Annual Membership

Senator Rice, GO-AR Spearhead Effort in AGFC “No Firearms Allowed” Signage Removal

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By Tammy TeagueResident Press  –  1-26-24

When it comes to protecting your God-given right to keep and bear arms, the organization GO-AR is consistent in reviewing and crafting legislation to preserve that freedom. One of the state’s legislative 2A champion is local Senator, Terry Rice.

In the summer of 2023, members of the GO-AR action committee presented legislators with an issue concerning signage by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The signs, located at parks, lakes and boat docks across the state read, “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED.”

“They had five rules, which, at face value, appeared to be inconsistent with state law. However, once further research was completed, they did have exemptions the average person wouldn’t find, and we hope that will be addressed.” stated GO-AR President, Gary Epperson.

GO-AR members began contacting legislators, including Senator Rice, who serves on the Game and Fish/State Police Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council. Noting that the Game & Fish Rules were inconsistent with Arkansas gun laws.

Fast forward to November of 2023, the signs remained but with promise by the AGFC director to come down. Over the course of the next few months, those prohibited signs began to come down.

Senator Rice followed up with Director Austin Booth in a subcommittee meeting. Booth admitted that “miscommunication” was the reason why so many signs remained posted and recognized that new ones had been added. One of those in the Senator’s own backyard, at the Hinkle Lake access area. Booth stated it was “totally unacceptable” and took full responsibility. Booth noted that he was encouraged by the dialogue and effort for his agency to reflect accurately current gun laws. “It’s taken us a very long time to get to this point,” admitted Booth. “If I could snap my fingers overnight and wish all the signs to be fixed, then that’s what I would do without hesitation. It is going to take us some time to evaluate ever single green sign we have in Arkansas…”

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Senator Rice commended Booths’ efforts and noted, “it’s better, and I appreciate what has been done… I hope you and the commission can relay to them that for the game and fish to be successful, have good relationships and to abide by the State of Arkansas laws, they need to listen to the director and commissioner…”

Senator and Co-Chair, Ricky Hill responded to the exchange inquiring how constituents can report a sign. “The short answer is, we have lots of options…they can email me: Austin.Booth@agfc.ar.gov, or AskAGFC@agfc.ar.gov or let any of their legislators know. The sooner we find out where they are, the better.”

Hill commended the working efforts by the AGFC, stating “we can get a lot more accomplished when we work together…Government as a whole listening.” Hill himself has worked with the Arkansas Department of Transportation to ensure those same signs were removed from rest areas.

“The Arkansas Game and Fish meeting held by the ALC Committee today proved to be a highly productive gathering for Gunowners in the state,” shared President Gary Epperson. “My feelings towards Director Booth is that he is far more supportive of 2A than previous directors. Gun Owners of Arkansas would like to extend our appreciation to all the Legislators, Director Booth, and above all, our valued paid members who contribute to the success of our organization. This is just a prelude of all Arkansas gun laws being reviewed and simplified with GO-AR leading the effort.”

To learn more about GO-AR, and their mission, you can visit: Gun Owners of Arkansas (gunownersarkansas.org).

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