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Open Carry Debate Heating Up Before Bill Reaches Committee

Just a few days after House Speaker Davy Carter said he can't get behind open carry for guns in Arkansas, another leading Republican says he will.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Just a few days after House Speaker Davy Carter said he can't get behind open carry for guns in Arkansas, another leading Republican says he will.

The debate won't even begin until Tuesday in committee, but that's not keeping leading lawmakers from speaking out on the idea of open carry in Arkansas.

As it's currently written, the bill would let those with concealed carry permits switch over to open carry if they want to, a law neighboring states like Oklahoma, Mississippi and Tennessee already have on the books.

Other states, including Arizona, allow all out open carry, with no permit required.

On Monday, House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman told reporters since most states have it, it can't be all that bad.

"I've traveled to every state except for three, and I've yet to see anybody carrying a weapon only in public, so I think the fear that people will be wearing their pistols on the outside of their jacket or whatever is probably a little bit unfounded," Westerman said.

The open carry bill is on Tuesday's agenda at the capitol.


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