SAF Wins In Arkansas

The Second Amendment Foundation has won another lawsuit challenging restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of permanent legal residents. This time it was a challenge against the state of Arkansas’ restriction of concealed carry permits to US citizens only.

Admittedly, these type of cases are low hanging fruit insomuch as alienage is a suspect class and strict scrutiny must be applied when a fundamental right involving a suspect class is involved. That said, they need to challenged and the Second Amendment Foundation is well-placed to do it.

The release from SAF is below. As I’ve said before, I wish the Second Amendment Foundation would stick to the courts and that the NRA-ILA would stick to legislatures. Those are the arenas in which they each do their best. By doing so, it would best for gun rights and would avoid what I consider foolish gestures like this one on background checks.


BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has won a significant victory on behalf of legal resident aliens in Arkansas, with a federal district court there declaring the state’s citizen-only concealed carry licensing law unconstitutional, and granting a permanent injunction against its enforcement on behalf of a man named Martin Pot (pronounced Pote), a citizen of the Netherlands.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks, for the Western District of Arkansas, handed down the ruling. He ordered the state to pay SAF $10,000 in attorney’s fees and court costs of $726.41. SAF and Mr. Pot were represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

The lawsuit, filed last November, challenged the Arkansas statute because it “completely prohibits resident legal aliens from the concealed carry of guns, in public, for the purpose of self-defense. Colonel Stan Witt, director of the Arkansas State Police, was named as the defendant in his official capacity.

“This is yet another victory in our effort to expand Second Amendment protections in the United States,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Mr. Pot is a law-abiding resident of Eureka Springs, and has been so since 1986. He is self-employed and is a productive member of the community, with an American-born wife and family. He came here almost 30 years ago, met and married his wife, and has many solid connections in his community.”

While Arkansas statute allowed Pot to possess a firearm only in his home, on his property or – under certain circumstances – while on a “journey,” he was prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry permit because he is not a citizen.

“This case is not unique,” Gottlieb noted. “SAF has successfully challenged other state laws, in New Mexico, Washington, Nebraska and Massachusetts. Legal resident aliens should not be penalized at the expense of their self-defense rights. This was a good outcome to a case that should help lots of people.

“This is another case where SAF is winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded.

The Anti-Anti-Gun Buyback

In some areas of the country, police departments conduct gun buybacks in the mistaken belief that it will “take guns off the streets”. The reality is that it allows people to dump old clunkers as well as allow criminals to ditch hot guns without a question.

In a refreshing turn of events, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in Pine Bluff, Arkansas just had a gun auction that raised over $125,000 for the Sheriff’s Department and the Tri-County Drug Task Force. The auction was held in accordance with Arkansas law (A.C.A. § 5-5-101) that mandates the public auction of seized weapons and contraband by the law enforcement agency.

Courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department

This was the first auction that the Sheriff’s Department held since 2005 when they only netted about $15,000 in proceeds. This auction was the largest auction in the county’s history.

Approximately 600 people from across the state attended the auction with 380 registered bidders. Approximately 204 checks were processed through the NICS. However, 6 individuals hoping to leave with a firearm were disappointed after receiving 3-day delayed notices and one (1) individual was denied approval to purchase firearms by the ATF.

Each gun auctioned went to the highest bidder. The highest bid at of $2,375.00 was for a Winchester .38 WCF L.A. Rifle and the lowest bid was $5.00 for a Marksman 177 Caliber BB Pistol.

I like this quote from the JCSD’s press release: “Today’s auction provided citizens an informative, secure, and safe way to buy firearms at a bargain.”

I think this is a sheriff that get’s it.

SAF Files Suit In Arkansas Challenging Ban On Carry By Legal Aliens

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed another in their series of suits challenging the denial of gun rights to legal aliens. In this case, Martin Pot is a Dutch citizen who has resided in Arkansas since 1986 and would like to obtain a concealed carry permit. Arkansas law currently limits concealed carry permits to US citizens.

Laws barring possession or carry permits by legal aliens are low hanging fruit because courts have consistently ruled against them. In cases in Kentucky, South Dakota, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Nebraska brought by both the Second Amendment Foundation and the ACLU, courts have held that alienage is a suspect class, that strict scrutiny must be applied in these cases, and that laws banning possession or carry by legal aliens fail to meet that criteria.

The release from the Second Amendment Foundation gives more details on the case below:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arkansas on behalf of a legal resident alien, alleging that his right to keep and bear arms is being violated by a state law that prevents him from obtaining a concealed carry license.

The lawsuit, on behalf of Martin Pot (pronounced Poht), a citizen of the Netherlands, challenges the Arkansas statute because it “completely prohibits resident legal aliens from the concealed carry of guns, in public, for the purpose of self-defense. Named as a defendant in the case is Colonel Stan Witt, director of the Arkansas State Police.

“Mr. Pot is a law-abiding resident of Eureka Springs, and has been so since 1986,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “He is self-employed and is a productive member of the community, with an American-born wife and family. He came here almost 30 years ago, met and married his wife, and has many solid connections in his community.”

SAF and Mr. Pot are represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

“When I first spoke with Mr. Pot over the telephone, I was alarmed at the prospect of his being denied a fundamental constitutional civil right because of the discriminatory citizenship requirement that was added to the law,” said SAF general counsel Miko Tempski. “He previously had a license, but under the revised statute, the state will not renew it.”

