Secure our rights

Secure our rights

Arkansans who value their right to bear arms should pay close attention to–and wholeheartedly support–the proposed state constitutional amendment known as Senate Joint Resolution 13, offered by Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway and Rep. Jimmy Gazaway of Paragould. The amendment is timely, considering how the Biden administration has ramped up internal discussions on executive orders regarding gun control. The president also is on record calling for Congress to adopt new measures to seriously restrict gun rights. With Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and White House, the stars seem aligned. In Arkansas, the Legislature has adopted some new laws aimed at protecting citizens’ gun rights. Yet even these are at risk without adopting a constitutional amendment that clearly articulates that the right to bear arms is an individual right and not only for "militia" members. Accordingly, SJR13 remains under consideration by the Senate. I believe it’s critical for citizens to take the strongest stand possible for effectively protecting our Second Amendment rights in this tumultuous period. Arkansans need a constitutional amendment due to 1842 Arkansas court case State v. Buzzard, cited as the "Arkansas Doctrine" of the U.S. Second Amendment interpretation. It basically says the U.S. Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in 1842 belonged only to people in a state militia, while not conferring upon a citizen any individual right to keep and bear arms. Buzzard has even been cited in federal jurisprudence as one of the three American cases holding that the right to bear arms […]

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