State panel takes up gun-control proposals

Republicans give red-flag bill a close look; buying-age limit gets little attention


Photographs by Staton Breidenthal

Eve Jorgensen (right), state chapter president with Moms Demand Action, answers a question Monday along with Joseph Giannetto, associate regional director with Everytown for Gun Safety, during a legislative committee meeting at the state Capitol in Little Rock.

Republicans in the Legislature appeared more amenable Monday to legislation allowing for the temporary judicial confiscation of guns than to raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles, reflecting a similar openness to so-called red-flag laws as that of Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Still, either one of the two gun-control proposals presented to the Legislature by Democrats is likely to face an uphill battle during the 2019 session, their sponsors said.

The pair of bills -- one raising the minimum age to purchase an "assault weapon" to 21, the other to create an "extreme risk" warrant that would allow a judge to order the confiscation of guns from someone deemed a threat to himself or others -- were presented to the legislative Joint Performance Review Committee on Monday. The committee, along with the governor's Arkansas School Safety Commission, is studying what policies to put in place to prevent school shootings.

In the first several months of work, each of the groups has focused attention on the idea of expanding the number of armed schoolteachers and staff members. Those proposals have been met with opposition from some gun-control advocates.

One such group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, raised objections in July after its members were shut out from speaking at an earlier hearing of the Joint Performance Review Committee. The co-chairman of that committee, state Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, said she had scheduled Monday's meeting to allow input from the group, as well as from the legislative sponsors of gun-control legislation, state Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, and state Sen. Will Bond, D-Little Rock.

The state chapter president of Moms Demand Action, Eve Jorgensen, said the group had grown from a chapter in central Arkansas two years ago to a dozen chapters and nearly 1,000 members today. Seven chapters have opened, she said, since the shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Valentine's Day that killed 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Referring to a panicked situation at last month's Salt Bowl at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, where unfounded reports of gunshots sent the crowd of thousands fleeing, Jorgensen said the members of her group oppose arming people outside of law enforcement authorities to intervene in such situations.

"More guns in that situation would not have been helpful," she said. "More guns could have made it a lot worse."

Everytown for Gun Safety, the parent group for Moms Demand Action, supports both red-flag laws and higher age requirements for gun purchases, according to its website. About 20 members of the group attended Monday's meeting.

The red-flag legislation, as it has been referred to in other states, was one of five laws examined by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in its investigation last month into Arkansas' high rate of gun violence, which ranks seventh-worst in the nation with 16 deaths per 100,000 people.

The report examined laws that other states have passed to deter all forms of gun deaths -- not just school shootings, but other homicides and suicides.

Several days after the report was published, Hutchinson said at a news conference with reporters that he was "open" to supporting a red-flag law during the general session starting in January, if it was "accompanied by due process."

Leding, the legislation's House sponsor, told the committee Monday that he had been working on a draft of the bill since the Parkland school shooting in February.

In the aftermath of that shooting, Florida passed red-flag legislation that was signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Leding said his proposal is not model legislation but is based on a nearly 2-decade-old law in Connecticut.

The legislation drafted by Leding and Bond would require that two law enforcement officers investigate a threat and take the matter to a judge, who has to determine that grounds exist to confiscate someone's weapons while considering whether the person has threatened to harm himself or others. Within three weekdays, a follow-up hearing must be held to determine if the threat still exists.

"These are drafts, and we're willing to work with anybody," Leding said. "Republican governors across the country are signing [red-flag bills] into law."

Still, Republicans on the committee seemed skeptical.

"Is there any way to do this that is less likely to take away rights?" asked state Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale. "Have you got it as narrow as you can make it?"

State Sen. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, suggested the focus should be on "Hollywood, TV, movie gun violence," while state Rep. Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro, suggested that laws aiming to stop mass shooters would only make them "better at flouting the law."

State Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, said gun-control activists used "faulty logic" by focusing on deterring gun ownership, instead of arming people, such as teachers, to stop shootings.

"It only addresses 'if,' it doesn't address 'when,'" Garner said.

Others, including Senate President Pro Tempore-elect Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, sought to figure out what is allowable under current state law if police suspect someone of planning an attack.

Bond, a lawyer and co-sponsor of the red-flag bill, said that in some cases, the law may allow for jailing on criminal charges or even commitment to a mental hospital, but it does not give the judge the ability to take away someone's weapons barring a conviction.

