A lot of opinions out there these days about gun laws .. from the federal .. to the state level. But do you know what you need to know to carry a weapon without getting busted? KTBS 3's Keristen Holmes has this Ark-La-Tex In-Depth report.
"Alot of people have the belief that their gun rights are being infringed upon, needlessly, so they're doing what they have to do to protect themselves and their families," said, Captain Bruce Teutsch. He also said law enforcement agencies in our area support the right to bear arms. "We believe that a law abiding citizen does have the right to own firearms. Of course we need to follow the law, and getting a concealed carry permit is one of the aspects of the law." A concealed carry license means that you can carry a gun in public as long as no one can see it. As long as you have your concealed carry license from the state of Louisiana, and not any parish authority, then the three states honor each other's licenses. "You have to get three pages notorized, you have to get your finger prints done, you have to get a passport photo and you have to go through a firearms safety class, that they will give you," Teutsch said.
Even with a permit, many places are off limits, especially federal properties, schools, and places of worship. But now, in Arkansas, you can now conceal carry in a church or on college campuses, while Texas and Louisiana are considering these options. Don't have a concealed carry permit? Louisiana is the only state in the Ark-La-Tex that allows open carry - which means that if you have a legal weapon and are twenty one or older, you may carry a loaded handgun that is not concealed or hidden. Arkansas and Texas are not open carry states, so only those with concealed permits can walk around with a loaded gun.
Driving across state lines in the Ark-La-Tex is where it get's a little trickier Teutsch continued, "In Louisiana, your vehicle is an extension of your house. In your vehicle you can have the weapon in the glove box, under the seat... Anywhere in your vehicle basically... even in the trunk. It could even by openly visible, here in Louisiana." But if you're driving in Texas with or without a permit, you can have your handgun accessible and loaded, but it cannot be visible to others.
Arkansas is the only state in the Ark-La-Tex where this is not true. Arkansas State Police say...If you don't have a concealed carry license, the best place for your gun is the trunk of your car, and even there, it shouldn't be loaded.
Wherever you keep your gun .. remember that criminals get most of their weapons by stealing them from law abiding citizens. If you have a gun in your car, law enforcement strongly recommends locking it up in a lock box or the trunk so that you don't make it easy for the law breakers to arm themselves.