but Sheriff Pennington thinks if it came to pass Arkansans would be responsible.

If Arizona's governor signs the legislation, that state would join Alaska and Vermont in not requiring permits.  You must have the permits in 45 other states including Arkansas. 
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