Hendren, whose uncle is the governor, said there was an openness to the legislation in the Senate.

"A lot of us are having to get educated on the issue," Hendren said. "There's a willingness to have it explained to us."

The second proposal by Bond and Leding, to raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle, received much less discussion toward the end of the three-hour hearing.

"What is the purpose of it?" asked state Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, noting that the law could be skirted by teenagers who buy deadly non-semi-automatic weapons.

Irvin, the chairman of the committee, said the panel's next meeting will focus on issues related to mental health. She said she opposed red-flag legislation.

A Section on 09/11/2018


JIMBOB47 says...

Chicago has some of the most strict laws in the country.... hmmm, doesn't work for them either. These 'laws' are nothing but 'feel good' measures for politicians and anti-gun groups and do nothing to deter the nut cases and/or genuine bad guys. It's a 'society' thing... not a 'legal' thing. Find another solution

Posted 11 September 2018, 5:03 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Jimbo you are incorrect on your statement about Chicago gun laws. That's a false flag thrown by gun advocates that has been disproven MANY times. It's really pathetic that gun advocates can't seem to put forth factual information and continue to throw out misinformation.
With regards to red-flag laws, it seems gun advocates oppose them also. Then we get the "find another solution" statement from Jimbo who offers none himself. In other words, gun advocates will not come to the table with meaningful solutions other than more guns and in more places. That's not a solution. That's just contributing to the problem.

Posted 11 September 2018, 6:15 a.m. Suggest removal

JMort69 says...

No matter how you feel about this issue, the fact that, in the last meeting, the opponents were treated horribly by Sen. Trent Garner is reprehensible. He stated that he didn't care if the opponents got to speak since they weren't "his people". Who does he think he is? Do our soldiers die so only certain groups have the right of free speech? Garner has shown his volatility in more than one situation. Is he fit to serve? And, as for Ballinger, since his shrieking, arm-waving diatribe at the NWA Political Animals Club, what little credibility he had is gone. The fact is, these guys are owned by the gun lobby, and by many other lobbies in our state. They jump when these money men say frog. Let's show Mr. Garner that no citizen has any more or fewer rights in our country than any other citizen. One would think that, as a member of our legislature, he might understand that. But, money is all that matters to the crooks in this legislature, as they have shown over and over. Just another reason to VOTE THEM OUT, VOTE THEM OUT!!

Posted 11 September 2018, 7:29 a.m. Suggest removal

savinglives says...

It is not, and never truly was about "gun control". It is all about "people" control and this is one more government step toward a police state. It starts as seizing guns of someone "likely" to harm themselves or others. Whose interpretation is that? Is it someone with the authority to order this who has a grudge against you? Is it police that believe they should have more power? Just exactly who is it that determines this? And you can bet once this is instituted and we lay down for it that there will be a "next" and a "next" - each successfully stronger to eliminate the guns from the general population. This is the goal and if they have to sneak it in and small act at a time they will. Wake up, folks. The goal here is to take away more rights; and this is a big one. Disarm the public, have total control.

Posted 11 September 2018, 7:46 a.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

We should call this law "Spurned lovers revenge law". Do you really want mentally ill judges like Griffin deciding who is dangerous and who isn't? There are over 25,000 gun laws on the books. Start enforcing them!

I challenge all of you anti-gun types to go down to a gun store and ask for the denied stack of 4473s. Then cross reference them with ACIC. You'll find THOUSANDS of years in federal prison in the half dozen gunstores in Little Rock alone, but the Dist Atty and ATF don't want to prosecute.

Posted 11 September 2018, 7:49 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Another bit of misinformation from abb. There are NOT 25,000 gun laws on the books, but that doesn't stop her misinformation campaign to distort the issue. I think she has THS - Trump Hyperbole Syndrome.

Posted 11 September 2018, 7:59 a.m. Suggest removal

GOHOGS19 says...

RBEAR are you really saying Chicago doesn't have a gun problem or very strict gun control laws? If so you are delusional.

Posted 11 September 2018, 8:02 a.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Rbear, between Conlaw, federal law, state law, county, city, twsp ordnances, on top of all the administrative and tax laws and regulations, there were over 22,000 gun laws in 2008 when Obama took office. Hell, there might be 30,000 now. Enforce them! We don't need any new gun laws.

"Formerly we suffered from crime, now we suffer from laws"---Tacitus, the Annals of Rome.

