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Open carry advocates march

About 40 supporters on open carry laws marched beside a Maumelle street last Saturday carrying signs and packing heat. Almost every participant was armed with a semi-automatic pistol strapped to the leg and visible for all to see. Bill Lawson photoBuy Photo
About 40 supporters on open carry laws marched beside a Maumelle street last Saturday carrying signs and packing heat. Almost every participant was armed with a semi-automatic pistol strapped to the leg and visible for all to see. Bill Lawson photo

In a peaceful protest of state official’s interpretation of Act 746 of 2012, about 40 marchers took to Maumelle sidewalks last Saturday to help call attention to the issue.

Organizers said those marching are conservative law abiding citizens who simply want to exercise what they believe is their constitutional and now state statute right to openly carry weapons in public.

The men, women and children who made the half-mile walk down Club Manor Drive were on their best behavior.

In fact they billed themselves as “The Good Guys.”

They suggested that if a “bad guy” walks into a McDonald’s intent on robbing the restaurant and looks around and sees a bunch of good guys openly wearing weapons, then they’d leave and go somewhere else.

Maumelle police chief Sam Williams said the organizers met with him and his staff in advance and expressed their interest in making the relaxed statement about the Act concerning open carry of firearms.

He said their intent was peaceful and although Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told him the new act does not authorize the public display of weapons by carrying them, he agreed not to arrest anyone on that charge because their intent is peaceful and clear and it is a public statement if their own beliefs.

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