The Arkansas State Fair kicks off in just a few days and provides fun and entertainment to thousands for a 10-day stretch. And keeping fair-goers safe is a no weapons policy, says fair officials.
“Open carry or concealed carry– there are no weapons allowed on the fairgrounds,” says General Manager Ralph Shoptaw.
If a private property owner in Arkansas posts a ‘no weapons’ sign, you are obligated by law to respect that sign. “At the state fair if it is posted, like it is, you cannot bring a weapon in,” Little Rock Police Lt. Steven McClanahan said.
While I respect the wishes of a property owner, I will point out two things; one of which happened at last year’s North Carolina State Fair during their firearms ban.
First, a concealed carry advocacy group tried to get the fair to change their minds, but it was of no use. A judge upheld the ban, and so it was.
Then one day during the fair, a group coming from the fair were robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot. These people had no way to defend themselves with the weapons ban in place, and were at the mercy of their armed attackers.
While the armed robbery didn’t happen on fair grounds, it did happen when the three people were walking back to their vehicles from the fair. If they were folks who carry concealed, they would have had to leave their firearms in their vehicles while they went into the fair. A firearm for self-defense is pretty useless inside a locked vehicle while you’re walking down the road at 11:30 at night.
When I see these firearm bans pop up in different locations, I like to remind people of one simple fact: Millions of Americans carry firearms each day, and we rarely hear of them causing an unsafe environment for anyone.
And with those points…
…I leave the Arkansas State Fair to either stand by their decision or make a change. I only hope for fair-goers sake, that criminals are taking time off while the fair is open.