Posted 11 September 2018, 8:05 a.m. Suggest removal

LR1955 says...

I’m a long time firearms owner and I’m fine with some of the “feel good” changes that have been tossed out there. Raise purchasing all guns & ammo to 21, do background checks at gun shows or stop the shows, take them away from spouse beaters, take them away from crazy people, I’d even register mine.
And crack down on all criminals, new or repeat offenders, if in possession of a fire arm during the criminal act. Take the worse ones to trial w/ good evidence and no deals.

Posted 11 September 2018, 8:36 a.m. Suggest removal

StrayGoose70 says...

Well, it's interesting to see that the far-left radical organization, Moms Demand Action, is supporting not only these infringements on the 2nd Amendment, but also supporting Clarke Tucker. Keep that in mind as you vote in November. Also, there are sufficient laws already on the Arkansas books to address individual situations involving persons who might be affected by a "red flag" law; therefore, such "red flag" laws insidious infringements on Constitutional rights.

Posted 11 September 2018, 8:43 a.m. Suggest removal

JA40 says...

Why don't you come up with a solution, Jimbo. You seem to have whining down, but don't have the problem solved.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:22 a.m. Suggest removal

hah406 says...

OK, first a few rebuttals. ABB is full of crap. There are not that many gun laws on the books anywhere. Second, Jimbob and GoHogs, the Chicago thing is a false narrative. Chicago cannot control the flow of guns in from surrounding counties and states that do not have similar laws, so of course it doesn't work.
Now to the point. Red flag laws should absolutely be in place. People like Jimbob and ABB keep screaming that the problem is mental health. Well, why not have a process to get guns out of the hands of the mentally ill? You can't have it both ways, and I would much rather have a judge and due process determine who cannot temporarily possess weapons than continue down the current path.
As for the age restriction, if you can't drink until you are 21, why should you be able to possess deadly weapons? I could go either way. Either raise the age restriction for weapons, or lower the drinking age, but be consistent.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:22 a.m. Suggest removal

UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA says...

Nobody in Arkansas voting for these REDS is asking for any of this.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:27 a.m. Suggest removal

UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA says...

"The society that makes much distinction between its scholar and its warrior will find its laws writ by cowards and its wars fought by fools"

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:28 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Hah yep, I went and did some research and her comment is so full of misinformation it’s laughable. She is one of the biggest liars in these boards and is actually quite unstable. Nuff said and the misinformation from gun advocates is disgraceful to the debate.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:43 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

2nd post of the day is by our resident wind bag(RBear)

He seems to bemoan that gun supporters don't favor "red flag" laws.

In one school shooting ( Texas, I believe) the students pictured fleeing were all wearing shorts and short sleeved light weight tops.
It gets HOT in Texas.

Yet it was reported the shooter wore a black trench coat to school and in school.

When I stated that should have been a "red flag" RBear stated that ......I.....was the one way behind times and that shooter wearing a long , black , trench coat in the Texas heat should NOT have set off any suspicion.

So, RBear, be at least consistent in your rants.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:48 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

Straygoose70 at 8:43..........thank you for informing me of the fanatic gun control group Moms Demand Action support of Clarke Tucker.

I will use that info OFTEN !

Clarke Tucker/Nancy Pelosi
Clarke Tucker/ Moms Demand Action

If any of you feel like a poster SJ Mays........" outlaw ALL guns"...you must vote for Clarke Tucker.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:53 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

I don’t respond to racist idiot trolls who spend all day in a trailer getting drunk and trolling. I’ll just let the idiot keep trolling and show his ignorance.

Posted 11 September 2018, 9:59 a.m. Suggest removal

UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA says...

rbear thats a racist bigoted just nasty thing to say. but your ilk says it all the time so...

Posted 11 September 2018, 10:03 a.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

What is the purpose of red lights as there are many red light violators out there.... I have seen them and they are young and old, black, brown, yellow, red, and various shades of all them there colors including the pinkish types who are called white. Think of all the gas wasted by those who are skillful enough to go through the red light and not kill someone.

Besides, guns dont kill people, defective made humans just cant accept bullets to vital organs.... you would think the deity in her wisdom would have made us able to bear gun shots knowing sooner or later our sinful nature would invent guns ... in fact it is It's fault for a kind of product liability against the supernatural . We can just garnishee after judgment the deity system building and their collections from masses who spend their money in these buildings instead of buying opiates.