Gottlieb noted that Pot is allowed to possess a firearm in Arkansas only in his home, on his property or – under certain circumstances – while on a “journey.” However, state law prohibits him from obtaining a concealed carry permit because he is not a citizen.

“This is not the first time we have taken an action on behalf of a resident alien,” Gottlieb said, “and we are very confident that this will be a successful case. We have faced similar successful challenges in Washington, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Nebraska.”

SAF is seeking a declaration from the court that the citizenship requirement contained in Arkansas law is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The case is entitled Pot et al. v. Witt. I will post a link to the complaint later today.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the complaint in the case.

Remington Breaks Ground On Ammo Plant Expansion

As I reported a few months ago, Remington is planning to expand their ammunition manufacturing plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. Yesterday, they held their ground-breaking ceremony. It attracted the politicians as both Gov. Mike Beebe (D-AR) and US Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) spoke. I’m sure as Democrats in an increasingly red state they wanted to be perceived as pro-gun. Pryor, by the way, was one of the few Democrats to vote against Manchin-Toomey.

The plant expansion is a $32 million project and is expected to be operational somewhere around mid-year 2014.

Remington Plant Manager Jim Grahlmann declined to comment on the purpose of the new facility, for competitive purposes, he said. Grahlmann added that while he couldn’t be specific, the new plant will add 50-100 “relatively high skill positions.”

He added that some of those jobs may be offered to current employees of the plant, depending on their qualifications.

Grahlmann said the new addition to the plant will be 35,000 square feet and should be constructed by June 2014, though he is unsure of when it will officially open, due to the company having to move the equipment into the facility.

While the plant manager is being a little closed mouthed about the purpose of the new facility, the PR department of Remington was not so reticent.

The Remington expansion will help meet consumer demand for quality ammunition products at a time when many sportsmen and gun owners are struggling to find supply. Further, it will stimulate both the state and local economy.

“This groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant event for Remington and for the Lonoke community,” said George Kollitides, Chief Executive Officer of Remington. “It demonstrates our commitment to state-of-the-art facilities; ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery to our customers. The expansion also allows us the opportunity to provide job growth within a community that has supported us since we laid the first cornerstone here in 1969. We are honored and pleased to celebrate this expansion with such great partners.”

I really did like one comment that Gov. Beebe made regarding supporting expansion versus only recruiting new businesses.

“As we strive to create new relationships with new partners, we must never forget the ones we already have,” said Gov. Mike Beebe in reference to helping an existing manufacturer. “It is so much easier to expand existing business than it is to create new ones.”

THV Channel 11 has more on the ground-breaking below. I do want to correct one mistake that anchor Craig O’Neill made. He stated that Remington was the only company to make both firearms and ammunition. That is incorrect. ATK which makes Federal Ammuniton would also fit in that category with its acquisition earlier this year of Savage Arms.

Campus Carry For Staff And Faculty Shot Down In Arkansas

A bill that would have have allowed faculty and staff – but not students – to carry concealed on university and community college campuses in Arkansas was shot down in committee yesterday. The Arkansas House Education Committee considered the bill and voted 8-8 on it. 11 votes are required for a bill to advance for consideration by the full House.

The bill, HB 1479, was sponsored by Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville). The bill was explicit in that only full-time faculty or staff would be allowed to carry concealed on campus if they held a CCW. Part-time staff or faculty would not have had that same right. Nothing in the bill applied to students and was explicit that firearms could not be stored in a dormitory or residence hall.

HB 1479 would have applied to all public universities, community colleges, and private universities in Arkansas. However, if the private college or university had an express policy against firearms and concealed carry on campus, then faculty or staff would have been precluded from carrying concealed.

According to the news story by WREG News Channel 3 in Memphis, officials from the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State, and Ouachita Technical College spoke against the bill.

Given all the hyperbole about concealed carry on campus legislation down in Texas, the approach taken by Rep. Collins seemed a reasonable first step. By excluding students it mitigated all the angst thrown up by the anti-rights movement of having drunk frat boys shooting up dorms and parties. Moreover, it only applied to full-time or those with nine-month contracts so you would have had only longer term employees allowed to carry concealed. Presumably, these people were fully vetted when hired. If not, then what the heck are they doing in the classroom in the first place?

Arkansas Moves To Protect Gun Rights During An Emergency

On Monday, the Arkansas General Assembly sent SB 115 to Gov. Mike Beebe (Democrat) for his signature. The bill passed both houses of the General Assemby in overwhelming and bipartisan fashion. The House vote was 89-0 with nine not voting and the Senate vote was 29-5 with one not voting.

This bill, if signed by the Governor, would do two thing to preserve gun rights in the State of Arkansas. First, it clarifies the prohibition against any city, county, town, or other local unit from suing any firearms manufacturer, dealer, or trade association except for breach of contract or warranty.

Second, and more importantly, the bill would prevent any local body from enacting any emergency ordinance to regulate the the transfer, transportation, or carrying of a firearm or its parts.

Now if the North Carolina General Assembly would follow the lead of Arkansas and amend our laws regarding firearms during emergencies, I’d be a  happy camper.

Arkansas SB 115 – Regulation of Firearms by Local Governments