Sandy Hook spree killer Adam Lanza's victims (courtesy freepresshouston.com)

The AP reports that “Arkansas school districts can’t use a little-known state law to employ teachers and staff as guards who can carry guns on campus, the state’s attorney general said Thursday in an opinion that likely ends a district’s plan to arm more than 20 employees when school starts later this year.” Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wrote that “Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards.” This after David Hopkins, school superintendent for Clarksville, appeared this morning on NBC’s Today Show to tout their armed teacher program . . .

“Obviously we’re going to comply with the law. We’re not going to break the law,” Hopkins says, now. “We wanted to provide the training and give the sense of a secure place for our parents and students. I tell you, this has really thrown a monkey wrench into it.”

So it’s off to the legislature or the courts. Only the legislature rejected a concealed carry carve-out for teachers (with increased training) back in February. Anyway, meanwhile, the AR AG said his opinion doesn’t affect districts’ ability to hire private security companies or use law enforcement as school resource officers. Go school militarization!

Question: why should anyone’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms end at the school gate anyway? The People of the Gun really need to kick President George Bush The Elder’s Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 to the curb before someone gets hurt. Oh wait . . .

28 Responses to BREAKING: AR AG: Natural State Can’t Arm Teachers

    • Unfortunately, many AG opinions shape how the law is enforced. Take Virginia. The law says you are not allowed to carry in Churches unless you have a good reason. The state AG said in his OPINION general self defense is a good enough reason. The next AG might have the opinion that a good reason only exists when you have received actual death threats. Free man under one AG, incarcerated under another and the law is the same in both cases. What needs to happen is the ambiguity needs to be removed from the law. “A good reason” is subjective and can be easily turned on its ear. The law should be so cut and dried that there is no room for opinion.

    • He’s out of a job anyway – term limits. He had planned to run for Governor until an ex-marital affair with another lawyer was made public. It was also reported that the lawyer, btw, was on the opposite side of the AG’s office in several cases.

  1. The AG’s opinion is just that, his opinion. The school district should take those steps to ensure the safety of the students, and if the AG wants, he can bring suit.

  2. Makes a good case for arming yourself as allowed by law, but not drawing attention to yourself while doing it.

  3. In Missouri, and I suspect all other 49 states, the opinion of the Attorney General carries no legal precedent whatsoever. They can’t be used in a court proceeding as authority supporting an argument, although nothing prevents counsel from waving one around and proclaiming, “The Attorney General says . . . .” But even if the court acknowledges the existence of the Attorney General’s opinion, the court usually blows it off by pointing out that it carries no legal weight.

    Plain and simple, an AG Opinion is just political grandstanding, and if the Board wants to arm the employees, it won’t prevent that from happening.

    • An attorney general opinion is more than just the attorney general’s thoughts on the matter. It is a formal legal document that interprets the law and gives guidance to a party (usually outside and before litigation). It does not have the precedential value of appellate decisions, and it is not “admissible” as evidence, but it is considered legal authority in most jurisdictions. But rather than being controlling (i.e. legally binding) authority, it is persuasive authority. That is, courts will look to it and give it some deference as a considered view of the legal issue but they are not compelled to follow it the way they are compelled to follow a higher court.

      • +1

        Additionally, to the extent that a school district is an arm of state government (I’m not quite sure how AR law works), this “opinion” could be seen as the opinion of the school district’s lawyer.

        I of course disagree with the opinion but it is much stronger than you might think.

  4. “Democratic Attorney”. Well that’s as far as I needed to go.

    I wonder what McDaniel’s argument is for charter schools
    which ARE considered private businesses. Don’t tell me,
    I think I can guess.

  5. So when the school district puts out the RFP for private security firm contracts, they can require the security firm to train some teachers to their exacting standards and include the requirement to hire some teachers for $1/per year so that the teachers would be employed by the security firm.

  6. Another dueche “D” that needs to be ousted.

    The law states what it states. It’s not up to the AG to go their own way (Down the O-highway of unconstitutionalaity) but uphold the law.

  7. It doesn’t matter what state they’re in — a Democrat is a Democrat and they all hate guns and us. It’s in their DNA like a broken chromosome.

    • Carry on Ralph! Nothing boils my blood faster than someone who says “I’m for the 2A, but . . . I’m a democrat.” Just like all the other instances of the “but” argument they either don’t get it or they are outright liars.

  8. Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wrote that “Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards.”
    Vote in someone with a different opinion.

  9. They’ll Arkansas disarmed soft victim zone shooting… then they will say “SEE! WE NEED EVEN FEWER GUNS!”
    Sheep

  10. “Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards.”

    Actually, this sounds about right. If the district was doing some fast-talking to get teachers to legally pack heat in school, they have to do it legally. A school is not a guard company.

    Perhaps a not-for-profit company could be formed to explicitly guard schools, and the school district could hire that company, and the company hire the teachers…I dunno.

    It is stupid that an adult cannot carry a firearm in school. That’s your problem.

  11. Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wrote that “Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards.”

    So, doesn’t “authorize” it… but does it actually FORBID it? After all, the common basis of law (in the U.S.) is that it lists restrictions, not allowances.

  12. There are too many AG at the state level that are closet gun banners. Here in Florida, we have Pam “Bambi” Bondi that tricked The Tea Party base into voting for her. She has been a disaster for 2a rights at the state level. However, she is going down in flames in the next election.

  13. .” Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wrote that “Simply put, the code in my opinion does not authorize either licensing a school district as a guard company or classifying it as a private business authorized to employ its own teachers as armed guards.”
    Learned long ago that opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one, and they all stink. Next time Mr. ATTORNEY General, shut up and let’s the court decide.

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