Posted 11 September 2018, 10:37 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

Will Clarke Tucker use the phrase.........." I support law abiding citizens' right to own guns, BUT........."

too big of a gamble voting for Clarke Tucker

Clarke Tucker/Nancy Pelosi
Clarke Tucker/Moms Demand Action

Posted 11 September 2018, 11:20 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

Follow the money trail from Moms Demand Action.

If it ends at Clarke Tucker, ask yourself......." is Clarke Tucker really a moderate"?

(or does he use the word "BUT" to cover all bases? )

Posted 11 September 2018, 11:25 a.m. Suggest removal

MaxCady says...

Her eyes are up here, Joe!

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:07 p.m. Suggest removal

limb says...

We are a military and game hunting family with common sense. We need enhanced gun laws. There are very strict laws and registrations regarding vehicles and planes. They aren’t always observed, there are mistakes and adjustments. The overriding value there is the value we place on safety and human life while operating a machine that can easily kill if we take it to the wrong areas, are impaired, or mentally unstable. There are many barricades to vehicles and planes and we accept them as we know their potential to harm. We still have a great love and fun about the automobile. It hasn’t erased it.
Our well maintained militia has outgrown the musket and is not well maintained. Wise up. Stop railroading progress toward proper laws regarding deadly weapons the majority of the public wants.

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:11 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Lookie here: GAO: Only 12 of 13,000 Denied Gun Purchasers Were Prosecuted in FY '17 Individuals who are prohibited from purchasing firearms for any reason (mental health, criminal convictions, etc.) are rarely investigated or prosecuted when they do try to buy a weapon, a federal study has determined.

Source: h t t ps://w w w.gao.g o v/assets/700/694290.pdf

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:16 p.m. Suggest removal

Illinoisroy says...

"Happiness is a warm gun", George Harrison.

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:24 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

abb thinks she "found something," but failed to dig into the actual report. The primary reason there have been few investigations into falsified and DENIED applications is that the amount of time required to investigate these cases is substantial and the benefit is insignificant. The application has been denied so why go the extra step of pursuing the person who falsified the application? It's basically laws of diminishing returns. Those LEOs serve the citizens better focusing on crimes that actually have an impact on society.
So abb, what was your point in citing that report other than you "thought" you had something?

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:25 p.m. Suggest removal

Illinoisroy says...

hey barefoot, GMAC is a racist and homophobe, just read his posts.

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:34 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

IllinoisRoy.........an insult by you is taken as a compliment by me.

I consider the source of the insult.

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:41 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

RBear, it is a federal offense to lie on a 4473. ATF and gun grabbers don't care. Some of them do straw purchases....also illegal, yet you want more laws.

Let me give you a quiz: Mr Abb and I have 20 guns in the safe. 10 of them are semi-auto, self-loading, or what you nincompoops call "assault weapons". If they are banned or we are forced to turn them in, how many do we have?

Answer: 76. We lied about only having 20 guns and we aren't going to give them up.

If it comes to that, its time to start using them.

"When the citizens fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, you have liberty"- John Basil Barnhill

Posted 11 September 2018, 12:57 p.m. Suggest removal

FireEyes says...

Keep your cotton picking paws off the Second Amendment and off my rights and my property! Guns never kill people; PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.

Posted 11 September 2018, 1:20 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Will french hill make all the bankers rich or just a few. Of course we know where that money will be sucked up from the working man, but at least he wont have to set next to a minority or a non-beliver.

will french hill, hand picked by the swamp monsters continue to represent the elites to make their life easier and the average man's life harder?

Uncle Joe tells me the people killed by guns, were killed by bullets fired from guns, so it sound like guns are involved.

GM, the average voter like you is fixed on Nancy Pelosi, just like EWE all are on gay people.... Seems unhealthy for the wide stance people to spend to much time on matters they "say" they have problems with. Anyway , sure the alleged mentally ill and the alleged domestic violators should have guns, as guns dont kill people.

Death be not proud.

Posted 11 September 2018, 1:35 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

Rbear..."Those LEOs serve the citizens better focusing on crimes that actually have an impact on society."
I have just been reading posts and pondering on the prosperity and beliefs of the Arkansas poster. However, the applicants that attempted to purchase a weapon either through false information or other reason, may attempt to get a weapon in another way. If we follow up on these attempts we may find 13000 that used other methods to obtain a weapon illegally and stop them from committing another crime by using that weapon. We have laws for a reason and if we do not enforce them, then what is the sense of passing new law.

