In prior Gun Talk articles I’ve spoken of how glad I am to live in Arkansas, the Natural State. Now I have another reason.
An April article on msn.com noted that “The state with the worst gun laws is Arkansas. Its gun law grade in 2021 was F.”
In the article, I found that “To determine the state with the worst gun laws, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2021 Annual Gun Law Scorecard from the Giffords Law Center (led by former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, herself a gun violence victim), which assigned letter grades to states based on the strength and weaknesses of their gun laws and policies.”
And in looking at the Giffords site, indeed Arkansas is ranked 50th in the nation. Wyoming is 49th, Idaho is 48th, and my birth state of Missouri is 47th. I’ve lived in all four states. On the scorecard, 23 states share the F grade.
As Gun Talk readers might speculate, California has a number one ranking, but look at what is going on in that state with firearms violations and crime surge. For a real education about your state’s ranking, take a look at the scorecard site with the link above.
The article further defines Arkansas’ low ranking with the following:
“Arkansas is a ‘shall issue’ state, according to the report. This means that local law enforcement must issue a concealed weapons license to any applicant who is 21 years old and over, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and a resident of Arkansas for at least 90 days, among other such criteria. In 2021, Arkansas also repealed its law that required a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public. With this it dropped from ranking 12th worst in 2020 to the worst in 2021.”
Yes, Arkansas of one of 25 states that has conferred Constitutional carry on its residents, and for me, that gives each of those states a high ranking.
To clarify things, the article also says, “National laws have been impossible to pass because many people believe gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Gun regulations, therefore, are mostly enacted at the state level. Some states are very strict, while in others people can carry guns in the open.”
And all along I’ve been thinking the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment allow gun ownership. Leave it to the lamestream media to shatter my beliefs.
As the article continued, “Many states have very loose gun ownership rules. Those with stronger restrictions in place can do little to stem the flow of firearms from less-regulated states. One bill currently before the House Judiciary Committee, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, would even force states with stricter gun laws to accept concealed carry permits issued in states with less stringent laws.”
I’ve written before about the benefits of reciprocity because I travel to other states, and my Arkansas CCW is honored in most states I visit. Wouldn’t national reciprocity be a novel idea for self defense?
I have said all along I believe if one is going to carry a firearm, training is a good plan, and CCW permit classes usually have an overview of state firearms laws as part of that training component. Knowing state firearms laws where you live and travel is a key way to stay out of legal trouble. Look at Handgunlaw.us or USCCA Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & U.S. Gun Laws | USCCA (usconcealedcarry.com) for state information.
To help understand Arkansas’ ranking, my state also is first in eight other achievements that include:
· Creation of Walmart stores.
· Adding synchronized sound to film.
· Issuing “Obesity Report Cards” for kids in 2004.
· First U.S. female senator, Hattie Caraway, in November 1932.
· Installing school classroom panic buttons in 2015-16.
· Founding of Dillard’s Department Stores in 1938.
· Creation of Brown and Serve Rolls.
· Creation of “cheese dogs” in 1956.
While these achievements certainly add to Arkansas’ stature and history, ranking 50th on the Giffords national scorecard makes me glad my best worst state is doing its part to help me “Stay safe, be prepared.” ~ Mike
Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states and internationally. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training, worked as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, and also worked as an outfitter’s guide.