Posted 11 September 2018, 1:43 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

LRCrook it’s all a matter of resource availability. There are LOTS of areas enforcement could be enhanced, but the return is just not that viable at the expense. Working in cyber security, we run into that all day long. Do I chaw this long tail and spend the entire day blocking 1% or do I focus on the greater value?

Posted 11 September 2018, 2:44 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

Abb to start with, you are lying from the beginning of your comment. As I said before, seriously unstable. 76 guns? BS

Posted 11 September 2018, 2:46 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

LOL Rbear, you'll never know the real amount, and neither will the Feds. And its no ones business! Oh, and that was a rhetorical question, but I guess you missed the point, as usual. And, right on que, you resort to denigration and name calling. No wonder you are probably the stereotypical antisocial, angry, smelly, incel that every employer tries to hide from customers and co-workers.

Posted 11 September 2018, 2:52 p.m. Suggest removal

Illinoisroy says...

GMAC, wasn't an insult merely an observation of fact.

Posted 11 September 2018, 3:24 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

Never trust a radical group that inserts the words "Moms" or " Mothers" into their name.

Wolf in sheep's clothing

Posted 11 September 2018, 3:57 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Insipid anti-gun laws are simply "feel-good" measures by emotionally insecure liberals that check the box of “doing something”, without actually doing anything that would be effective. If you raise the age to exercise a right, it doesn't have a discernible cause-effect relationship with a positive outcome. None!

If you do the “take the guns first, go through due process second” philosophy on your rights being subject to the whims of a judge like the crazy social justice RevCom judges like Griffin. No thanks for these laws and great that Tucker Clarke brought in anti-gun MD governor to speak for him.

Posted 11 September 2018, 4:25 p.m. Suggest removal

hah406 says...

Mac, would you please just go ahead and drink enough tonight to choke on your own vomit so we don't have to hear from you anymore. I will even buy the booze for you.
As for you ABB, there are gun laws that work very very well in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Homicide rates miniscule compared to the U.S. If we don't have a gun problem, then we are the most deranged, violent, evil society on God's earth.

Posted 11 September 2018, 5:30 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Hah406, we all know where the "the most deranged, violent, evil society" is: multi-generational led democrat s***tholes filled with broken families created by LBJ and his great society. If we discounted crime figures from NYC, Chicongo, Killadelphia, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Baltimore, LA, DC, and Atlanta, the United States would have the gun violence rate equivalent to ICELAND! Everyone knows where the problem is, but they just cant say it: inner city youts that Democrats created and coddle. We don't have a gun problem, we have a liberal problem.

Posted 11 September 2018, 6:02 p.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

abb I'm just stating fact. You are a pathological liar. This morning, you made some outlandish statement about the number of guns laws that was false. But you swore by it. The funny thing is you are a relic of the right wing that younger people role their eyes at. The more you go BSC crazy about progressives, the more they ignore you. Pretty soon, you'll be out of the picture and they'll have control of the party. Looking forward to that day when sanity returns.

Posted 11 September 2018, 6:44 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Yet again, RBear, you fail to refute any facts, just name calling and nihilist wishing. Good luck. Oh, BTW....how do you know how many guns we own? 7? 17? 70? 700? You have no clue. None. THAT is why you are a liberal. Looking forward to your sabbatical when the GDP is north of 4%.

Posted 11 September 2018, 7:04 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

HaHa406 tells me to ........." choke on your own vomit"

I won't stoop to your level,

If I did, I would tell all the gay posters here what they can choke on but since this is a "family newspaper" I'll resist the urge to counter nastiness with nastiness.

Posted 11 September 2018, 8:16 p.m. Suggest removal

oldsalt58gmailcom says...

So the moms against guns wants to ban all guns so only the thugs have a gun. Have you people not learned anything over the course of how many years? These people for the most part are not law abiding citizens so they do not obey the laws set forth by the lawmakers that the rest of us gun owners and concealed carry people must obey. By denying us our rights to protect ourselves leaves us unable to protect those we care about in any situation involving any kind of weapon whether it be a baseball bat, knife or a firearm. Do not try and take our rights away from us or we will find a governor who truly does support the 2nd Amendment not only when it looks good for the voters.

Posted 15 September 2018, 4:57 p.m. Suggest removal

Log in to comment